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Ebenezer pastor in 1940s once played baseball in the semi-pros

He recalls playing with and against “Goose” Goslin of the Washington Senators;

“Artie” Neff of the New York Giants; and “Red” Etans of the Cleveland Indians

From a June, 1941, Bluffton News comes this feature story on Rev. A.C. Schultz, pastor of Ebenezer Mennonite Church, and Instructor in Bible at Bluffton College.

Headline: Rev. A.C. Schultz once was ace slugger

In Chicago semi-professional ball clubs

In place of the resounding crack of ash against horse hide, the pulpit is now the focus of attention for Rev. A.C. Schultz, pastor of the Ebenezer Mennonite Church near Bluffton, who gave up a promising career in professional baseball when he made his decision to enter the ministry years ago.

Rev. Schultz is also instructor in Bible at Bluffton College.

Rev. Schultz grew up in the sand lots of the south side of Chicago and played his first organized baseball with the church leagues and from there entered semi-professional ball in the city.

A.C. Schultz

Playing in the semi-pros leagues, Schultz played with numerous players who later became luminaries in the big leagues.

He recalls particularly playing with and against “Goose” Goslin of the Washington Senators; “Artie” Neff of the New York Giants; and “Red” Etans of the Cleveland Indians.

Schultz’s favorite position was short stop but his particular forte was wielding the stick. He was able to maintain a batting average in stiff semi-professional competition of better than .400.

He broke into the semi-professional ball by substituting for a player who was ill and from that day on he stuck with the game until his decision to enter the ministry.

The games were scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and he was often paid around $100 for the two days’ work.

Big league scouts were constantly on hand at the semi-professional games to enlist talent.

Goslin, Neff and others broke into the “big time” through this method.

It was also this technique that provided the big league nod to Rev. Schultz. A scout for the outfit spotted Schultz as a promising youngsters and prevailed upon him to try out for the White Sox.

Although the opportunity was very tempting, Schultz decided to go into a line of work basically of a service motivation. He then entered Wheaton College , transferring later to the University of Chicago and Northern Baptist Seminary.

Occasionally Rev. Schultz feels the urge to get the feel of the bat in his hands again at the Bluffton College ball diamond, but finds that years of study have somewhat impaired the accuracy of his vision.

Timing is tremendously important in batting, Rev. Schultz stated.

Although he still enjoys the game of baseball, Rev. Schultz has indicated that he never for a moment had regretted his decision to enter the larger field of service afforded by the ministry.


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