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Wally Schang

Wally Schang

Position(s):
C, 3B, OF, SS
Born:
August 22, 1889
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 10"
Weight:
180 lbs
Major League Debut:
5-09-1913 with PHA

One of baseball's best catchers throughout most of his 18-year ML career, Schang played for top teams and caught most of the leading AL pitchers of his time, including Hall of Famers Herb Pennock, Eddie Plank, Chief Bender, Babe Ruth, Waite Hoyt, and Lefty Grove. A strong hitter (six seasons over .300) and good baserunner (one of the few catchers to steal more than 100 bases), his defensive work was also outstanding, although he holds the AL career record for most errors by a catcher, 218. When not catching, managers sometimes played him in the outfield or at third base to keep his bat in the lineup.

Schang broke in as a rookie with Connie Mack's champions of 1913-14. He was traded to the Red Sox in 1918 and helped them to a World Championship. He was the Yankees' regular catcher when they won their first three pennants in 1921-23. He was a reserve for the 1930 Athletics, his seventh pennant-winning team. He is the only player to be on three different World Championship clubs. On May 12, 1915, catching for the Athletics, he threw out six Browns runners attempting to steal; on the same date in 1920 he had eight assists for the Red Sox in a game against the Indians. Both feats are AL records. His older brother Bobby caught briefly in the NL before WWI.

Highlights

* 6-time hit .300 or more
* 8-time appeared in 100 or more games (including 134 in 1921)
* 4-time appeared in the Hall of Fame BBWAA voting (1950, 1956, 1958, 1960)
* Had a 20-game hitting streak (1916)
* Hit home runs from both sides of the plate (September 9, 1916)
* Is the only major league player to be on three different World Championship       clubs
* Holds an American League game-record for catchers throwing out six potential       base stealers (May 12, 1915)
* Holds an AL record for catchers with eight assists in a game (May 12, 1920)
* Was the regular catcher of the leading AL pitchers of his time, including future       Hall of Famers Chief Bender, Lefty Grove, Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Eddie Plank       and Babe Ruth.
* Through 2005, Schang ranks seventh on the all-time list of Most Career Stolen       Bases by a Catcher (121), behind Roger Bresnahan (212), Ray Schalk (177), Jason       Kendall (148), Red Dooin (133), Carlton Fisk (128) and Johnny Kling (123), and       over John Wathan (105) and Iván Rodríguez (104).

Trivia

* In the early 20th century, when players with facial hair became a rarity in baseball, Wally Schang became the last major leaguer to sport a moustache, in 1914. After that, is reported that the first players to sport moustaches during the regular season were Dick Allen (St. Louis Cardinals) and Felipe Alou (Oakland Athletics), both in 1970.

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Tagged:
Baseball History, Boston Red Sox, Catcher, Philadelphia Athletics, Wally Schang

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