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Former Springfield major leaguer Dick Schofield dies at 87

Dick Schofield as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Dick Schofield as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates

John Richard "Dick" Schofield has died, according to social media posts. He spent 19 years playing major league baseball. In that time, he suited up for seven teams and won a World Series.

Schofield was born January 7, 1935 in Springfield. His father, John “Ducky” Schofield, played ten minor-league seasons, also with seven different teams.

The elder Schofield wrapped up his career in 1938 with Springfield of the Three-I League. The family went into farming.

“Everyone here were farmers,” said Dick, quoted in a Society of American baseball Research biography. “We weren’t very good ones I suppose, but that’s what everyone in Springfield did.”

He was coached by his father and soon turned heads as one of the top players in the area.

“One night after a game, a couple of Dodgers scouts asked me if I was intending to sign after what they thought was my senior year,” said Schofield. “I informed them that I was just a freshman. I thought I was kind of hot stuff.”

He ended up signing with the St. Louis Cardinals. SABR reported scouts Joe Monahan and Walter Shannon made the 18-year-old shortstop the Cardinals’ first bonus baby when they signed him to a $40,000 bonus contract in June 1953. He arrived with the team just weeks after graduated from Springfield High School.

He debuted on July 3, 1953, the start of a career that would last until 1971. Nicknamed Ducky, same as his father, he played on the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates World Series championship team. He took over in the last month for National League MVP Dick Groat, who suffered a broken wrist.

Known for his glove more than his bat, Schofield hit .403 the rest of the way as the Pirates won the pennant.

He stayed with Pittsburgh through 1965, then was a journeyman the rest of his career, which included two more stops with St. Louis.

He got into sales after his playing career and also served on Springfield's Metropolitan Exposition Authority. He resigned that position in 2003 to spend more time with his wife, Donna, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

The family's sports legacy continued as his son, Dick, played 14 years in the majors. He had two daughters. Tami, who died in 2021, was an excellent golfer. Kim was a track star at the University of Florida and competed in the 1976 Olympic trials.

Schofield's grandson, Jayson Werth, was a star outfielder for 15 major league seasons.

Arrangements are pending through Boardman-Smith Funeral Home.