Short Among the Braves

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Johnny Logan

For a decade, Johnny Logan provided All-Star caliber shortstop play for the Milwaukee Braves. He teamed with another infield All-Star, second baseman Red Schoendienst, at the end of the 1950s, when the Braves took back-to-back National League pennants.

Johnny Logan was the Braves’ shortstop for a decade starting in 1952. A three-time All-Star, Logan was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1961.

Logan was signed by the Boston Braves in 1947. He made his debut in Boston in 1951, batting .219 in 62 games.

By 1952, Logan was the Braves’ starting shortstop, batting .283. In 10 seasons with the Braves (both the Boston and Milwaukee versions), Logan hit a combined .270. His best season offensively came in 1955, when he batted .297 with 13 home runs and 83 RBIs. He also led the National League with 37 doubles in 1955.

Logan was chosen for the National League All-Star team in 1955. He made the NL All-Star team each season from 1957 through 1959.

After a decade-long tour with the Braves, Logan was traded in 1961 to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gino Cimoli. In Pittsburgh, Logan was relegated to a backup role, first behind Dick Groat and then Dick Schofield. In three seasons with the Pirates, Logan batted a combined .249. He retired after the 1963 season.

Logan had a career batting average of .268 over 13 major league seasons.

 

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Fielder of Choice

 

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.

Dick Schofield

Dick Schofield

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.

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