Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 13, 1968: Schofield Comes Through In The 12th

     On June 13, 1968, Dick Schofield led the twelfth inning off with a solo shot off of knuckleballer Phil Niekro to spark the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory over the Braves in Atlanta. Niekro then walked Phil Gagliano, before Lou Brock knocked in an insurance marker. Steve Carlton put the Redbirds in position to win this one with a strong eight inning performance that included eight strikeouts and just four hits. Carlton not only helped them to the victory with his arm, he also hit the first of 13 career big league home runs with a solo shot in the third.

     The 23-year-old hurler shut the Braves down until they scratched a run across with an RBI off the bat of Joe Torre in the sixth. Carlton did not get a decision, however, he gave the Birds eight strong, before the bullpen took over and held the Braves in check until that extra inning rally put them in a position to win it.

     Schofield, a bench player, was only in the game after Roger Maris pinch hit for Dal Maxvill in the top of the ninth. After Maris failed to produce, the seasoned veteran took over at short. It was a fateful move that would lead to victory, as he walked to the dish and pounced on the Niekro pitch that sailed into the stands.

     Schofield began his career with the Cardinals in 1953. Other than the Cardinals, the man nicknamed "Ducky" played for the Pirates, Giants, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and the Brewers. The '68 season was his second go around with the Cardinals and that home run was his lone homer of that season. He was a role throughout his career, only playing more than 100 games during four times during his 19 year big league career. With that said, he is an example of how important a role player can be for a team. He won a Championship with the Pirates in 1960, then helped the Cardinals get to the Fall Classic during that '68 campaign. While that season did not end with the top prize being awarded to the Cardinals, it was a thrilling season nonetheless, as the club repeated as Champions of the National League.

You can read all about the life of Dick Schofield here:

Check out the box score here:

No comments:

Post a Comment