Walter Schmidt Essentials

Positions:
Bats: R Throws: R
69 Weight: 159
Born: 3 20, 1887 in London, AR USA
Died: 7 4 1973 in Modesto, CA USA
Debut: 4/13/1916
Last Game: 9/7/1925
Full Name: Walter Joseph Schmidt

Walter Schmidt, catcher for the 1916-24 Pirates. It took him eight seasons of minor league ball before he made his big league debut with the Pirates in 1916 at 29 years old. He had spent the 1911-15 seasons playing for San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League. Schmidt hit just .190 his first season with two homers in 184 at-bats. Both home runs had significance. Tthe first came off the great Christy Mathewson, while the second one would be his last home run until late in the 1924 season, two weeks away from the end of his Pirates career. Following his rookie year, his hitting improved to the point he never hit less than .238 in any season.

He was a strong defensive catcher with a good arm. He threw out 51% of runners attempting to steal during his career and would lead NL catchers in games caught twice, assists twice, caught stealing percentage twice, fielding percentage once and putouts once. During Spring Training in 1922, he held out from signing his contract, looking for a two-year deal. Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss wouldn’t budge on the contract he sent Schmidt to sign, so he ended up missing the first 99 games of the season before finally rejoining the team. In 729 games with the Pirates, he hit .257 with 225 RBIs. Walter finished his Major League career as a backup for the 1925 Cardinals, unfortunate timing on his part twice as the Pirates won the 1925 World Series and the Cardinals won it all in 1926. He played in the minors for four more seasons before retiring. His brother Charles “Boss” Schmidt, played six seasons in the majors with the Tigers and was the opposing catcher to the Pirates during the 1909 World Series