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Red Schoendienst

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Red Schoendienst

A photo of Red Schoendienst.

Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst (Template:Pron-en; born February 2, 1923) is an American former professional baseball player and manager who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. A second baseman and switch-hitter in Major League Baseball, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945-56, 1961-63), New York Giants (1956-57) and Milwaukee Braves (1957-60). After retiring, Schoendienst in 1965 began the longest managerial tenure in Cardinals history (now tied with Tony La Russa, both with 12 years), skippering the team from 1965 through 1976. Under his direction, St. Louis won National League pennants in 1967 and 1968, and defeated the Boston Red Sox in seven games in the 1967 World Series. He is currently the special assistant coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Schoendienst was born in Germantown, Illinois. After being named the International League MVP in 1943 and then spending almost a year in the Army during World War II, he was discharged in 1945 due to a severe eye injury and an injured shoulder. However, he made the Cardinals as a left fielder, and finished the '45 season batting .278 with a league-high 26 stolen bases. In 1946 he moved to second base, helping the Cardinals to win their third World Series title in four years. With sure hands and quick reflexes, he led the league's second basemen for the first of seven seasons, handling 320 consecutive chances without an error in 1950. Schoendienst set a league record in 1956 with a .9934 fielding average, eclipsed 30 years later by Ryne Sandberg. Schoendienst won the Home Run Derby Contest in 1946.

In 1953 Schoendienst finished second in the NL batting race, batting .342 to Carl Furillo's .344. He scored 107 runs and drove in 79 runs from the #2 spot in the order, setting a career high with 15 home runs. He was selected to the All-Star team for the seventh time.

File:Schoendienst Statue.JPG

A 1957 trade brought him from the second-division Giants to the Milwaukee Braves in mid-season, and he promptly led the team to its first pennant in nine years, batting .309, with a league-leading 200 hits (split between the Giants and the Braves) and finishing third in the NL MVP vote. They followed with a triumph in the World Series over the New York Yankees - the Braves' only championship in Milwaukee, and the first for the franchise since 1914. The Braves repeated as NL champions in 1958 but lost to the Yankees in their World Series rematch; Schoendienst flied out to Mickey Mantle for the Series' final out. However, in 1959, Schoendienst only appeared in five games (and was hitless in three at bats) as he successfully battled tuberculosis. He returned to the Braves in 1960 and played in 68 games, then rejoined the Cardinals as a player-coach from 1961-63 (batting .300 as a utility player in both 1960 and 1961), and a fulltime coach in 1964, just prior to being named manager. His record as a St. Louis pilot, over 12 fulltime seasons (1965-76) and two stints (1980; 1990) as an acting manager was 1,041 victories and 955 defeats (.522). After two years away from the Mound City as a coach for the 1977-78 Oakland Athletics, Schoendienst returned to the Cardinals as a coach, acting manager and special assistant to the general manager.

In his career Schoendienst compiled a .289 batting average, with 84 home runs, 773 runs batted in, 1223 runs, 2449 hits, 427 doubles, 78 triples and 89 stolen bases, in 2216 games played. As a second baseman he put up big numbers: 4616 putouts, 5243 assists, 1368 double plays, and only 170 errors in 10029 total chances, for a high .983 fielding average.

Schoendienst had the dubious distinction of being a member of three of the six teams to lose a World Series after leading three games to one. He played for the Milwaukee Braves team that lost to the New York Yankees in the 1958 World Series, was the manager of the St. Louis Cardinal team that lost to the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 World Series, and was Whitey Herzog's bench coach on the Cardinal team that lost to the Kansas City Royals in the 1985 World Series. Schoendienst had distinction of appearing in 9 World Series as a player, manager, or coach - all of which went the full 7 games (5 wins and 4 losses)! Schoendienst is one of four men to appear in a winning World Series as a player, a non-playing manager, and a coach. The other three are Billy Southworth, Leo Durocher, and Ralph Houk. Schoendienst also appeared in 2 tie-breaker Playoff Series - 1946 with St. Louis Cardinals (won) and 1959 with Milwaukee Braves (token appearance-lost).

Red Schoendienst was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, along with Umpire Al Barlick, edging out Gil Hodges, who still has not been officially enshrined. In 1989 he was also inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Schoendienst's daughter sang God Bless America during the Seventh-inning stretch of Game 4 of the 2006 World Series.

QuotationEdit

  • "The greatest pair of hands I've ever seen" – teammate Stan Musial.
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See alsoEdit

External linksEdit



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