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Brian Duncan Schneider (born November 26, 1976), nicknamed "Hoops", is an American former professional baseball catcher and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Montreal Expos / Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies. Schneider is currently the Miami Marlins’ catching coach.

Brian Schneider
Brian Schneider on June 9, 2012.jpg
Schneider with the Philadelphia Phillies
Catcher
Born: (1976-11-26) November 26, 1976 (age 42)
Jacksonville, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 26, 2000, for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
August 23, 2012, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.247
Home runs67
Runs batted in387
Teams

Early lifeEdit

Schneider was born in Jacksonville, Florida to Peter and Karen Schneider. He has one sister.

Early careerEdit

Schneider played high school baseball and basketball at Northampton Area High School in Northampton, Pennsylvania, in the state's highly competitive East Penn Conference. He was named Player of the Year in the Lehigh Valley, in both 1994 and 1995.[1] Over the course of his high school career, Schneider hit .427, with 22 doubles, and 11 home runs, and set a school record with 91 runs batted in. As a senior, he had a .484 batting average. He signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at Central Florida.[2]

Professional careerEdit

Schneider was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 5th round (143rd, overall) of the 1995 June draft. In 1997, while at the Class-A Cape Fear Crocs, of the South Atlantic League, Schneider emerged as a premiere defensive player, while also posting solid offensive numbers, and was named to the mid-season All-Star team.[1]

Montreal Expos/Washington NationalsEdit

 
Schneider played for the Expos/Nationals from 2000–2007.

After making a strong impression at the Expos’ spring training in 2000, Schneider was called up to the big leagues, following an injury to regular catcher Chris Widger. Schneider made his MLB debut on May 26, 2000, on the road at the San Diego PadresQualcomm Stadium, going 0-for-1, after coming into the game as a defensive replacement, in the 9th inning. The following day, he made his first big league start, going 2-for-3, including a double, in the 6th inning, for his first major league hit.

In the 2001 season, Schneider split his time between the majors and the minors, but made the most of his opportunities, whenever he was given playing time with the Expos.[1] He compiled a batting average of .317, in 27 games, driving in 6 runs, and scoring 4 times. On September 22, 2001, Schneider hit his first career home run, coming off Scott Elarton, in the fifth inning of a 3-1 Expos victory over the Colorado Rockies.

In 2002, Schneider served as the backup catcher to Michael Barrett. He made his outfield debut on June 4, 2002, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, playing left field, after pinch-hitting for Wil Cordero, in the eighth inning. In 73 games, Schneider hit .275, with 5 home runs, 29 RBIs, and 19 doubles. On September 24, 2002, he was honored as the Expos' nominee for Major League Baseball's first annual Roberto Clemente Award, losing out to Jim Thome.

In 2003 (his fourth season with the Expos), Schneider caught a majority of the club's games for the first time, spending a total of 841 innings behind the plate. He was ranked fifth in the league in fielding with a .996 percentage, committing only three errors, in 709 total chances. At the plate, Schneider established career highs in numerous offensive categories, including hits (77), doubles (26), home runs (9), RBIs (46), total bases (132), and walks (37).

 
Schneider caught the first pitch at RFK Stadium from President George Bush at the Nationals' first game.

The 2004 season saw Schneider post career highs in hits (112), home runs (12), and RBIs (49). For the second straight season, he led major league catchers in throwing out base-stealers, with a 47.8 percent success rate. Schneider finished the season with a fielding percentage of .998, setting a new franchise single-season record for a catcher, in that category.

In 2005 (with the Expos franchise having been newly relocated), Schneider became the first-ever catcher in Washington Nationals history. That same year, he threw out a MLB-leading 38 percent of would-be base-stealers. (In fact, between 2003 and 2005, Schneider threw out 43.5 percent of base-stealers, the best ratio in baseball over that period.)[3]

Schneider struggled offensively during the first half of the 2006 season, hitting just .223 through August 4. His form picked up though, and he batted .324 with 9 doubles, 1 home run, and 21 RBIs, in the 42 games, thereafter. For the first time since 2002, Schneider did not lead either MLB or the National League (NL) in percentage of base-stealers thrown out, gunning down just 27%.[1]

As a historical note, Schneider was behind the plate, catching Mike Bacsik, when Barry Bonds hit his MLB record-breaking 756th career home run, on August 7, 2007.

New York MetsEdit

 
Schneider as a Met.

On November 30, 2007, the Nats traded Schneider and Ryan Church to the New York Mets, for top prospect Lastings Milledge.[4] In his first season in New York, Schneider hit .257, with 9 home runs, and 38 RBIs, in 110 games. He scored the first-ever Mets run at their new ballpark, Citi Field, April 13, 2009, scoring on a double hit by Luis Castillo.

Philadelphia PhilliesEdit

On December 1, 2009, Schneider signed a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.[5] One highlight of his Phillies career came on July 8, 2010, when Schneider hit a walk-off home run to give the Phillies a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Following the completion of his initial Phillies contract (where he served as the team's backup catcher, behind Carlos Ruiz), Schneider signed for one more season in Philly, prior to the 2012 season, during which he was relegated to third-string duties behind the plate (Erik Kratz having supplanted him).

RetirementEdit

After the 2012 season, Schneider announced his retirement from Major League Baseball, on January 29, 2013.[6]

CoachingEdit

Schneider managed the Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League, during the 2014 season. On December 4, 2015, he was announced as the new catching coach for the Miami Marlins.[7]

Schneider was fired after the 2019 season [8]

International careerEdit

Schneider was a member of the United States national baseball team at the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He sharing catching duties with Jason Varitek and former Montreal Expos teammate Michael Barrett. Schneider went 0-for-6 in the tournament, but started the USA team's opener against Mexico.

Personal lifeEdit

On November 6, 2004, Schneider married Jordan Sproat. The couple have four children; daughters, Tatum (b. 2007) and Haven (b. 2012) and sons, Calin (b. 2009) and Holden (b. 2010). The family currently lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, with their two dogs, Dinger and Ribbie.[1]

Catching For Kids FoundationEdit

In 2008, Brian Schneider's Catching for Kids Foundation was established to support children and their participation in sports by providing funding and creative programming. The foundation strives to enable children of all backgrounds and physical abilities to enjoy the games they love.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Brian Schneider: Coach Bio". MLB.com. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  2. ^ Fox, John Jay (June 2, 1995). "Kids' Schneider Selected By Expos". The Morning Call. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  3. ^ Svrluga, Barry (2006-09-12). "Offensive Production Masks Solid Defense". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  4. ^ The Official Site of The New York Mets: News: New York Mets News
  5. ^ Phillies sign Schneider
  6. ^ "Brian Schneider retiring after 13-year career". RotoWorld.com. January 29, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Spencer, Clark (December 4, 2015). "Miami Marlins hire Barry Bonds as hitting coach". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  8. ^ https://www.mlb.com/news/fredi-gonzalez-not-returning-to-marlins

External linksEdit