The Glove Club: Dick Schofield
He retired with a career batting average of .227. He never hit more than three home runs in a season (he did it twice, in 1963 and 1964). And he never won a Gold Glove or was named to a single All-Star team.
So how good a fielder was Dick Schofield? Even with that kind of hitting, he lasted 19 years in the major leagues, playing for seven different teams.
Dick Schofield lasted so long because he was so dependable in the field. He never played enough innings to be considered for a Gold Glove award. But he certainly had the talent – in the field – to rank with the best infielders of his era.
And he was versatile. He played all the positions on the left side of the infield with equal skill and consistency. Until he retired at age 36, he could always find a place on someone’s roster, and found a way into the lineup when the manager needed a glove he could count on to put the game away.
Schofield was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 and made his major league debut later that season. He spent six seasons with the Cardinals, never hitting over .200 with St. Louis.
Two months into the 1958 season, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Gene Freese and Johnny O’Brien. Schofield spent eight years in Pittsburgh, used mostly as a utility infielder. He was the team’s everyday shortstop from 1963 through 1965. In 1964, his best season at the plate, Schofield batted .246 with 22 doubles and 36 RBIs.
In May of 1965, the Pirates traded Schofield to the San Francisco Giants for Jose Pagan. He spent the next six seasons playing for six different teams, but his role remained the same: fielder of choice when the game was on the line. He retired after the 1971 season.