Clay Schwartz was there when the Sheboygan A’s won Wisconsin State League Championships in 1997 and again in 2000.
He was there, behind the plate, calling pitches for Michael Casper’s phenomenal 36-8 run from 1999-2001, and for Geoff Lefeber’s 2000 and 2001 seasons when he went 22-3, and for Will Madson’s 12-0 season in 2002.
His bazooka arm kept runners close.
And he hit, finishing his 11-year career with a .288 average (.280 in the league), 99 doubles, 64 home runs and 289 runs batted in (60-38-179 (in league play). His presence in the line-up helped players like Randy Wilke, Jason Bartelt, Jason and Nick Bischoff and Chad Gorman see hittable pitches.
After being refreshed on his outstanding 11-year career, the Wisconsin State League Hall of Fame Committee placed him in the 2017 Hall of Fame Class. He will be inducted January 26 at the League’s annual Awards and Hall of Fame Dinner at Sheboygan’s Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center.
The dinner is open to the public and A’s fans are encouraged to attend to support the new inductee. Cost is $35 per person. Reservations can be sent to the Wisconsin State League at P.O. Box 32, Sheboygan, WI 53082-0032.
Joining Schwartz in the Class of ’18 are pitcher Randy Johnson and catcher Billy Johnson of Kenosha, catcher Brian Neveau of Oshkosh and pitcher Paul Wilmet of Green Bay.
Schwartz played from 1995 to 2005. In those years, the A’s were 209-158 and Schwartz contributed mightily to that success. The State League is regarded as one of the strongest in Wisconsin and the Midwest.
Schwartz is ranked in the league’s top 10 in seven different categories and was named to the all-league team in 1996, ’97, ’99 and ’02.
He played the entire back-to-back 2001 and 2002 seasons without an error and his 177 errorless chances in 2002 made him the league’s defensive leader. He played in 323 State League games, the very great majority behind the plate except for his last three seasons 2003 when an arm injury placed him in the “DH” and first base role.
Despite all the contributions Schwartz has made, he will always be *that guy who got hit by the pitch all the time.” After leading the NCAA in getting hit by pitches at UW-Milwaukee, where he was an all-conference catcher, he came to the A’s and got himself plunked 154 times. That is the club record by a most comfortable margin. Al Albert is second with 55. He holds the State League single season HBP record (17) and the career record (90).
Schwartz was elected to the Sheboygan A’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
A Fond du Lac native, Schwartz was a 3-sport standout at St. Mary’s Springs before accepting a baseball scholarship at UWM.
“I feel very honored to be elected into the State League Hall of Fame,” Schwartz said. The caliber of talent that has passed through the league over the years is second to none. To have played with and against fellow Hall of Famers is an experience you never t forget."
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 41 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.comments powered by Disqus