Position: Second baseman
Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, 1945-1956; 1961-1963; New York Giants, 1956-1957; Milwaukee Braves, 1957-1960
Second baseman Red Schoendienst
teamed up with shortstop Marty Marion
to form one of baseball's best-ever
Albert Fred Schoendienst was born in 1923 in Germantown, Illinois. In 1942, at age 19, he went to a tryout at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, and the Cardinals liked his potential. He spent most of that season with Albany of the Georgia-Florida League, batting .269.
In 1943, he reported to Rochester of the Triple-A International League. Manager Pepper Martin took one look at Red and moaned that the Cardinals were sending him baby-faced kids. Schoendienst impressed Martin and the Cardinals with a league-leading .337 batting average and 438 assists at shortstop that season.
When Red returned from World War II in 1945, he was called to St. Louis and used at shortstop, second base, third base, and the outfield for a few seasons. By 1947, he played mostly second base. He scored 80 or 90 runs a season each season in St. Louis save for 1948, and provided often spectacular keystone sack play.
Schoendienst had five seasons hitting better than .300. In 1957, he led the league with 200 hits, becoming only the second man to ever do so after being traded during the season (the other was Piano Legs Hickman in 1902). Red reached a career-high batting average of .342 in 1953. Despite contracting tuberculosis in 1958, he returned to play parts of five more seasons.
Although Red led the league in steals with 26 his rookie year, he never again was a serious threat to run, though he had good speed and was a fine doubles hitter. In 1950, he shocked the American League with a game-winning home run in the 14th inning of the All-Star Game in his only at bat, a precursor to his fine pinch hitting.
The Cardinals won the World Series in 1946, and Schoendienst returned to the Series with Milwaukee in 1957 and 1958. His trade to the Braves in 1957 was considered a key in putting the eventual world champions over the top -- he hit .310 for them in 93 games -- and he finished third in the MVP voting.
After the 1960 season Red returned to St. Louis, where he was one of the game’s top pinch hitters in 1962, leading the league in pinch-hit at bats and hits. He retired as a player in 1963, continuing his baseball career as a coach and manager, and won a World Series in St. Louis in 1967. Inducted in 1989, he had 2,449 career hits and 1,223 runs scored.
Here are Red Schoendienst's major league totals:
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