Ripken in the Minors
February 2010: Interview with Jeff Schneider
Jeff Schneider was born on December 6, 1952, in Bremerton, Washington. Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1970, Jeff would go on to Iowa State. In 1973, Jeff was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the ameteur draft but did not sign. In 1974, Jeff was drafted and signed as an ameteur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies. Four years later, Jeff would be drafted by the Baltimore Orioles from the Phillies in the Rule 5 Draft. Jeff would make his Major League Debut with the Orioles in 1981, appearing in 11 games. On the way to the Majors, Jeff would play in "The Longest Game" in professional baseball history with the Rochester Red Wings in 1981. Jeff would be traded to the California Angels in 1982 but would appear as one of the "Future Stars" for the Baltimore Orioles along with Bobby Bonner and Cal Ripken, Jr. RITM thanks Jeff for his willingness to share his recollections from his time in professional baseball.
RITM: You were drafted by the Cubs in 1970 but went to Iowa State. What influenced your decision?
Jeff Schneider: I wanted an education and to play basketball.
RITM: Not much is on record in regards to the 1980 Caribbean Championship run with Caguas. How dangerous was it playing in Puerto Rico?
Jeff Schneider: It wasn't any more dangerous than playing in Miami. Just needed to be careful over the holidays.
RITM: In the "longest game" you went 5.1 IP and only gave up 2 hits without issuing a walk while striking out 5. Can you share your recollections from before, during and after the game?
Jeff Schneider: I actually struck out 8. Before, no different than any other game. During the game it turned very cold and windy. Not much sleep and a day game the following day, same day. You can never predict things.
RITM: Will we ever see another game go 33 innings?
Jeff Schneider: I suppose so.
RITM: You made your Major League debut during the 1981 season. What is it like getting the call?
Jeff Schneider: A dream come true.
RITM: What was your favorite memory from your time in the Majors?
Jeff Schneider: Actually all of it but my teammates will always be special.
RITM: You are part of the 1981 WTF baseball card set. Do you have any recollections from the day the picture for the card was taken?
Jeff Schneider: I was going out to do some running and this guy asked if he could get a picture. It was a couple of hours prior to the game
RITM: You share space with Bobby Bonner and Cal Ripken, Jr., on your 1982 Topps rookie card. What do you remember about the process of the pictures being taken?
Jeff Schneider: Same as earlier. I had no idea who the photographer was or that I was going to be on that card.
RITM: One thing that has always stood out to me is that none of you are looking at the camera. Were you told to look away? Do you remember what you were looking at?
Jeff Schneider: Yes, looking out from the dugout at the top step on to the field.
RITM: Did Topps reimburse you for your appearance on the card?
Jeff Schneider: I believe it was $25.00
RITM: Where did life take you after baseball?
Jeff Schneider: To school, family, job, friends. Back to being a normal person.