Saturday, October 31, 2009

Howie Schultz, former Brooklyn Dodger and Minneapolis Laker dies at 87

Howie Schultz, pictured second from left with Jackie Robinson two spots to his right, passed away on October 30, 2009 at the age of 87. Schultz was the Dodgers first baseman for four seasons until Robinson arrived in 1947. Schultz played in one game at first base after being displaced by Robinson. He was sold to the Phillies a month later.

"I'm a footnote in history -- the guy who was benched to allow baseball to be integrated," he said in a 2004 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Schultz compiled a lifetime batting average of .241 in siz seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, Phillies and Reds.

Schultz also played professionally in basketball, playing three seasons in the NBA after an All-American career at Hamline University. Schultz was a member of the 1951-52 and 1952-53 NBA Champion Minneapolis Lakers which included four Hall of Famers: George Mikan, Slater Martin, Vern Mikkelsen, and Jim Pollard.

After finishing his basketball career, he taught physical education and coached high school basketball in the St. Paul area as well as at Hamline University. To read a more detailed description of Schultz's career, check out Stew Thornley's SABR Bio of Howie Schultz.


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