Sunday, September 6, 2015

Second best

Hi there, and welcome to the latest edition of "Second Best," where we determine the second-best player who has ...

What's that? This is the first time I've ever done a series called "second best"?

Ha, ha, well, I guess that's right, isn't it?

It's just that this particular series has been a thought jotted down in the idea notebook for four or five years now. That idea was beginning to wonder whether it was ever going to make it to reality, and apparently got so desperate that it half-convinced me that I've actually gone through with this series already.

But, nope, this is the first time.

This is where I examine all of the major league players who share the same last name, and determine not "the best" -- because they already get all the recognition and accolades -- but the "second best".

(I suppose that this series is a little similar to my "Spawn" series, which is probably why I've avoided doing this one. I do like the Spawn series a little more).

I've always been interested in the runner-up. Even though I've been pretty good at tasks of my choosing (this blog being one of them), I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, and I am perpetually aware that no matter how well you do something, there is always -- always -- somebody who does it better. This applies to every aspect of life. It's a big world.

And even if you're runner-up, you're still pretty damn good. I know, because I've been runner-up so many times, and I know how much effort and talent went into whatever it was that was "second best". The second best deserves recognition, too.

So, anyway, the major league baseball name we're choosing this time is "Schmidt".

There have been 15 people with the last name of Schmidt who have played major league baseball, and they range in playing years from 1903-2012.

The obvious best Schmidt of all-time is '70s and '80s slugger Mike Schmidt.

He gets all the awards.

But who is No. 2? Who is the second best?

A few runners-up to the runner-up.

Konrad Schmidt was a catcher briefly with the Diamondbacks between 2010-12. His claim to fame for me is an excellent minor league night card.

Dave Schmidt was a reliever between 1981-92 for the Rangers, White Sox, Orioles and Expos. The Orioles even made him a starter for the 1989 season.

Boss Schmidt was the catcher for the Tigers during their glory days in the early 20th century when they made the World Series three straight years. In fact, Schmidt is the only player to make the last out in the World Series (earning the title of The Blob) in consecutive seasons.

But none of those are the second best.

No, the second best happens to be a player I don't like very much.

Jason Schmidt (trust me, it says "Jason Schmidt" on that card) won 130 major league games over 14 seasons, most notably with the Pirates and the Giants. San Francisco acquired the solid-if-unspectacular starter in a deadline deal in 2001. Schmidt proceeded to enjoy his best seasons, finishing in the top five in the Cy Young voting two straight years.

But when the Dodgers signed Schmidt after the 2006 season, he suddenly suffered shoulder problems and pitched horrifically in just 10 games over three years for L.A., winning only three games between 2007-09. He is Ned Colletti's biggest mistake not named Andruw Jones.

But I'm not holding that against Jason Schmidt.

For the purpose of this exercise, he is the "Second Best Schmidt".


You are destined to be forgotten long before Mike Schmidt.

But not by me.


  1. Personally I find it hard to think that somebody named Boss wasn't the best, let alone the second best, but different folks different strokes.

  2. Fun idea, I'm looking forward to Second Best Part 2... Maybe you can do a Dodger, like Garvey... No, wait, that doesn't work. How about Cey? Lopes? Campanella? Drysdale? Lasorda? Koufax? Kershaw? Well, damn...

    And thank you very much for having a post centered around the name "Schmidt" and yet not taking things in a scatological direction.

    Duke Snider! There's a Dodger with a "second best".

  3. I'd forgotten all about Jason Schmidt until reading this. Pretty fun piece, looking forward to more in the series.

  4. Andruw Jones might be the 2nd best Jones. How much did y'all pay him again?

  5. Cool idea for a series. When I started reading Jason came to mind but I figured "there is no way he is starting with a Giant". You continue to surprise.

  6. I know why you choose second instead of last. Cause you would have had to call it the name blob and in the very first of the series the already 2x blob wouldn't have been the blob.

  7. I've been thinking about doing PC collections of the second best guy with a hall of fame name. Like Bob Gibson (the Brewers pitcher from the 80s), Randy Johnson (which one? two 80's infielders), Billy Hamilton (the HOFer might be the more obscure now), Manager Joe Morgan, etc. etc.

    1. Mee too Brian, but not just HOFrs, regular folk like Bernie Williams too.

  8. Cool idea, looking forward to more #2s. As a Braves fan, I have to throw in the Fact that both of those Dodgers boo boos were former Braves.