Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Favorite Catcher, Walter Schang


Here's Walter Schang (Wally), a distant cousin, long since passed on to baseball heaven. I discovered his existence in junior high as I was reading a book on baseball stories. I noticed his name in a story that included
his well-known teammate, Babe Ruth. I asked my Grandmother about him and she mentioned that I did indeed have a distant cousin that played professional baseball. Years later, after writing to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, I received a nice package of photocopied newspaper clippings and photographs. The image above was one of the photo's as Walter is seen throwing as he models a fantastic old style catcher's mitt(during a practice/pre-game warm-up?). He is in a Philadelphia Athletics uniform here, but also played for the Yankees, Tigers, St. Louis Browns and Red Sox. He was a catcher who actually caught Babe Ruth when he pitched for the Red Sox (think 1918 World Series winners). He also was a member of two other world series winning teams, New York and Philly. His first season in the pros was 1913 and he retired after the 1931 season. Unfortunately, the "genetic flow" never reached me. I still love the game though. Play ball!

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