Card of the Moment #51
September 25th, 2010 by slangon

1963 Topps #356 John Schaive

Today’s Card of the Moment comes to us from one of my favorite Topps sets, the 1963 offering. It is of Washington utility infielder John Schaive. There’s not a whole bunch that one could say about John’s Major League career. He played parts of 5 seasons, all for the Washington Senators.

Interestingly, he played for both versions of that team. From 1958 to 1960, he was a member of the original Senators franchise. Once that team moved to Minnesota and became the Twins, Schaive was drafted by the expansion Senators. I was going to try and run through all the rosters of the Senators who eventually became the Rangers to see if there was anyone else who played for both Washington teams, but I got sick of it halfway through the ’61 team. Maybe some other guy played for both teams, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that John was probably the only guy who played his entire Major League career with those 2 teams.

He only played 29 games over the course of 3 seasons for the first Washington and the played 85 games over the course of 2 seasons for the other Washington. To me there is something kind of cool about that fact that at one point, Schaive asked Washington (Part 2) manager Mickey Vernon if he could be sent down to the minors just so he could play every day rather than ride the pine. I guess when a guy who’s hitting .253 with a .270 OBP asks to be sent down you don’t really have to give it much thought.

Aside from the total 114 games that John played in the Major Leagues, he also played a total of 1122 games over 12 seasons in the minors. I guess he’s a prime example of what you would call a career minor leaguer. Considering John’s career .232 batting average in the Major’s against his .291 average in the minors, I doubt he was too upset about that.

You can see some of his travels around the minors on the back of his card too. I’m always a little fascinated reading the backs of cards of guys like Shaive. I mean, even if a guy bounces around the leagues in the Majors, all the cities listed back there are places I’ve been, or at the very least have heard of. I love seeing this endless list of tiny towns where he played all his minor league ball though. It goes well with the image of a guy who would rather toil in the minors than rot on the bench.

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