Aug. 15, 2006
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Former UC Santa Barbara baseball player Skip Schumaker has been named to USA Baseball's 24-man roster for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament beginning August 25 in Cuba. Team USA is a strong favorite to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Schumaker played outfield for the Gauchos in 2001 and had a spectacular season. He was named First Team All-Big West as he led the conference with 100 hits. That mark also garnered him the top spot in the Gaucho record books, tying with Bill Geivett for most hits in a season. Schumaker led the Big West in doubles (19) and was also in the top five in the conference for runs scored and stolen bases. He hit .400 in 250 at bats, good for third in the Big West.
Following his record-making 2001 season, Schumaker was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball Draft. He made his Major League debut June 8, 2005 as the Cardinals took on the Boston Red Sox and got his first start in centerfield on June 13, 2005 against Toronto. This season, Schumaker has appeared in 16 games for the Cardinals and hit his first home run on April 5 against the Phillies. He is currently playing minor league ball for the Memphis Redbirds and is batting .310.
Team USA will be competing in Pool B with Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. They will open up play against Canada on August 26. The top two teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2008 Olympics. Those that do not qualify will have one more chance in 2007.
Beijing is the final time baseball will be on the Olympic schedule.