Apr 1, 2016

One Time Mets Catcher: Jimmy Schaffer (1965)

Jimmie Ronald Schaffer was born on April 5th, 1936 in Limeport, Pennsylvania. The five foot nine, catcher was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959. After two seasons in the minors he was brought up to a 1961 Cardinals team sharing the catchers spot with Carl Sawatski, Hal Smith, Gene Oliver & a young Tim McCarver.

Behind the plate he nailed 50% of the base runners trying to run on his strong rookie arm. The following season he would throw out another 42% of would be base stealers in 69 games at catcher. He would only make one error in each of his two seasons in St. Louis. In his rookie season back in 1961 he had career highs in at bats (153) hits (39) doubles (7) & batting average (.255).

In October of 1962 he was Traded along with Larry Jackson and Lindy McDaniel to the Chicago Cubs for future Mets George Altman, Don Cardwell and Moe Thacker. In Chicago he was the back up catcher to Dick Bertell, batting .239 with a career high 19 RBIs in 1963. In 1964 he began the year with the Chicago White Sox then in July he was the player to be named later in a trade to the New York Mets for Frank Lary.

Schaffer debuted with the Mets on August 3rd, 1965 at Wrigley Field behind the plate catching pitcher Larry Bearnarth. Schaffer got a hit going 1-4 in the 7-2 Mets loss. He would catch in 21 games as a New York Met, playing just four complete games as he was usually used as a defensive replacement. He made just two errors in 95 innings but did not throw out any of the five base runners that attempted to steal on him. In 37 at bats he got just five hits (.158) striking out 15 times.

In February 1966 he was Traded along with Wayne Graham and Bobby Klaus to the Philadelphia Phillies for "Dr. Strange Glove" the power hitting Dick Stuart. Schaffer would only play in 14 more games over the next three seasons finishing his career in Cincinnati with the Reds in 1968.

 In eight seasons he batted .223 with 128 hits 11 HRs 28 doubles a .286 on base % & 56 RBIs. At catcher he threw out 46% of would be base stealers in 278 games.

Retirement: In 1978 Schaffer became a coach for the Texas Rangers. He then moved on to the Kansas City Royals as a coach from 1980-1988, winning two pennants & a World Series there in 1985 under manager Dick Howser.

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