Dick Schofield (schofdi01)
John Richard Schofield
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.
Dick Schofield, Sr. signed with with the St. Louis Cardinals out of high school as a "bonus baby" in June 1953. MLB rules at that time required that "bonus babies" be kept on the major league roster for their first two years or their team risked losing them in the major league draft if they sent them to the minors. Schofield played sparingly from 1953 to 1955, and then spent most of the 1955 and 1956 seasons in the minors. Schofield's glove work was his main calling card, and enabled him to survive 19 M.L. seasons. As a hitter, he compiled an anemic .227 career average with an OBP of only 31 percent.
He returned to the Cardinals as a back-up shortstop in 1957 and part of 1958 until being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in June 1958. He served as a utility infielder for the Pirates and continued in that role as a member of the 1960 World Champion Pirates. He was considered a light-hitting defensive specialist and entered the 1960 season with a career batting average of just .195. He had played sparingly for the Pirates that season and entered the month of September with just seven hits in 34 at-bats for a .206 batting average. But Schofield was thrust into the spotlight on September 6 when shortstop and team captain Dick Groat (who would subsequently win both the National League batting title and Most Valuable Player Award), suffered a broken wrist when hit by a pitch from the Milwaukee Braves' Lew Burdette. The Pirates were fighting for the pennant in the last month of the season, and the loss of Groat appeared to be a serious blow to their chances. Schofield took over as the Pirates' starting shortstop and batted .403 through the end of the season to help the Pirates clinch the pennant. Groat returned for the World Series and Schofield returned to the bench. He had one hit in three at-bats in the 1960 World Series.
He continued in a utility infielder role in 1961 and 1962. But when Groat was traded after the 1962 season, Schofield became the Pirates' starting shortstop in 1963 and 1964, batting .246 in both seasons. When the Pirates deemed that 24-year old Gene Alley was ready to take over at shortstop, Schofield was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Jose Pagan on May 22, 1965. Schofield, age 30, took over as the Giants' starting shortstop in mid-1965, but batted only .203 for them that year. In 1966, 22-year-old Tito Fuentes took over as the Giants' shortstop and Schofield returned to a reserve role. He continued in that role through 1971 with the New York Yankees in 1966, the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966-1967, the Cardinals again in 1968, the Boston Red Sox in 1969 and 1970, and both the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers in 1971.
- Rodney Johnson: "Dick Schofield", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 173-177. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9