- Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
- City: Des Moines
- Team: Prohibitionists
- League: Western Association
Luke Schildknecht was a minor league catcher in the late 1880s in the midwest. Photographed by the Old Judge crew for their 1888 series, Luke appears in three known poses in a Des Moines uniform. The Baseball Encyclopedia lists Luke on the 1888 Des Moines Prohibitionists’ roster, playing 26 games with a .237 BA. They indicate the same stat line for the ’88 Sioux City Corn Huskers, which had taken over the Des Moines club mid-season. Interestingly, only three players on that team lack personal data, with Schildknecht and battery mate Frank Wells being two of them. The tandem seem to have arrived and left the team at about the same time.
Dennis Pajot’s The Rise of Milwaukee Baseball documents that the Cream City team signed both Schildknecht and Wells prior to the 1889 season. However, Schildknecht is listed as the fourth-string catcher for the squad and does not appear in the historical record for the team at any time. Despite not making the team in Milwaukee, the Old Judge editors changed Luke’s team designation from Des Moines to Milwaukee and continued to use the Milwaukee designation on Luke’s cards throughout the rest of the Old Judge run.
- Yep, I was confused too. Took me a few years to realize that the uniform Luke is wearing in this image is a Des Moines uniform. Reversing the trend that the Old Judge guys started 128 years ago, I changed Schildknecht’s team designation on this card in September, 2017, from Milwaukee to Des Moines. Balance is restored. Six cards were previously released with the Milwaukee team designation.