Nov 20, 2012

Short Time Early Nineties Mets Infielder: Dick Schofield (1992)

Richard Craig Schofield was born on November 21, 1962 in Springfield, Illinois.

He is the son of Dick “Ducky” Schofield who played shortstop & infield for 19 seasons from 1953-1971. Ducky backed up Alvin Dark & Alex Grammas in St. Louis with the Cardinals. He then backed up the 1960 NL MVP, Dick Groat in Pittsburgh winning a World Series there that same year. He became the Pirates main short stop from 1963 to 1965, leading the NL in fielding (.981%) in 1965. He would move on to the Los Angeles Dodgers (1966-1967).

By 1968 he was back in St. Louis where he got to another World Series with the Cards losing to the Detroit Tigers. After that season he went to the Boston Red Sox backing up Rico Petrocelli (1969-1970). He ended his career in Milwaukee in 1971 after 19 big league seasons batting .227 with 699 hits 21 HRs 113 doubles 20 triples & 211 RBIs. The senior Schofield posted a .961 fielding % turning 385 double plays at short.

His son Dick Schofield was drafted out of high school first round in 1981 (3rd pick overall) by the California Angels. Two years later the highly touted shortstop made his debut. He was one the finest glove men of his era at the short stop position. He led the league in fielding four times (1984-1987-1988 & 1992), and was one of the game’s best sacrifice hitters in the 1980’s.

In 1986 he had career highs in HRs (13) RBIs (57) & stolen bases (23) as the Angels won the Western Division. He hit .300 in the 1986 ALCS with a HR off Boston Red Sox pitcher, Oil Can Boyd in Game #3. He was considered so valuable to the Angels team that he came in 22nd in the MVP voting. At short he posted a .972 fielding % turning 103 double plays. After spending ten seasons with the Angels, he was traded to the New York Mets for Julio Valera in early April of 1992.

He took over Kevin Elster’s vacant spot after he went down with injury ending his season. Schofield played in 142 games for the fifth place 1992 Mets team. Schofield led all NL shortstops in fielding that year (.988%) making only seven errors in 603 chances. On May 10th he hit his first Mets HR, a solo shot against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That day he drove in two Mets runs in the 3-0 win.

On July 19th in a game at Shea against the San Francisco Giants, Schofield had a career day. In the 4th inning he doubled with the bases loaded off John Burkett driving in three runs. Then in the bottom of the 8th he hit a three run HR off Bryan Hickerson leading the Mets with his six RBI day to an 8-4 victory.

On September 22nd he singled in the bottom of the 8th off the Cubs Paul Assenmacher to break a 5-5 tie. The Mets went on to an 8-6 win. Schofield stole 11 bases & was tenth in the league with ten sac hits. Overall he only batted .205 with 18 doubles 4 HRs 36 RBIs & 52 runs scored.

At the end of the year he ran out of New York signing as a free agent with the World Champion Toronto Blue Jays. Schofield played in just 36 games for the '93 Blue Jays as he broke his arm & missed playing in the entire 1993 post season. That year the Toronto Blue Jays won their second straight Worlds Championship. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers & finished his career in Anaheim in 1996.

In 14 big league seasons he hit .230 with 989 hits, 137 doubles, 56 HRs 353 RBIs & 120 stolen bases. At short he posted a .976 fielding % (27th best all time) with 2140 put outs (91st all time) & 3873 assists (83rd all time).

Retirement: Schofield was recently a coach for the Angels minor league club in Tempe, Arizona. He is also the uncle of the Washington Nationals Jason Werth, making him part of a rare three generation baseball family.

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