Johnny Schmitz

John Albert "Bear Tracks" Schmitz was an American Major League Baseball pitcher with the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles between 1941 and 1956. He missed playing in the majors from 1943 to 1945 due to World War II, his nickname was inspired by the way he shuffled to his size 14 feet. He was born in Wisconsin. At 6 ft, 170 lb, Schmitz threw lefty. Signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1938, Schmitz was obtained by the Chicago Cubs from the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association as part of a minor league working agreement, he made his major league debut with the Cubs on September 6, 1941, at the age of 20. He was the fourth-youngest player that year. In his debut, he threw only one pitch. Schmitz pitched marvelously in the short stint that would be his first major league season: in five games—including three starts—he went 2–0 with a 1.31 earned run average, one complete game. That season was a foreshadowing of the success.

In 1942, Schmitz posted a solid 3.43 ERA despite a mediocre 3–7 record with the Cubs. He would end up missing the next three years due to military service, but in 1946 he came back better than ever. An All-Star that year, 31 started, he went 11–11, with 135 strikeouts in 224+ innings pitched, allowing just six home runs in that time. He was second in hits allowed per nine innings that year, he was fourth in the league in games started, fifth in innings, sixth in ERA and complete games and seventh in game appearances. This performance put him at 30th place in MVP voting that year. Schmitz' 1947 season was disappointing—he posted a record of 13–18, leading the league in walks, his 3.22 ERA was still good for 10th in the league. His four saves were ninth in the league, his three shutouts were sixth. In 1948, Schmitz went 18–13 with a 2.64 ERA. He made the All-Star game for the second time of his career, he was 12th overall in MVP voting, third in the league in wins and complete games, fifth in ERA and sixth in games started.

He led the league in hits allowed per nine innings, giving up an average of only 6.92. Schmitz' next two and a half seasons with the Cubs were less than stellar. In that time, he went a combined 23–35, posting a cumulative ERA of 4.80. Still, he finished 23rd in MVP voting in 1949, it was this subpar performance that prompted a trade by the Cubs to the Brooklyn Dodgers on June 15, 1951. Schmitz was sent from the Cubs along with Andy Pafko, Wayne Terwilliger and Rube Walker, to the Dodgers for Bruce Edwards, Joe Hatten, Eddie Miksis and Gene Hermanski. Schmitz never played a full season with the Dodgers. In parts of the 1951 and 1952, Schmitz went 2–5 with a 4.96 ERA in 26 games, 10 of them started. On August 1, 1952, he was selected off waivers from the Dodgers by the New York Yankees, he ended up posting a 3.60 ERA in five games with them before being traded with Jim Greengrass, Bob Marquis and Ernie Nevel to the Cincinnati Reds for Ewell Blackwell. He gave up no runs in five innings of work for the Reds that year.

Shoulder and arm problems would result in him playing less. In the 1952/1953 offseason, Schmitz was purchased by the Yankees, he only appeared in three regular season games in 1953 with them before being picked up by the Washington Senators off waivers on May 12. His time with them in 1953 was quite similar to the last few seasons-he posted a 2–7 record. 1954 was quite a career revitalization for Schmitz. In 29 games, 23 of them started, he posted an 11–8 record to complement a 2.91 ERA, ninth best in the league. That success did not carry over to 1955, though, he went 7–10 that year with a 3.71 ERA. In the 1955 offseason, Schmitz was traded by the Senators with Bob Porterfield, Tom Umphlett and Mickey Vernon to the Boston Red Sox for Karl Olson, Dick Brodowski, Tex Clevenger, Neil Chrisley and Al Curtis, a minor leaguer, he ended up appearing in only two games with the Red Sox in 1956 before being purchased by the Baltimore Orioles. He ended his career with them, playing his final game on September 7.

He was released by the Orioles on October 18, 1956. Overall, he went 93–114 in his career, posting an ERA of 3.55. He walked 757 batters and struck out 746, he was a poor hitter overall with a. 141 career batting average. As a fielder, he committed 23 errors for a.963 fielding percentage. He was involved in 43 double plays in his career; until his death Schmitz lived in Wausau and was greens keeper at the American Legion golf club Wausau. Schmitz missed the end of the 1942 baseball season, his work as a specialist 3rd class took him to the Pacific Theatre. He was able to play baseball for military teams prior to his deployment. Schmitz wore number 7 in 1941, 23 in 1942, 53 from 1946 to 1950, 53 and 19 in 1951, 19, 45, 40 in 1952, 35 and 31 in 1953, 31 in 1954, 20 in 1954 and 1955 and 21 and 40 in 1956, it has been determined that Schmitz earned $21,000 in 1949. Quote: "Three inches in front of home plate it was up around your head, he could drop it in a coffee cup." – Rex Barney in "Old Dodgers Were'Patsies' for Him" List of Major League Baseball annual strikeout leaders Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Refe


