Eskenazi: The one and only Bill Schuster, Pacific Coast League legend

From SABR member David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman at Sportspress Northwest on May 6, 2013:

On a clear, spring morning in 1950, with the Seattle Rainiers ensconced at their preseason headquarters in Palm Springs, CA., new manager Paul Richards, neatly attired in freshly pressed slacks and a jacket, stood near the edge of the swimming pool at the Warm Sands Motel, chatting up player/coach Doc Cramer. Startled by a burst of loud yells and war hoops, Richards and Cramer quickly scanned the premises to discover the source.

 Suddenly, a man, fully clothed, hurtled off a patio roof and cannonballed into the pool, the resulting chlorinated tidal wave washing over Richards and Cramer from head to foot.

As water streamed from their collars, lapels, pockets and cuffs, Richards and Cramer watched a jolly countenance bob to the pool’s surface.

“Stick around, Paul,” cannonball man said. “Next time I’ll do a jackknife.”

“Who the hell is that?” Cramer asked Richards.

“Schuster,” Richards replied, a scowl on his face. “Screwball Schuster.”

The Rainiers shortstop, Screwball Schuster vowed to discontinue his legendary clowning seven years earlier in 1943, making the announcement with an unofficial press release written on Los Angeles Angels stationary and several follow-up telephone calls to various sports editors in Pacific Coast League cities, including L.H. Gregory of The Oregonian, who bemoaned the imminent loss of baseball’s “last funny man.”

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Originally published: May 6, 2013. Last Updated: May 6, 2013.