West Seattle Athletic Club Yellowjackets
Seattle Elks Club (1918-1921)
Adolph Schacht never saw an entire
baseball game, he was never on ice skates, he never tucked a
football under his arm, and he only had two fights - and
lost the second in an overtime round. But Schacht was
one of the best trainers to ever manipulate the muscles of
athletes in the Northwest.
Back in 1905 he was running a small
athletic club and hiring a downtown referee for his amateur
shows. One night the ref showed up intoxicated but did
the job passably. "Why," wondered Schacht, "can't I
referee sober if a drunken man can referee without trouble?"
So started a 36-year career of being a fight referee.
Willie Meehan, a San Francisco heavyweight swapped punches
with Adolph after Schacht awarded the fight to his opponent
in a Feb 1922 bout. Meehan, who once won a decision
over Jack Dempsey was booked by Seattle police and released
on condition he leave town that day.
As a trainer his prize story was
working southpaw pitcher Jumbo Jim Elliott. Strong as
a bull at 240 lbs, Elliott thought he needed some of Ad's
bone cracking to put him in shape. Little 130 lb
Adolph decided he couldn't dent the broad back with his
hands alone, so he pulled out some peanuts, put them down on
Elliott's back and crunched down on 'em with his knees.
To Elliott, it sounded like the roof caved in. Big Jim
got up, stretched, said, "That's great, the trouble's all
gone." then went on to complete a season with 26 victories.
A master of muscle and psychology.
After years as trainer of the
Seattle Pacific Coast baseball league club, Schacht went to
the Chicago White Sox in 1933 and remained through 1941. He kept the White Sox
pitchers in fine condition through the years, including Ted
Lyons, the aging veteran who had arm trouble in the
mid-30's, but blossomed anew under Schacht's care.
During the fall months Adolph kept
busy by taking care of the West Seattle Athletic Club
football teams that were dominating the semi pro circuit
through the 20's and 30's. Winters he kept the hockey
players in condition and worked an occasional fight.
Adolph donated his services to the WSAC free of charge.
Seattle Indians manager George
Burns, who had a 15-year career in the majors including an
AL MVP award in 1926 as a first baseman proclaimed Schacht
the "greatest trainer I've ever seen" when it was announced
Adolph would become the White Sox trainer in 1933. His
reported salary: $5,000 per year. By comparison,
Dizzy Dean of the 1934 World Series Champion St. Louis
Cardinals and future Hall of Famer, earned $7,500 in 1934
In 1934, Schacht returned to train
the Yellowjackets football team and brought back with him,
autographed baseball's signed by every American League
player of 1933. His collection was displayed in the
Vann Bros. restaurant/sporting goods store window. The
collection was of considerable value which included
Schoolboy Rowe and Babe Ruth signatures.
In January of 1942, the 57 year old
died of a heart attack near his Alki Beach home stowing
fishing gear into a small boat with his wife. He was
just a few weeks from reporting to the Sox training camp in