Born July 24, 1940 in the USA
Drafted in 1st round, 23rd overall pick, by Phoenix in 1973 in 1973 MBBA Dispersal Draft
Debut April 1, 1973
Won Reliever of the Year Awards in 1973, 1974, 1976
Was selected to the 1973, 1977 All-Star Games
Historically, what does 76% get you? In school, you are getting at best a C for that, unless you go to Ohio State in which case that is an A-. You finish 76% of your work, and there is a good chance you will find yourself looking for a new job. But the great news for Schmidt Meyer, is that in your 2nd year of eligibility for the MBBA Hall of Fame, that 16/21, or 76%, is good enough to be enshrined forever, to be remember for his accomplishments on the field, and how he got to be so darn good. Without further ado, I present to you Schmidt Meyer, Closer, remembered most for his days in Manhattan with the Myst franchise.
Schmidt was born in 1940 to Heinrich and Glenda Meyer, a couple who had recently fled Nazi Germany. Heinrich, a renown pianist from Hamburg, feared, and rightfully so, the rise of the evil empire, and was able to flee the country in 1938, only 10 months before the invasion of Poland. Settling in Milwaukee, the couple had their first child as their worst fears started to come to life. Heinrich was "enlisted" by the USO to perform for soldiers both in the states and in Britain, and was gone for much of Schmidt's first years.
The fact that the family moved to this particular Midwestern city was not a random occurrence, as the Meyers were active members of the communist party in Germany, and they found many like-minded individuals in Milwaukee. From this base of acquaintances, Glenda often allowed Schmidt to play an American game with his friends from school and the union house, and this is when Meyer learned of baseball. By the time he was 13, he was daydreaming about playing for the Braves who had just moved to town, he then knew what he wanted to do with his life, and that was to play baseball for the masses of good, hard working Americans.
Meyer entered high school a gifted student, pianist, and pitcher. Although his father disdained the idea of a career in professional sports, Schmidt finally showed a backbone with his dad, and continued to play the sport in school. And a talent he was, one of the best pitchers ever to throw in Wisconsin. He continued his education, going to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and excelled in "Peoples Studies" as well as baseball. When he finally graduated from college, it was a mystery to the team why Meyer had not been scouted by a major league team. There was little doubt that Schmidt was one of the finest pitchers in all of the NCAA, but it appeared that both his political background, and that of his fathers, had turned off Major League Baseball to his obvious and superior skills. That short-term loss for Meyer was a huge gain for Monty Brewster and his fledgling baseball league. In 1973, at the age of 31, Meyer, along with his hammer and sickle, were drafted in the first round of the Dispersal Draft in 1973 by the relief pitching loving Phoenix Talons.
As the 23rd player taken in the first round, his first years salary was close to $7,000,000, and with that, he was able to build a new school for the gifted in suburban Milwaukee, as well as buy his father an antique piano saved from the concert hall he had performed in the 20's and 30's in Hamburg. The Talons and the MBBA in general, would never regret that contract, and the acquisition of Meyer. In his first season, with the Talons, he saved a league leading 43 games for Phoenix, and established the now infamous "Socialist Slider" as one of the most devastating out pitches in the game. He was named the Owner Choice - Reliever award winner in 1973 for his work in Phoenix, including a sterling 1.44 ERA.
For reasons still not fully understood, the Talons then traded Meyer, with his talent and communist rhetoric, to Manhattan, a bastion of the free market economy and the main battleground in the war of the proletariat. And this is where Schmidt did clearly his best work, proving to the capitalist pigs in the stands, that he would forever fight for not only justice against Adam Smith and his principles, but he would also fight to keep runners stranded in scoring position when he was brought in with less then two outs. A true workers hero, in 1974, Meyer saved 36 games, but was nearly unhittable, allowing an opposing average of only .102, an ERA of 1.12. He gave up only seven earned runs that year in over 56 innings pitched. He never again pitched that well in a season, but the following 3 seasons, two and a half of which were in Manhattan were still excellent, where he went on to save 31, 45, and 36 games the next 3 full seasons, with no ERA higher then a 2.15. Never a huge strike out pitcher, Meyer was great at getting hitters to pop up to the middle infield, or to break their bats on his slider on their hands.
He was traded from Manhattan to Vancouver in 1977, just after his 36th birthday, and although '77 was a great year for him, it was clear that his best days as a pitcher were behind him. A two time All-Star, three time Owners Choice - Reliever award winner, Meyer retired at the end of the 1980 season at the age of 39. Finishing up with a 29-21 record, a career ERA of 2.43, with 255 saves, Meyer was one of the finest closers the game has ever seen.
It is a shame for Meyer's sake that Monty Brewster was not able to start up the league in 1963 instead of 1973. Had Schmidt been allowed to pitch in his 20's, and not just his 30's, he may well have shown himself to in fact be the best reliever the league has ever seen. However, time stops for no man, and Schmidt's time in the MBBA will never be forgotten.
*plaque written by Matt Bornac
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