Happy Birthday, Mike Schmidt! What to know about the Dayton native and baseball Hall of Famer

Credit: Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Credit: Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Hall of Fame baseball player Mike Schmidt turns 73 today.

Before he played 18 seasons in the major leagues, the Dayton native was a standout athlete in Little League and at Fairview High School.

Schmidt played for Phillips Aquatic in the North Riverdale Little League. Phillips Aquatic Club was managed by his parents, who sponsored the team.

Not only was Schmidt a great hitter, he was also a fantastic right-handed pitcher, throwing three no-hitters and a one-hitter.

In high school, Schmidt was a three sport standout, playing football, basketball and baseball. Schmidt played guard in basketball and quarterback in football.

Schmidt tore a cartilage in his knee during the first football game of the 1965 season, his junior year, and was still not ready to go at the start of the 1966 football season. By basketball season, Schmidt was healthy and a starting player, routinely scoring in double digits and considered an excellent defender.

His senior basketball season, Schmidt made honorable mention on the Dayton Daily News-Coaches All-Public Team.

The first home run of his senior baseball season cleared the 360-foot mark with a man on in the 13th inning. Schmidt, a switch hitter, said of the at-bat, “I was going for a homer, It’s a lot easier hitting to left than up the big hill in right field. I knew I was either going to strike out or homer.”

Behind Schmidt’s pitching and hitting, Fairview won the 1967 high school league championship.

After high school, Schmidt went on to play baseball at Ohio University, leading his team to the College World Series in 1970.

A list of Schmidt’s major league baseball accolades include:

- 548 home runs (15th on all-time list)

- MVP of 1980 World Series, leading Phillies to title

- 12-time All-Star

- 10-time Gold Glove winner

- Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame, 1995

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