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Old 08-12-2018, 06:35 PM
Chuck9788 Chuck9788 is offline
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Default Don't ever mess with Boss Schmidt

As a young man, Charles "Boss" Schmidt worked in the coal mines and developed a muscular and powerful physique. According to the Detroit Tigers information office, Schmidt beat Ty Cobb in several fights. In the second fight, Schmidt knocked Cobb unconscious but admired Cobb's resiliency while fighting and stayed to revive Cobb as he lay motionless on the Tiger dressing room floor. Despite their clashes, Schmidt and Cobb (both tough as nails) became close friends until Schmidt's death in 1932.

Schmidt also played a role in Cobb's March 1907 fist fight with an African American groundskeeper. When the groundskeeper tried to shake Cobb's hand, Cobb slapped him and chased him to the clubhouse. The groundskeeper's wife yelled at Cobb, and Cobb began to choke her. Schmidt intervened and stopped Cobb from hurting her further. Cobb and Schmidt then got into a fight and had to be separated by their teammates.

Schmidt was a skilled brawler who reportedly even fought an exhibition match with the heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson. He felt that he was the best fighting baseball player in the league and challenged all baseball players to a match.

Aside from his prowess as a fighter, Schmidt was also known for other displays of his physical toughness. As a catcher, Schmidt never wore shinguards. He could force nails into the floor with his bare fists. He once visited a local carnival with some of his teammates and wrestled and pinned a live bear. Schmidt's career was shortened due to numerous fractures sustained over the years of his thumb and fingers.

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Old 08-12-2018, 06:47 PM
G1911 G1911 is offline
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I'm as big of a fan of turn of the century boxing as baseball, and so a Schmidt-Johnson fight would be a fascinating episode of sports history. Does anyone have a contemporary article or evidence that it actually happened? I've never seen any, and his SABR bio only reports that he wanted to fight Johnson. This is never mentioned on the boxing side, and would have occurred when Johnson was at the peak of his fame
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:25 PM
Dpoolem3 Dpoolem3 is offline
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In the most recent Cobb book the author makes a good case for Boss and Hughie conspiring together to create the "Cobb attacked a black groundskeeper and his wife" story in an effort to get Cobb traded.

Nap Lajoie and his Naps were in Macon, Ga about 140 miles from Augusta where Detroit was training. Jennings wanted Elmer Flick and asked Navin to trade cobb for flick, they could swap out that day and Navin squashed the trade saying he would never trade Cobb.

Cobb had been sent to Augusta early to survey the training grounds because a circus had been on the field for the previous month....Cobb wrote the team telling them the field is horrible, the groundskeeper sucks, etc....a month or so before the Tigers arrived the groundskeeper was arrested for drunkingly walking into someone elses home. When the Tigers arrived the groundskeeper approached Cobb calling him another name and tried to hug him while drunk..Cobb pushed him away.


Later Schmidt says he was walking back to the clubhouse when he say Cobb attacking the couple.

Schmidt is the only witness to this "attack" and throttled Cobb during their fight..Cobb maintained he never attacked the groundskeeper or the groundskeeper's wife.

Jennings wanted Cobb gone...he conspired with Boss to create an incident where they would blame Cobb for attacking a black groundskeeper and hopefully could get him traded.

Last edited by Dpoolem3; 08-12-2018 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:05 PM
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mybuddyinc mybuddyinc is offline
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Schmidt had two recorded boxing matches according to Box Rec;

http://boxrec.com/en/boxer/84149

First he won against a nobody.

The second is quite impressive, with a no decision (probably an exhibition) again Fireman Jim Flynn on Nov. 20, 1911. Flynn was one of the "great white hopes" that lost to Jack Johnson in both 1907 and 1912. That is probably where the Johnson/Schmidt story comes from.

Flynn fought all the big names of that era (both winning and losing). Even knocked out a young Jack Dempsey in the first round in 1917. So Schmidt even thinking of getting into the ring with him, is quite impressive.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:19 PM
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Babe3Ruth3 Babe3Ruth3 is offline
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Here is a good picture of Boss Schmidt and says a lot too.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Boss_Schmidt_(1908_Detroit_Free_Press_portrait).jpg (10.0 KB, 130 views)
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:26 PM
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matthew matthew is offline
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Those fractures in his hands possibly explain why he led the league in errors for a catcher for 3 years straight. The Tigers reached the WS each year & he still had nearly a 50% CS rate.

Does anyone know how he & his brother reached the majors? I have always wondered. Coal Hill AR in the early 1900s is not what I would expect to be a baseball hotbed.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:46 PM
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Babe3Ruth3 Babe3Ruth3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthew View Post
Those fractures in his hands possibly explain why he led the league in errors for a catcher for 3 years straight. The Tigers reached the WS each year & he still had nearly a 50% CS rate.

Does anyone know how he & his brother reached the majors? I have always wondered. Coal Hill AR in the early 1900s is not what I would expect to be a baseball hotbed.
I think the Tigers needing a catcher with a strong arm persuaded the scouts to take a chance on Schmidt as stated here: In 1902, Schmidt joined the Springfield Reds and later the Springfield Midgets, both of the Class D Missouri Valley League. In 1903, Schmidt had a brief stay with the Class B Rock Island Islanders, but otherwise, he spent three years with Springfield before being sent to the Minneapolis Millers in the Class A American Association at the end of 1904. His work in Minneapolis impressed Tiger scouts, who needed a quality catcher and were particularly interested in his strong arm. At the end of the 1905 season, they signed him.
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