“The Man who Ate Himself out of the American League”

20 Nov

Frank Frederick Schneiberg was born in Milwaukee in 1882 (Baseball Reference lists his year of birth as 1880, but all available documents say 1882).

He began playing baseball for amateur teams in the Milwaukee city league, and after playing for the Pabst Brewery team in 1903 signed with the Springfield Hustlers in the Three-I League.  No records survive, but according to The Milwaukee Journal Schneiberg “won 19 out of 21 starts.”  He played with the Freeport Pretzels in the Wisconsin State League in 1905 and according to the Journal “won 12 straight.”

Frank Schneiberg

He won 22 games the following season with the La Crosse Pinks, which earned him a shot with the Detroit Tigers.

It didn’t go well.

Schneiberg was released to the Milwaukee Brewers before the beginning of the season.

The Associated Press said:

“He has the earmarks of a great pitcher…speed, curves, control and a pretty good collection of baseball brains…but Schneiberg was lazy…He wasn’t eager to pitch.”

The story quoted Tigers manager Hugh Jennings:

“He knows how (to pitch) but he won’t exert himself, I don’t want anybody who will not hustle.”

The Toledo News-Bee blamed his release on something else:

“He is known all over the country as the man who ate himself out of the American League.”

It is unknown whether either or both versions of his time with the Tigers is accurate, in either case Detroit did try to claim that Schneiberg was still their property later that season when he was pitching well for the Brewers.  The claim was denied and he remained in Milwaukee.

Schneiberg pitched for the Brewers for three seasons compiling a 40-48 record.

While a fan favorite in Milwaukee, Schneiberg appears not to have been popular in at least one other American Association city.  The Toledo News-Bee accused him of being a head hunter in 1908:

“Schneiberg has the reputation of threatening to ‘bean’ batters.”

The following season The News-Bee claimed the Brewers were trying to trade the pitcher and said the team was:

“(V)ery anxious to trade the German, who does not work with any spirit, but the player is not highly regarded around the circuit.”

Regardless of the opinion in Toledo, The Brooklyn Superbas thought highly enough of Schneiberg to draft him from the Brewers at the end of the 1909 season.

He appeared in his only Major League game. On June 8, 1910, with Brooklyn trailing the Cincinnati Reds 4-0, Schneiberg relieved Nap Rucker in the top of seventh inning.  He walked four, gave up five hits and allowed 7 runs (Baseball Reference shows Schneiberg giving up eight runs, with seven earned—the box score from the game shows 7 total).

Schneiberg was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh.  Within days he was traded to the Des Moines Boosters in the Western League.

He retired after the 1910 season, but in February of 1913 signed with the Memphis Chickasaws of the Southern Association.  He appeared in two games and was released, and in June signed with the Springfield Watchmakers in the Three-I League.  It’s unclear whether he appeared in any games with Springfield.

Frank Schneiberg 1932

Schneiberg retired to Milwaukee after the 1913, he became an asbestos worker and an official in the Asbestos Workers Union.  He passed away in Milwaukee in 1948.

About these ads

One Response to ““The Man who Ate Himself out of the American League””

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Irwin Howe | Baseball History Daily - February 3, 2014

    […] “Nap” Rucker of the Brooklyns will teach you the mastery of his famous knuckler […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 180 other followers

%d bloggers like this: