When Schumaker was 5 years old and living in Southern California, he had a chance encounter with Tommy Lasorda and Orel Hershiser at a restaurant, both of whom signed his baseball glove with "To a future Dodger ..." And, indeed, it was true. Skip later became a Dodger.
When he reached the Major Leagues with the Cardinals, Schumaker was given uniform number 55, which "happened to be Orel's number and I stuck with it." When he joined the Dodgers in 2013, he initially wore #3, but switched to #55 when it became available.
- After his freshman year, Schumaker transferred from Loyola Marymount to the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Skip got his strong work ethic from his Dad, Wayne, who would get up every morning at 4:00 a.m., leave for work at 5:00, and drive 90 minutes to work for the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors in Marina del Rey. After work, Wayne Schumaker made the 65-mile drive back, getting home at 7:00 p.m.
His son describes the father as a 110 percenter, a guy committed to his job but also committed enough to family that he moved it to a safer, more comfortable setting, even if it meant a hellish round trip five times a week.
"We never, ever heard him complain about it," recalls the son. "We'd eat dinner, be done with our day, and Dad would get home. He never brought a bad day or the traffic home. He never wanted a break from us—not even five minutes. Dad was always in good spirits when he got there."
Skip's mother, Marlene, still works as a teacher's aide with autistic children. His sister is married and has a family. (Joe Strauss-St. Louis Post Dispatch-3/06/11)
His real first name is Jared, but Skip, as he wants to be known as, said, "I haven't been called Jared since I was 5 or 6 years old."
- Before the 2004 season, Skip hired a personal trainer, Jeff Moss, who designed a three-times-a-week workout. He followed it tirelessly.
In 2005, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Schumaker as 20th-best prospect in the Cardinal farm system. And they had him at #19 in the spring of 2006.
In 2007, they had Skip as #29 in the St. Louis organization.
In August and September of 2006, Skip helped Team USA win the Olympic qualifying tournament, beating Cuba 8-5 in front of 45,000 fans in Havana. Team USA qualified for the 2008 Olympics, as did Cuba.
Schumaker finished the tournament with a .405 average (15 for 37), 6 walks, and 15 runs scored.
Skip then joined the Cardinals for the last three weeks of the 2006 National League season.
Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Skip: "He is one of those guys who gets overlooked. But if you closely examine his history, he's always been associated with winners. The more you watch him play, the more you see him do things that help his team win."
In October 2010, after taking a couple of weeks off, Schumaker began workouts with LA County SWAT member Jim Moss, beginning his fifth winter with the cross-training grind that former teammate Jim Edmonds once described as "just shy of torture."
Moss focuses on core strength, cardio work, and gut-busting. Schumaker, with suggestions from Cardinals strength coach Pete Prinzi in hand, will gear some workouts to flexibility and explosive first steps. He wants to be able to get into a crouch a thousand times and not worry about pulling a hamstring (as he did), dealing with a sore groin (as he did), or having weary legs (as he did). He wants quicker jumps to grounders.
During winter workouts before 2011 spring training, Skip also trained alongside former St. Louis Blues left wing Paul Kariya. Conversation with Kariya made it clear that "I was preparing not to fail instead of preparing to win and succeed. That's a huge difference. It's a new mindset."
Those who describe Schumaker paint the picture of a grounded person and a family man. The name Fitzgerald is tattooed on his left bicep—a tribute to his grandfather. On his right shoulder, Brody, his 6-year-old son's little footprints are tattooed. And on the inside of his right wrist, his daughter Presley's name is permanently inked into his skin. (2014)
Skip and his wife, Lindsey, have two children, son Brody Hudson and daughter Presley Rowan.
When I have time for myself: "When I don't go to school, I surf. I like to surf a lot. I feel like the ocean and the beach are stress relievers. My Dad was in charge of the lifeguards for 30-plus years in Los Angeles County, so I grew up around the water."
Skip was named as the club's winner of the 2014 Heart and Hustle Award. Given by the Major League Players Alumni Association each year, the award honors players "who demonstrate a passion for the game and best embody the values, spirits and tradition of the game. (7/22/14)
Schumaker's charity largely extends to children. He's led monthly hospital visits to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and contributed to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Schumaker is also an advocate of the Jessie Rees Foundation, which supports children fighting cancer.
"He's been great," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He's been very involved in the Reds community and in fundraising and being involved in the hospital visitations for the children's portion of the hospital visits. He gets it." (Kramer - mlb.com - 9/16/14)
Schumaker is a veteran who understands his role on the Reds bench. Schumaker realizes that to achieve his personal big-picture dream of reaching the World Series again, he has to put his personal statistics on the back burner. Skip has been on playoff teams four times, including the World Champs 2011 Cardinals.
"My goal at this stage of my career is to win another ring," Schumaker said. "People say that but some people just want big numbers. Of course, I want to have success but there is nothing better than being the last man standing on the field—nothing better in the world. I just hope that guys here experience that . . . once you taste that, you want it back. That's what I want. Helping guys get there is a good thing."
To get there, Schumaker knows that would mean less playing time, personally.
"I was telling Jay Bruce the other day that if I play more than starting a few games, we've got problems," Schumaker said. "I expect everybody in our starting lineup to play 150-plus games. If you see the really good teams, very rarely is their starting lineup taking days off."
Schumaker can play all three outfield positions and second base.
"I expect that to happen. That means we are doing really good. That's what I'm hoping for," Schumaker said. "You don't want your bench guys starting 50-80 games. That means we've got problems, and injury problems." (Mark Sheldon - MLB.com - March 13, 2015)
Schumaker said he got the nickname "Skip" from his dad during his Tee ball days. There were already a few boys with the name Jared on the team, so his dad said with all his athleticism he still was not able to skip, thus he started calling him "Skip."
- In 2015, Skip was driving a TLS Mercedes.
Schu is a big football fan. He loves fantasy football.
Skip says he admires, "People who do things for other people off the field. So, if I think you're totally into the game just for yourself and not using it as a platform to help others, I think you're in there for the wrong reasons.
"Obviously, we're here and we're lucky enough to play a sport for a living and play a game for a living, but it you're not doing it to help others outside, I think you're missing the boat."
You would be hard-pressed to come up with a better teammate than Schu. He's a guy you just have to root for.
Make no mistake about it, the Padres signed Schumaker to a Minor League deal with an invite to Spring Training 2016 because they thought he has something tangible to offer the team on the field. Aside from being an accomplished pinch-hitter, from the left side to boot, and someone who can play multiple positions, Schumaker is equipped with another distinct skillset that can potentially help the Padres.
"Leadership," said Padres rookie outfielder Travis Jankowski, who was 10 the year Schumaker was drafted by the Cardinals in 2001. "He cares about every one of us. He's been a true class act. He's engaging and friendly. He's been a class act. Skip's just a genuine guy when it comes down to it." That's very heady praise for a player Jankowski has known for one month.
"He is," said Padres first-year manager Andy Green, "as advertised."
Schumaker is trying to crack the 25-man Opening Day 2016 roster in what will very well be his final season in the big leagues. He came to the Padres as someone who has World Series rings from his time with the Cardinals (2006, 2011) and has won over teammates in every clubhouse he has entered with his words and his work ethic. He's never once taken this for granted.
"I didn't think I would have one day in the big leagues. I know it's a short window, being a player," Schumaker said. "I love the game. I know it won't be there forever." He's forever been a grinder, and Schumaker spent the early part of his career in a perpetual state of fighting to remain on a big league roster.
"I didn't really enjoy it as much because I was trying to stay afloat. I was trying to stay up [in the big leagues] day by day," he said. "The anxiety, up and down seven times in my career, that part was difficult. It's never been completely enjoyable, more trying to embrace the grind instead of trying to enjoy my time."
Postseason baseball, beginning in 2006 with the Cardinals, though he didn't play. That was followed by playoff trips in '09, '11, '12 and '13. "That's when I started really enjoying it," Schumaker said. "When you start to win and get to the playoffs, there's nothing better than that."
Of the elements that rates as high as playoff experience, Schumaker said, is being able to have a presence in the clubhouse and on impressionable teammates. He was once that guy himself, a rookie with the Cardinals in 2005 when John Mabry took him under his wing. Mabry was 34, Schumaker was 25. Mabry stressed the importance of developing your own routine. He insisted that Schumaker share a cab with him to the ballpark, picked out restaurants. Mabry provided something beyond what was required of him by his employer. That's something Schumaker has never lost sight of.
"I was lucky coming up with an organization where veterans showed players the right way," Schumaker said. "If I can be that guy for the younger kids, then you start creating that culture. If I can make an impact on Cory Spangenberg or Jankowski, then I feel like I've done my job." (Brock - MLB.com - 3/8/16)
March 9, 2016: Schumaker sent a text message to Andy Green, informing the Padres' manager that he planned to retire.
Nov 15, 2021: The Cardinals announced the return of Skip Schumaker to the organization as its big league bench coach, injecting another source of leadership behind newly minted manager Oliver Marmol — and one who has spent time playing in the big leagues.
The club also finalized its coaching staff for 2022. In a mostly unchanged group behind Marmol, Turner Ward was the lone addition alongside Schumaker, joining the Cardinals as their assistant hitting coach following the departure of Jobel Jiménez, who has reportedly accepted a role in the Angels' organization.
Oct 26, 2022: Skip Schumaker was named the 16th manager in Marlins history and will succeed Don Mattingly, who was the club's longest tenured and winningest skipper.
This will be the first managerial job for Schumaker, who played 11 Major League seasons with the Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds from 2005-15. He was on World Series-winning Cardinals clubs in 2006 and ‘11. The utilityman finished with a .278/.337/.364 slash line and 28 homers in 1,149 career games. Schumaker played for Mattingly’s Dodgers in 2013, helping the club win the National League West and reach the NL Championship Series.
