Who is Art Schallock? The Oldest Major League Baseball Player Alive To Turn 100

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    Regardless of whether he was at home or away, Art Schallock made it a daily routine to ride the elevator down to the lobby and gather the most recent comic books for his roommate, Yogi Berra.

    Art Schallock Image Credits The Athletic 1
    Art Schallock, Image Credits – The Athletic

    “Each morning,” Schallock reminisced, amused by the memory many decades later. But Schallock never minded; it was all worthwhile.

    1. How old Who is Art Schallock?

      He just turned 100 on 25th April 2024 and is the oldest Major League Baseball player to do so.

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    Centenarian Celebrates a Lifetime in Baseball: From Rookie Rituals to World Series Triumphs

    Back in the day, it was just part of the initiation process for the newest recruit in the big leagues. Schallock experienced this firsthand in 1951 when he received the call-up, taking over from the young Mickey Mantle, who was then sent down to Triple-A. At 27, Schallock shared a room with Berra and was responsible for picking up Berra’s daily supply of “funnies,” as they affectionately called comic books.

    As Schallock prepares to celebrate his 100th birthday this Thursday, he’s being honored not only in the Bay Area but also beyond as this significant milestone approaches.

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    Despite the passing years, memories of his baseball days remain vivid.

    It was quite a thrill, playing with those guys,” Schallock recalled during a recent video call. “I roomed with Yogi Berra when I joined the team, and he had an incredible knowledge of hitters. We would go over each team’s lineup together. Additionally, besides learning about pitching strategies, I had the daily task of fetching Yogi’s comic books from the lobby every morning. He knew exactly how to pitch to every batter, whether it was a low ball, high ball, or anything in between. I learned a lot from him.”

    A native of the Bay Area, Schallock attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley before continuing his education at the College of Marin. He made his major league debut on July 16, 1951, becoming the 10,823rd player to do so. On that day, he pitched 2 2/3 innings for the Yankees against Detroit, and exactly one month later, he secured his first career win against Washington.

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    Art Schallock Image Credits The Athletic
    Art Schallock, Image Credits – The Athletic

    During his career, the southpaw earned three World Series rings between 1951 and 1953, although he only appeared in the 1953 Series. In Game 4, he retired Brooklyn’s Jackie Robinson during a two-inning appearance. Over five seasons, spanning 58 games and 14 starts with the Yankees and Orioles, he accumulated a record of 6-7 with a 4.02 ERA.

    Schallock still proudly wears one of his World Series rings regularly on his pitching hand.

    Reflecting on his career, Schallock expressed his love for the game of baseball and the opportunity to be paid for doing something he enjoyed. He does, however, acknowledge the vast difference in salaries between his era and the present day.

    It’s incredible to think about the money now,” Schallock remarked with a smile. He recalled signing with the Dodgers for $5,000 and receiving another $5,000 if he remained with the team past June 1.

    After my time in the service, I spent a couple of years at junior college playing baseball, then I pitched semi-professionally in San Francisco, which helped me get noticed by Brooklyn,” he shared.

    While Schallock still has a way to go to set any age records, he’s aware of some former players who reached remarkable ages, such as Si Simmons of the 1926 New York Lincoln Giants, who lived to 111, and ex-Yankees pitcher Red Hoff, who reached 107.

    Embracing Life’s Joys: Art Schallock’s Perspective on Longevity and Basebal

    Schallock doesn’t claim to have any special secrets for his remarkable longevity. Despite his hearing impairment, he eagerly engages in conversations about baseball whenever the opportunity arises. When asked about the key to his long life, he simply jokes, “Stop at one drink? Have two,” emphasizing his enjoyment of a vodka on the rocks with a splash of water before dinner, a habit his wife eventually curbed to just two drinks.

    Art Schallock Image Credits The Athletic 1 1
    Art Schallock, Image Credits – The Athletic

    He also fondly remembers sharing a few beers, particularly in the clubhouse after games, a tradition encouraged by Yankees manager Casey Stengel to keep players from being seen as drunk if they were spotted in a bar.

    However, Schallock acknowledges that luck has played a part in reaching the age of 100. During World War II, while serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Ocean, he narrowly avoided danger when the USS Liscome Bay, a neighboring aircraft carrier, was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in November 1943, resulting in the loss of 644 lives, the majority of casualties in the Battle of Makin.

    Reflecting on his journey, Schallock expresses gratitude for the abundance of baseball opportunities in the Bay Area during his youth, where semi-professional teams were prevalent in every town. As he prepares to celebrate his milestone birthday, he’s been busy autographing baseballs ahead of the festivities at his assisted living facility, Cogir On Napa Road Assisted Living and Memory Care.

    Amidst the fanfare surrounding his centenary, one might jest about finding him an agent, but Schallock dismisses the idea with a laugh, indicating that it’s too late for such endeavors.

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