Thursday, October 10, 2013

Final Card: Joe Schultz

This is the first and last card for Joe Schultz (#254), manager of the 1969 expansion Seattle Pilots.

Anyone who has read Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" (and has Schultz's 2 favorite expressions tattooed on their brain), probably remembers Joe as an overmatched boob (a trait somewhat reinforced by this card), but while I was watching replays of the 1968 World Series a few years ago on the MLB Network, I was reminded that Schultz was the 3rd base coach for the 3-time NL pennant-winning (and 2-time World Champion) Cardinals.

That he was in a key coaching position for a team as good as the Cardinals indicates that he had something going for him (unless the good-old-boy network was working overtime).

Joe was a backup catcher during his playing days. He played in the Cardinals' organization from 1932 to 1939, all in the minors. He was with the Pirates from 1939 to 1942, mostly in the minors, but a few games in the majors.

He played in the majors for the St. Louis Browns continuously from 1943-1948 (except for spending most of '44 in the minors).

After his playing career, Joe managed in the minors from 1950-62 (the last 5 seasons in the Cardinals' organization), then joined the St. Louis coaching staff as their 3rd base coach from 1963-68.

After his 1-year stint with Seattle, he coached 3rd base for the 1970 Royals, and the 1971-76 Tigers. He managed the Tigers for the remainder of the 1973 season following Billy Martin's firing.

Joe's father (Joe Sr.) played in the majors from 1912-25. Schultz Jr. passed away in 1996 at age 77.

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