Charles John “Butch” Schmidt
Born: July 19, 1886 - Baltimore, MD
Died: September 4, 1952 - Baltimore, MD
Career BA: .272
New York Highlanders AL (1909)
Boston Braves NL (1913–1915)
Charles “Butch” Schmidt, also known as “Butcher Boy,” had a very short career in the majors, but it was time well spent. His Major League debut took place in 1909 when he was called up from the minors by the New York Highlanders and appeared in one game with two at-bats. He promptly went back to the minors where he played for the Baltimore Orioles in the Eastern League and Rochester Hustlers in the International League. Schmidt’s contract was finally purchased by the Boston Braves in late August of 1913. Brought up to play first base for the rest of the season, Butch did well with his first 78 Major League at-bats, averaging .308 that year, which was good enough to earn him the starting first baseman position for the following season.
The 1914 Braves team, managed by George Stallings, climbed from dead last place in July to win the pennant and defeat the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. Dubbed “The Miracle Braves” they put together one of the biggest comebacks in baseball history, steamrolling over the first place New York Giants to take the National League pennant and marching on to sweep the A’s in four straight games—the first sweep in World Series history. Schmidt had a good year, batting .285 for the Braves. More importantly, he was part of the best middle infield in baseball that year, along with Johnny Evers at second base and Rabbit Maranville at shortstop.
Interestingly enough, the Braves were so bad in July that they hit a new low, losing an exhibition game to the Buffalo, New York, Minor League team. It is said that veteran player Johnny Evers rallied the team and that the embarrassing loss in Buffalo became the catalyst for the Braves’ inspired winning streak. Schmidt moved on from baseball after one more solid season where he batted .251 for the Braves. He returned home to run the family wholesale butcher business in Baltimore. “Butcher Boy” Schmidt carved out a pretty good baseball career.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html