Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Super Duck

                                                   (TEASE: Check out the two videos below.)

TRIVIA QUESTION:  When the 1967 Angels traded Norm Siebern to the Giants the picked up a guy they thought could help out around the outfield and back up Don Mincher at first. Turns out he played a handful of games before being shipped to the Dodgers for another super minor league player. Who were those two players involved in the Dodgers/Angels swap?

ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN:  When the Angels released Joe Adcock at the end of the 1966 season, and traded the Twins for Don Mincher, it essentially ended the career of the "other" Angels first baseman; Norm Siebern. Siebern, the lefty hitter, got more playing time than Adcock the right handed slugger in 1966. Siebern batted 336 times in 1966 while Adock batted 231 times.  Mincher's arrival opened the door for younger players and Siebern was shipped off to San Francisco.

 If ever there was a super utility player in the 1960's, it was Dick Schofield, better known as Ducky, or just the Duck. He arrived in Pittsburgh from the Cardinals and before his 1960's career was over, he'd play for six different teams, while in his overall career; seven teams. He had three seperate stints with the club which originally signed him; the St. Louis Cardinals.
Schofield's best season was 1960 when he filled in late in the season for MVP Dick Groat as the Bucs went onto win the National League Pennant. He hit .333 in just over 100 at bats. He matched it in the World Series, going one-for-three against the Yankees as Groat returned to start for the Pirates. 

As a fielder during that memorable season he was adequate in 23 games at shortstop, committing six errors. However, teamed with all-star Bill Mazeroski he did participate in 16 double plays. The Duck fielded flawlessly at the other infield positions when he filled in.
In his only three seasons as a regular, 1963-1965, he batted .246 twice and .209 in the other lackluster year in which he spent most of it with the Giants, after having been traded for Jose Pagan in a swap of shortstops. Pagan would move to third base in Pittsburgh, Schofield remained mostly at short. He did continue to shift around the infield and actually in 1969 played a few games in the outfield. 

San Francisco would sell him to the Yankees who traded him to the Dodgers for Thad Tillotson and after his release the Cardinals picked him up once again. In the same year St. Louis sent him to the Red Sox for Gary Waslewski before going back to the Cardinals for Jim Campbell. He finished out his career with Milwaukee.
Perhaps his greatest achievement in baseball, aside from his longevity and ability to be the Super Utility Player, was his linage. His son, Dick had a good major league career also as a shortstop, and his grandson Jayson Werth did as well. One of the now many three generation baseball families.

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