Quiet Leader: Skip Schumaker

The St. Louis Cardinals Skip Schumaker has transformed himself into a second baseman on the field and a clubhouse leader off.

No other St. Louis Cardinals player in recent memory has been asked to do what Skip Schumaker was called upon to do. During spring training 2009, he was moved from the outfield to play second base. It would be on-the-job training at the highest of levels for a player that had not played the infield since college.

After hours and hours of early morning practice, not only did Schumaker make himself into a middle infielder, but a respectable one at that. So much so, that during the playoffs, manager Tony La Russa went with his best infield defense that included Skip at second.

The 30-year-old has quite a fan in his skipper. La Russa believes that Schumaker's transformation from outfielder to the cornerstone is the most impressive thing he has seen during his time as a manager.

Even during his move in the field, Skip never missed a beat at the plate. Schumaker hit .296/.364/.393 serving as the team's primary leadoff man. And off the field, he has quietly become one of the team's leaders.

Dustin can be contacted at dustin@whiteyball.com.
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