Al Schacht

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Al Schacht
LC-DIG-npcc-14311.jpg
Schacht in 1925
Pitcher
Born: (1892-11-11)November 11, 1892
New York City
Died: July 14, 1984(1984-07-14) (aged 91)
Waterbury, Connecticut
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 18, 1919, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
September 6, 1921, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Win–loss record14–10
Earned run average4.48
Strikeouts38
Teams

Alexander Schacht (November 11, 1892 – July 14, 1984) was an American professional baseball player, coach, and, later, restaurateur. Schacht was a pitcher in the major leagues from 1919 to 1921 for the Washington Senators.

Early life[edit]

Schacht was born in New York City, New York, where he attended the High School of Commerce.[1]

Baseball career[edit]

Schacht in 1925

Although he compiled a 14–10 won/loss mark (with a 4.48 earned run average) in his three-year MLB pitching career and was highly regarded as a third-base coach, Schacht's ability to mimic other players from the coaching lines, and his comedy routines with fellow Washington coach Nick Altrock, earned him the nickname of "The Clown Prince of Baseball". Ironically, at the height of their collaboration, Schacht and Altrock developed a deep personal animosity and stopped speaking to each other off the field. During their famous comic re-enactments of the DempseyTunney championship boxing match, many speculated that they pulled no punches as they rained blows on each other.[2]

After 11 seasons (1924–34) as a Senator coach, Schacht broke up his act with Altrock to follow Washington manager Joe Cronin to the Boston Red Sox, where Schacht coached at third base in 1935–36. He then focused on a solo career as a baseball entertainer.

Restaurant[edit]

Following World War II, Schacht went into the restaurant business. His eponymous steakhouse at 102 E. 52nd Street (at Park Avenue) in Manhattan was popular for decades, catering to a clientele of sports stars and stage and screen celebrities. The menus at Al Schacht's were round, fashioned as oversized baseballs, and featured dishes named after old-time players. From time to time, Schacht would mount the small restaurant stage and launch into his old routines, to the delight of patrons. The restaurant's exterior appears in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Schacht was Jewish.[4] After WWII, Al met and married Mabelle Radcliffe, a vocalist who went by the stage name Mabelle Russell.[5] They eventually moved to Southbury, CT and lived there until his death in 1984. Mabelle died in 1995.

Jewish heritage[edit]

Schacht, wrote: "There is talk that I am Jewish—just because my father was Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I speak Yiddish, and once studied to be a rabbi and a cantor. Well, that's how rumors get started."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Al Schacht Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  2. ^ 1954 Baseball Register. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1954.
  3. ^ "Classic Movie Locations Featuring Old NYC Restaurants". Archived from the original on 2015-06-19.
  4. ^ "Big League Jews". Jewish Sports Review. 12 (137): 20. January–February 2020.
  5. ^ Society for American Baseball Research
  6. ^ The Jewish Standard

External links[edit]

Preceded by
N/A
Boston Red Sox third-base coach
1935–1936
Succeeded by