Paul Schramka

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Paul Edward Schramka

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Biographical Information[edit]

Paul Schramka spent a semester at the University of Notre Dame before transferring to the University of San Francisco. He would go on to be named to the USF Sports Hall of Fame. He was signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent after his graduation in 1949.

Paul had two solid years with the Des Moines Bruins of the class A Western League, hitting .260 in his first season of pro baseball in 129 games and backed it up in year number two with a .246 average in 151 games. The left-hander also hit 11 four-baggers in 1949 and came up with 20 of the same in 1950.

Schramka spent the next two years (1951-1952) in the military with the United States Army during the Korean War. He arrived back in time for Spring Traning in 1953 and got off to a hot start and was slated to begin the year as the Cubs' left fielder, in place of Hank Sauer, who was recovering from a broken finger.

Unfortunately, rain and cold caused the postponement of a few games and Sauer reclaimed his spot in the lineup. Paul never made it to the plate in his brief stay, being used as a late-inning replacement in his debut on April 14th and as a pinch-runner in his last appearance just two days later. This would be Paul's only chance as a major leaguer. Schramka wore number 14 during his brief time with the Cubs. The next man to wear that number, Ernie Banks" made it as a part of his personal identification as "Mr. Cub." After the Cubs retired Ernie's number, Schramka was quoted: "I sent Ernie a telegram telling him I left all the base hits in the jersey for you."

Schramka finished out the 1953 season again with Des Moines for 80 games, and with the Springfield Cubs of the International League for 43 appearances, hitting a combined .246 with 10 home runs. Paul spent one more year in pro baseball, the most productive of his four seasons in the minors, in a split season affair, hitting .282 with 24 home runs for the Macon Peaches of the South Atlantic League and the Beaumont Exporters of the Texas League. Paul wound up a fine minor league run at the age of 26 with a career .259 hitting average and 65 home runs in 534 games.

After leaving baseball Paul went to work for his father in the family's funeral home business. A resident of Butler, Wisconsin, he was the funeral director for Schramka Funeral Homes with several locations in the Milwaukee, WI, area. He passed away in 2019, at the age of 91.

In the 1980s, Schramka launched an unsuccessful campaign to have fellow Milwaukee native Ken Keltner elected to the Hall of Fame. The campaign came to the attention of author Bill James who developed the Keltner List as a result.


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