Red Schoendienst

Red Schoendienst
Second Baseman
Batted: SwitchThrew: right
MLB Debut
April 17, 1945 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Final game
July 7, 1963 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career Statistics
AVG    .289
Hits    2449
RBI    773
Teams
As Player As Manager
Career Highlights and Awards
  • 10-time All-Star (1946, 1948-55, 1957)
  • Third in the NL MVP voting (1957, behind Hank Aaron and Stan Musial).
  • Led league in hits (200, 1957)
  • Led league in stolen bases (26, 1945)
  • Twice led league in at bats (659, 1947; 642, 1950)
  • Still holds MLB record with eight doubles over a three-game span (1948)
Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst (born February 2, 1923) is an American former player, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. A second baseman and switch-hitter, 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.

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.
Enlarge picture
Statue of Red Schoendienst outside Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.
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 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. 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 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.

Red Schoendienst was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1989 he was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Quotation

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

See also

Trivia

External links

Second base, or 2B, is the second of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a base runner in order to score a run for that player's team. A second baseman is the baseball player guarding second base.
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hit (denoted by H), sometimes called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice.
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