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Biofile Skip Schumaker Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Miami Marlins manager. Former MLB infielder/outfielder for St Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds from 2005-2015.

DOB: February 3, 1980 In: Torrance, CA

First Baseball Memory: “Dodgers Stadium – I went with my dad to a game. So being able to play for the Dodgers a few years ago was surreal. And growing up as a Dodgers fan…so my first memory is going to a game with my dad.”

Baseball Inspirations: “Different things inspire. Nothing really in baseball inspires me. I believe that you’re given a platform to do greater things because of baseball. So, nothing…this is just a game. Try to have fun with the game and being able to help others inspires me.”

Current Car: “I drive a Mercedes.”

Last Book Read: “American Sniper.”

First Famous Baseball Player You Met Or Encountered: “Mark McGwire. I grew up a Mark McGwire fan. In 2005 Tony LaRussa, after getting called up, said that I won’t be able to hit up in the Major Leagues unless I made some wholesale changes. So he – at the time Mark McGwire lived in Orange County, CA where I lived – so he sent me and Chris Duncan down there to start hitting with him. Or I wasn’t gonna make it in the big leagues. So I started hitting with him and I didn’t know how it was gonna be, because Mark McGwire is a pretty big guy and I’m a little lead-off hitter guy, so I was trying to figure out how this is gonna work. But I owe my whole career to him. But that was my guy I was in awe of when I first met him.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Winning the World Series in 2011. Not even close. That was the most unbelievable comeback, come from behind win game six of the World Series – to be a part of that was something special I’ll never forget.”

Most Painful Moment: “Transitioning from outfield to infield. I moved from the outfield in 2009 having never played second base before. And having Cris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright expecting every ground ball to be made, and every double play to be turned, was tough. And very humbling, and very difficult experience but luckily Tony LaRussa gave me a long leash and we got a World Series ring out of it. So it was all worth it.”

Most Memorable Hit: ”In the playoffs against Roy Halladay, game five. And we ended up winning 1-0 to move on. Cris Carpenter pitched a complete game, nine innings. Roy Halladay went nine innings, gave up three or four hits and I got the double to score Rafael Furcal to win the game.” 

Favorite Uniforms: “Tough to beat the Yankee pinstripes. I like the Oregon ducks.”

Embarrassing Baseball Memory: “Plenty. I missed pop fly in my rookie year, bases loaded, with the Cubs. And Cardinals-Cubs series were obviously heated. That was when the Cubs were really good and that rivalry was awesome. Just a lazy pop fly to left and I dropped it and two runs scored and we lost. That was very, very embarrassing [smiles].”

Favorite Stadiums To Play: “I’ve always liked the crowds in the stadiums. The best ballpark right now for me would be Dodgers Stadium because of the childhood memories. And Pittsburgh Pirates Stadium, PNC Park, is incredible. However, I love the crowd in Philly when they were 50,000 fans packed every night. Because of how much I was heckled and it was really cool that they knew my family history and everything else [smiles].”

Favorite Sport Outside Baseball: “Football, I’m a huge football fan, love fantasy football. I was in four different leagues. I’d be in more if my wife didn’t want to kill me during the off-season. But I’m a huge fan of football.”

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Huge Kobe Bryant fan. End of his career but being from LA, what a stud. Five championships, unbelievable. Love watching Albert Pujols. Having played with him – the greatest right-hand hitter in the game, maybe ever. Having a privilege to play with him and to see what he does off the field, is inspiring. And LeBron James, probably the best athlete in the world. He said it himself [smiles]. Not a bad guy to follow also.”

Strangest Game: “The strangest for me was when a squirrel went between my legs in a game. So I’ve never seen that one before. That was in the playoffs in 2011. And it ended up being called The Rally Squirrel from then on out against the Phillies. Roy Oswalt actually threw one right down the middle, Angel Hernandez called it a ball and he said he was distracted by the squirrel. And after that at-bat we ended up scoring four runs and ended up beating Roy Oswalt to make it 2-2 series and go back to Philly and ended up beating Roy Halladay in game five.”

Why Do You Love Playing Baseball:  “It’s every kid’s dream to be a Major League Baseball player. It’s my son’s dream. I feel like every kid growing up, male or female, has probably played it, T-ball, whatever or softball. It’s truly a kid’s game more than any other sport. And I’m just lucky and blessed to be able to play it still.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “I enjoy people who do things for other people off the field. So I think if you’re totally in the game just for yourself and not using it as a platform to help others, I think you’re in there for the wrong reasons. Obviously, we’re here and we’re lucky enough to play a sport for a living and play a game for a living, but if you’re not doing it to help others outside I think you’re missing the boat.”

About Mark Malinowski

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