Schumaker was a two-time nominee for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which is given to a player who exhibits inspirational leadership on the field and in the community. In 2009, he received the Darryl Kile Award, presented annually to the Cardinals and Astros player who best exemplifies Kile's traits of "a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man." The winner is determined by each local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
“After an extensive process, it is with great pride and excitement that we announce Skip Schumaker as manager of the Miami Marlins as we welcome him, his wife, Lindsey, and children, Presley and Brody, to the Marlins family,” Marlins chairman and principal owner Bruce Sherman said. “Skip has a long list of distinguished accomplishments as both a player and a coach that showcase the remarkable individual he is as well as the high level of credibility and leadership he will bring to the dugout and the Marlins organization. He has an incredible passion and winning spirit that will set the course for the Marlins franchise.” (CD Nicola - MLB.com - Oct 26, 2022)
March 2023: Skip is a first-time manager.
Birthdate: Feb. 3, 1980 (43 years old) Hometown: Torrance, California
Beginnings: Selected by St. Louis in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB Draft
Teams: Cardinals, Dodgers, Reds
Post-playing career: Padres assistant to baseball operations and player development (2016-17), first-base coach ('18-19) and associate manager ('20-21); Cardinals bench coach ('22)
Accolades: Two-time World Series champion with St. Louis
Favorite Ted Lasso character: Keeley Jones Favorite Ted Lasso episode: “The Diamond Dogs” (Season 1, Episode 8)
Here's a Q&A with the Marlins skipper about Ted Lasso and other things:
MLB.com: Ted Lasso had biscuits with the boss. What would be your snack of choice? Schumaker: I love breakfast, so if I could get anything, it'd be a blueberry pancake breakfast.
MLB.com: "Believe" is his mantra. What's yours? Schumaker: It's called CAPE: Communication, alignment, preparation, execution. Believe is great, but CAPE has more meaning to me.
MLB.com: Have you ever tried to pull off a mustache and a visor? Schumaker: I definitely tried to pull off a mustache. There's pictures of me holding my son, and my wife made multiple comments of why I needed to remove that mustache. It's not a great look. But we were in a funk in 2009, and so we had team mustaches, and there's a reason why I don't have it anymore. I don't understand the visor, because it doesn't cover your head, so that's never made any sense to me.
MLB.com: Ted Lasso gave his son a drone, and the drone won out on spending time with him. Is there a gift you've given your kids that they've enjoyed so much that they didn't want to. Schumaker: Yeah, a phone! The phone's been a nightmare. I think that any parent will tell you that the phone has taken over.
MLB.com: Do you know what offsides is? Schumaker: Yes. My wife played college soccer. My daughter's all-in on soccer, so she would scream, "Get onside, you're off" all the time during the games when she was younger. So I found out quickly what offsides was.
MLB.com: Ted's secret talent is darts. What's yours? Schumaker: I wish it was the darts. That would be really cool. There's not really like this secret talent. It's definitely not darts. I'm not good at it at all. Let me think on this. I would say bodyboarding. I like to surf, but bodyboarding I can do. As a kid, we used to compete, so I have an idea of what I'm doing for bodyboarding. I'm a better bodyboarder than surfer.
MLB.com: What would be your karaoke song? Schumaker: Blink-182's "All the Small Things."
MLB.com: Do you need the screen? Schumaker: No, I know the lyrics.
MLB.com: Ted took an "Us-ie" with someone on the plane over to London. Who would you want to take one with? Anybody in the world, dead or alive. Schumaker: Roberto Clemente. I knew of him, or what he'd done in the game. I won the Roberto Clemente Award, which was pretty special, but I didn't really know exactly everything he did. Albert Pujols took us to the Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh, and since then, I've been all-in on Roberto. I've quoted him many times, so that would be the selfie I would probably like to take. (CD Nicola - MLB.com - March 13, 2023)
June 2001: The Cardinals chose Skip in the 5th round, out of UC-Santa Barbara.
February 9, 2010: Schu and the Cardinals avoided salary arbitration when they agreed on a two-year, $4.7 million contract. It called for $2 million in 2010 and $2.7 million in 2011, plus $300,000 in incentives.
December 12, 2011: Skip and the Cardinals agreed on a two-year, $3 million contract, receiving $1.5 million per season, plus performance bonuses.
Dec 12, 2012: The Dodgers sent SS Jake Lemmerman to the Cardinals, acquiring Schumaker.
Nov 18, 2013: The Reds agreed to a two-year deal with Skip. It calls for a $2 million base for 2014 and $2.5 million in 2015. The deal includes a club option for 2016 with a $2.5 million base and a $500,000 buyout.
- February 9, 2016: Schumaker signed with the Padres organization. But he retired before the regular season began.