Far as I know, Chuck Schilling is of no relation to the much more famous pitcher Curt Schilling. What I do know is that Chuck Schilling was not a socker. He hit just 8 home runs in 1963, with a .234 batting average and .610 OPS… 1963 was actually the last time Chuck would be above replacement level.
Meanwhile, Yaz had an awesome 1963, winning his first batting title and leading the American League in hits, doubles, walks, and OBP. It was also Yaz’s first All-Star nod. Schilling hit those 8 HR… and was worth 1 WAR with the glove. The poor OPS wasn’t enough to make Schilling valuable, though. He was worth a mere 0.2 WAR in 146 games. He’d been about just as good with the glove in 1962, but even worse with the bat.
That all being said, Topps did have reason to believe that Schilling may eventually find his stroke at the major league level. After all, Schilling did bat .340 in the D league (today's A ball) and .314 at AAA. Those are obviously good marks. That offensive potential never came to be realized in the Majors. But, you can understand their optimism based on those past minor league performances.
However, Chuck Schilling DID have one very good season in MLB. That was his rookie year in 1961. Despite a mere .666 OPS, Schilling did have a .340 on-base percentage in a league-leading 737 plate appearances that year. His baseball stats didn’t look bad at all for a defensive-minded second baseman either: .259 batting average, 5 HR, 62 RBI, plus 7 stolen bases. However, he was caught 6 times, so his stolen bases weren’t so valuable.
But, where Schilling really shined in 1961 was with the glove. He led the league in assists at second base, 2nd in double plays turned, and was worth a whopping SIXTEEN runs above average by Total Zone at the keystone. Obviously, that final stat led the league. Had they been awarded at the time, Schilling would’ve won the Gold Glove, and it would’ve been entirely deserved. His defensive WAR? 1.9!
Schilling sort of rebounded as a bench player in 1965 before being traded after the season to the Minnesota Twins. He’d be on the Twins roster to start 1966 - as rosters were allowed to have 28 players until May 15. But, when the rosters reverted to 25 men, he retired rather than be forced to accept a minor league assignment.
Chuck Schilling did OK for himself after that, teaching high-school math on Long Island and playing competitive softball all the way until he was 69. As of 2020, Chuck Schilling is still with us. Had Schilling not suffered that wrist injury, it’s likely he would’ve stuck around as a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman for quite a few years. Fortunately, we have this and other baseball cards to remember his career by.
Thanks for the memories, Chuck Schilling!