Saturday, November 07, 2009

#313 Jimmie Schaffer

#313 Jimmie Schaffer
Do you remember when Ken Griffey, Jr. started wearing his baseball cap backwards in the early '90s and the guardians of the sport lost their minds? You really have to wonder what all of the fuss was about, especially since catchers had already been doing it for decades.

Fun facts about Jimmie Schaffer:

-Born in Limeport, PA, Jimmie signed with the Cardinals as a teenager in 1955.

-Finally got promoted to St. Louis in his seventh professional season, and singled in his first career at-bat against Chicago's Dick Ellsworth.

-Hit .255 as a rookie, and his 153 at-bats would prove to be a career high.

-After an offseason six-man trade sent him to the Cubs, Schaffer hit 7 of his 11 career home runs in 1963. He victimized his former team three times, and also went deep against Hall of Famer Warren Spahn!

-A broken hand in 1964 hastened the end of his time as a role player; he hit .205 and was traded across town to the White Sox the following winter.

-Jimmie saw action in only 55 games for four major league teams in the final four years of his career (1965-1968), hitting .154 for the White Sox, Mets, Phillies, and Reds.

-His 128 career hits are tied for ninth-most among players born on April 5. The top three are early 1900s Yankee Wid Conroy (1257), ex-Pirates 2nd baseman Rennie Stennett (1239), and former ChiSox teammate Ron Hansen (1007).

-In parts of eight big league seasons, he hit .223 with 11 home runs and 56 RBI. He would continue playing in the minors through the 1970 season.

-After spending 1970 as a player for Baltimore's AAA Rochester club, Jimmie became a manager in the Orioles' organization the following year. He led the Bluefield Orioles to a league championship. He stayed in the farm system through 1977, adding another championship to his resume with the 1973 Lodi Lions. Later, he would manage Texas' farm club in Tulsa (1979) and Baltimore's farm club in Hagerstown (1989).

-Coached in the majors for the Rangers (1978) and Royals (1980-1988), receiving a World Series ring for his work with the 1985 champs.
#313 Jimmie Schaffer (back)


  1. Now thats a mug only a mudda could love...

  2. Looks like he had a nice long run in the game.

  3. This guy is one of the phantom Orioles. Like RP Bruce Swango in the 60s and OF Bruce Dostal in the 1994, Jimmie was recalled to the Orioles (in '70) but did not appear in a game so his being on the roster is not noted in the books.
    As I recall, players needed 4 years of service time to qualify for the pension back then---unlike now when you vest with one day of ML service, and the Os did him a favor by helping Jimmie get the required time by bringing him up--and C Clay Dalrymple had broken his leg with very young John Oates as #3 catcher that September.
    His greatest contribution to baseball was getting Eddie to become a switch hitter when he managed Eddie at AA.
    Isn't '65 Topps the greatest?

  4. I never ever understood why old fogies lost their minds over Junior wearing his cap backwards. It just seemed like they needed SOMETHING to not like about him...

    And proving how disingenuous they all are, they now hold him as the bastion of steroid purity. Well, him and Jeter (and I would not put bets on either).

  5. Brox - That's a face with "character".

    Matt - Yep, gotta love the baseball lifers.

    Anon - I did not know that! On my O's blog, I wrote about another such player, pitcher Mike Willis.

    Max - I'd be kinda depressed if Junior was proven to be a user. He was my hero growing up.

  6. Jimmie is my uncle...he's alive and well in Coopersburg, PA....helping out at Limeport Stadium (Colonial League) and Golfing. He has an amazing autographed baseball, bat, etc. collection of all the old times throughout the years.

  7. Here are some more guys with their caps backwards: