On the list of great New York Mets shortstops, you won’t find the name Dick Schofield. It’s not really his fault. He spent only one year with the club. A lifetime .230 hitter, maybe he could have managed to come close to replicating what Rey Ordonez was able to do for the ball club.
Throughout his MLB career, Schofield was primarily known for his defense. He only finished two seasons of his 14-year career with a batting average over .250. As a member of the 1992 Mets, after being acquired from the California Angels in an April trade, Schofield slashed just .205/.309/.286.
As poor as it was, Schofield did do one thing amazingly well. In his lone season in Flushing, Schofield had one of the best defensive seasons in Mets history.
Dick Schofield gave the Mets some amazin’ defense in 1992
On the scale of defensive WAR, Schofield’s 1992 campaign ranks seventh all-time in club history. It’s smashed in between Ordonez in 1997 and Angel Pagan in 2010 as well as John Stearns in 1978.
The 2.3 WAR was also the best of his career. Aiding in this nice number was the fact that Schofield made only 7 errors in 603 chances. This gave him a fielding percentage of .988. Compared to the .969 all shortstops in the league had, it was a pretty awesome year on the infield dirt.
Adding Schofield made sense for the Mets at the time because of what happened just days earlier. Starting shortstop Kevin Elster injured his shoulder and required season-ending surgery. Looking to merely replace his defense, the Mets were able to pick up Schofield.
Of course, it wouldn’t do them any good. The 1992 Mets were a major disappointment only surpassed by the team the following year. At 72-90, it was a season to forget.
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Schofield’s fantastic defensive season did elevate his status with the team. Despite having one of the weakest bats on the roster, he led the team in WAR for position players and was third on the whole team. Indicative of the team’s failures as a whole, Schofield’s glove was one of the small handful of positive takeaways from the 1992 Mets.