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Strange But True: 14-year-old batboy is not your 'average Joe'

Joe Schultz Jr. is possibly the youngest player to ever appear in a professional game.

HOUSTON — He was no average Joe.

On September 11, 1932, the final day of the Texas League season, the Houston Buffaloes were floundering in Galveston, losing the second game of a doubleheader to the hometown Buccaneers.

The Buffs clearly didn’t care about the outcome, because manager Joe Shultz lets half his players take a turn at pitching and, in the seventh inning, inserts his son as a pinch-hitter.

OK, what’s the big deal?

His son is a batboy. He’s only 14-years-old.

Joe Schultz Jr. becomes possibly the youngest player to ever appear in a professional game.

How’d he do? Young Joe gets a hit; later steals second base and third, according to newspaper accounts.

Not bad.

Forty-two years pass before another 14-year-old appears in a minor league game. In 1952, however, a 12-year-old batboy entered a a minor league game in Georgia.

Today, players – born outside the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada – can sign professional contracts at age 16.

And what becomes of Joe Schultz Jr.?

He grows up to be a major league player and, later, a big league manager, starting in 1969 with the Seattle Pilots.

Jason Bristol on social media: Facebook | Twitter