Dick Schattinger and the Summer of ’42 (Page 4)

Although Dick’s big league aspirations ended in 1949, his dream was attained some thirty-two years later by his son.  On September 21, 1981, Jeff Schattinger took to the mound at Royals Stadium for the home team and tossed three scoreless innings in relief against the Minnesota Twins.  The ac

Although Dick’s big league aspirations ended in 1949, his dream was attained some thirty-two years later by his son.  On September 21, 1981, Jeff Schattinger took to the mound at Royals Stadium for the home team and tossed three scoreless innings in relief against the Minnesota Twins.  The achievement was to prove bittersweet for father and son as it would mark Jeff’s only appearance in a major league contest.  Prior to the start of the next season, Jeff was swapped to the White Sox in exchange for utilityman Greg Pryor.  Despite having what Pale Hose manager Tony LaRussa described as one of the best sinker balls he’d ever seen, Jeff was dispatched to the minors and, unfortunately, was all but forgotten by the parent club.

For twenty-six years, Dick worked as a factory representative for RCA Distribution Corp., covering a territory that ranged from Modesto to Bakersfield in California.  He retired in 1986.  In October of 1996, Dick returned to New England, ostensibly to view the fall foliage.  However, the memories of ’42 drew him back to his old haunts.  Dick found the Hotel Buckminster still thriving in Kenmore Square.  The flat that he and Eddie Buliavac rented had become part of Boston University‘s student housing.  At Braves Field, he posed for a picture in front of the familiar old administration building and main ballpark entrance.  Peering inside, Dick remarked, “All is changed.”  Except for a piece of the right field grandstand, Braves Field was gone and an artificially-turfed college football stadium had taken its place.  Unbeknownst to Dick, during his stay in the Hub, the Boston Braves Historical Association was conducting its fifth annual reunion on the university’s campus at an auditorium within walking distance of the former ballpark.  Among the Association’s guests were Tommy Holmes and Sibby Sisti, two of Dick’s 1942 “teammates.”

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Originally published: November 8, 2004. Last Updated: November 8, 2004.

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