Shylock is a character in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. A Venetian Jewish moneylender, Shylock is the play's principal antagonist, his defeat and conversion to Christianity form the climax of the story. Shylock is not a Jewish name. However, some scholars believe it derives from the biblical name Shalah, שלח in Hebrew. Shalah is the father of Eber, biblical progenitor of Hebrew peoples. All the names of Jewish characters in the play derive from minor figures listed in genealogies in the Book of Genesis, it is possible that Shakespeare intended the name to be pronounced with a short "i", as rather than a long one. The modern pronunciation has changed because the standard spelling with a "y" signifies to readers a long'i' pronunciation. Other scholars emphasise that, although the name echoes some Hebrew names, "Shylock" was a common sixteenth-century English name that would have been familiar to Shakespeare's fellow Londoners, the name is notable for its Saxon origin, meaning "white-haired".

The Shylocks of sixteenth-century London included "goldsmiths, and, most visibly of all, scriveners", according to prominent scholar Stephen Orgel, a Stanford professor who serves as general editor of The Pelican Shakespeare series from Penguin. Gordon Clark mentions another possibility. At the time, the prefix shy- meant "of questionable character, shady", while shy-cock was slang for "a wary or cowardly person." Michael Lok was governor of the Cathay Company, which financed Martin Frobisher's disastrous voyage of 1578. The venture, therefore failed, in January 1579 he had to petition the Privy Council for relief and assistance. In June 1581 he was again petitioning the Privy Council, from the Fleet Prison, condemned at the suit of William Borough to pay for a ship bought for Frobisher's last voyage, though he claimed the debt was not his. In 1614–15 he was still being sued for a debt for stores supplied to Frobisher's ships. Calling an untrustworthy businessman "shy Lok" would be an understood reference to Elizabethans.

Shylock is a Jew who lends money to his Christian rival Antonio, setting the security at a pound of Antonio's flesh. When a bankrupt Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock demands the pound of flesh; this decision is fuelled by his sense of revenge, for Antonio had insulted, physically assaulted and spat on him in the Rialto dozens of times, defiled the "sacred" Jewish religion and had inflicted massive financial losses on him. Meanwhile, Shylock's daughter, falls in love with Antonio's friend Lorenzo and converts to Christianity, leaves Shylock's house and steals vast riches from him, which add to Shylock's rage and harden his resolve for revenge. In the end – due to the efforts of Antonio's well-wisher, Portia – Shylock is charged with attempted murder of a Christian, carrying a possible death penalty, Antonio is freed without punishment. Shylock is ordered to surrender half of his wealth and property to the state and the other half to Antonio. However, as an act of "mercy", Antonio modifies the verdict, asking Shylock to hand over only one-half of his wealth – to him for his own as well as Lorenzo's need – provided that he keeps two promises.

First, Shylock has to sign an agreement bequeathing all his remaining property to Lorenzo and Jessica, to become effective after his demise, second, he is to convert to Christianity. Shylock is forced to agree to these terms, he exits citing illness. In Shakespeare's time, no Jews had been present in England for several hundred years. However, stereotypes of Jews as money lenders remained from the Middle Ages. Money lending had been a common occupation among Jews, in part because Christians were not permitted to practise usury considered to mean charging interest of any kind on loans, Jews were excluded from other fields of work. At the same time, most Christian kings forbade Jews to own land for farming or to serve in the government, craft guilds refused to admit Jews as artisans, thus money lending was one of the few occupations still open to Jews. Hyam Maccoby argues that the play is based on medieval morality plays, exemplum, in which the Virgin Mary argues for the forgiveness of human souls, as against the implacable accusations of the Devil.

Jacob Adler and others report that the tradition of playing Shylock sympathetically began in the first half of the 19th century with Edmund Kean. The role had been played "by a comedian as a repulsive clown or, alternatively, as a monster of unrelieved evil". Kean's Shylock established his reputation as an actor. Since Kean's time, many other actors who have played the role have chosen a sympathetic approach to the character. Edwin Booth was a notable exception, playing him as a simple villain, although his father Junius Brutus Booth had portrayed the character sympathetically. Henry Irving's portrayal of an aristocratic, proud Shylock has been called "the summit of his career". Jacob Adler was the most notable of the early 20th century actors in this role, speaking in Yiddish in an otherwise English-language production. Kean and Irving presented a Shylock justified in wanting his revenge. Adler's Shylock evolved over the years he played the role, first as a stock Shakespearean villain as a man whose better nature was overcome by a desire fo