Joe Schultz

Joe Schultz

Joseph Charles Schultz, Jr. (August 29, 1918January 10, 1996) was a catcher, coach and manager in American Major League Baseball. Schultz was the only manager in the history of the Seattle Pilots, an American League expansion franchise that existed for only one season, 1969, before moving to Wisconsin and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers.

Playing career

Born in Chicago, Illinois, he was the son of a major league baseball player — Joe (Germany) Schultz, an outfielder who played for seven of the eight National League clubs (1912-1916; 1919-25) and who later became a manager in the St. Louis Cardinals' extensive farm system. Joe Jr. had a distinguished prep career at St. Louis University High School and signed his first contract with the Redbirds, but was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates where his father had become minor league director. After appearing in only 22 games for Pittsburgh between 1939-41, Schultz made his way back to St. Louis with the American League Browns, where he spent six seasons (1943-48) as a backup catcher and left-handed pinch hitter. In 328 major-league at bats over all or parts of nine MLB seasons, Schultz batted .259 with one home run.

Coaching career with the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals

In 1949, Schultz served as a coach with the Browns, and then managed in the minor leagues from 1950-62, returning to the Cardinals' organization in 1958. He became a Redbird coach in 1963 and worked with three National League pennant winners (1964, 1967 and 1968), and two world championship clubs (1964, 1967) through 1968.

Seattle Pilots

The success of the Cardinals led to Schultz's 1969 opportunity with the Pilots. But the team (which played at a minor league facility) had stadium problems and an unstable, undercapitalized ownership. It was outdrafted by its fellow expansion team, the Kansas City Royals, during the player selection lottery, and finished in last place in the new American League West division, with a mark of 64-98 (.395). The Pilots' on-field struggles were dwarfed by the team's ownership and financial problems during the off-season and 1970 spring training, however. With the new season fast approaching, the Pilots were purchased by a group headed by Bud Selig and transferred to Milwaukee, where they have remained since.

Schultz was released as manager as the team struggled in limbo during the 1969-70 offseason. He coached with the Royals (1970) and the Detroit Tigers (1971-76) before leaving baseball. He compiled a 14-14 mark as acting manager of the 1973 Tigers, replacing the fired Billy Martin, giving him a career record of 78-112 (.411) as a major league skipper. Apart from that assignment, Schultz never managed in the majors again after the Pilots collapsed.

Portrayal in Ball Four

His career may not have been helped by an unflattering portrayal of him in Ball Four, the controversial memoir of the '69 season by Seattle pitcher Jim Bouton that was released in 1970. Bouton tells humorous anecdotes about Schultz and some of the motivational speeches he gave to the Pilots. The author claims that Schultz was well liked by his team, but some of his choices were questioned by the players. In a later anthology on managers Bouton edited, I Managed Good, But Boy Did They Play Bad, however, Bouton noted Schultz's sense of humor and added that, given the circumstances of the last-place team, "I couldn't have had a better manager than Joe Schultz."

Death

Schultz died in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 77.

See also

Sources

External links

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