On Dyslexia

Frank “Wildfire” Schulte (nicknamed after his pet horse) was a Major League right fielder who spent his best years playing for the great Chicago Cubs teams of the 1900s and 1910s.

A valuable part of the Cubs, Wildfire Schulte was often overshadowed by Hall of Famers Three Finger Brown, Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance. However, for a few years, he was one of the National League’s top power hitters, although his numbers wouldn’t look very impressive today since he played during the Dead Ball Era.

Schulte’s best year came in 1911, when he hit .300 with 30 doubles, 21 triples, 21 home runs, 23 stolen bases and 107 RBI. He was the first player in the 20th century to hit 20 home runs in a season, and was rewarded for his efforts with the National League’s Most Valuable Player award and a brand new Chalmers automobile (which went to the MVP at the time).

Wildfire Schulte had a few other good seasons, but he wasn’t a Hall of Fame caliber player, and in the grand scheme of baseball history, wasn’t all that important. Which is probably why nobody really remembers him. In fact, I only tell you about him for this reason: I’ve read his name in baseball books for years, and it wasn’t until the other day that I realized his name was “Wildfire.”

Previously, I had always read it as “Wilfred.”

Talk about reordering your universe…

Sources for the statistics and some of the historical facts mentioned above include Baseball Reference and Wikipedia.


Anonymous 4/12/07, 1:30 PM  


Paul Murphy 4/12/07, 6:12 PM  

"Dead Ball" erra. You mean baseball was MORE boring than it is now?

Luke Dockery 4/13/07, 12:15 AM  


There were certainly fewer runs scored then, and the game was more dominated by pitching. Which made each run that much more valuable, and led to a lot of strategy.

Certainly a thinking's man game; it's not surprising that you wouldn't like it.

Anonymous 4/14/07, 1:05 PM  

I wanted you to know that I read one of your blog posts. You'll have to tell me more about the Dead Ball era. It sounds interesting to me.

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