Legendary Cardinal Albert 'Red' Schoendienst dies at age 95
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert “Red” Schoendienst died aged 95 Wednesday evening in his west St. Louis County home; he had spent 67 of his 76 years in baseball in a Cardinal uniform as a player, coach or manager, playing on the 1946 World Champions and managing the 1967 World Champions as well as coaching with the 1964 and 1982 World Champions; he also played on the 1957 Milwaukee Braves that defeated the New York Yankees in the World Series that year. He was a Senior Special Assistant for Cardinals general manager Mike Girsch and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.
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Schoendienst was born Feb. 2, 1923, in Germantown, located in Clinton County; he first came up to the Cardinals in 1945 after Stan Musial was in the U.S. Navy during the final year of World War II. He started as a left fielder but moved to second base after Musial’s return from the war in 1946. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 by the Veteran’s Committee of the shrine in Cooperstown, N.Y., and was a member of the inaugural class of the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014. At the time of his death, Schoendienst was the oldest-living member of the Hall of Fame; former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda, aged 90, is now the oldest-living member of the shrine, followed by New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford at 89.
He also played with the New York Giants and Braves in his career before returning to the Cardinals as a player-coach under Solly Hemus and Johnny Keane in the early 1960s, ending his playing career following the 1963 season. Schoendienst became the manager in 1965 after Keane’s resignation to join the New York Yankees as manager; he served as the Cardinal manager from 1965-76 before Vern Rapp took over after his firing. He coached with the Oakland Athletics for two years before returning as a coach with then-manager Ken Boyer, staying on as Whitey Herzog’s top assistant after Herzog took over the managerial position in 1980. He also served as an interim manager after Herzog briefly stepped down at the end of the 1980 season and again in 1990 after Herzog resigned before Joe Torre took the reins.
Schoendienst’s 12 years as manager is the second-longest tenure in the Cardinals’ 126-year history, topped only by Tony La Russa (1996-2011); Schoendienst continued to wear the Cardinal uniform as a coach and spring-training instructor.
“Red was one of the greatest Cardinals of all time,” said Cardinal CEO/owner Bill DeWitt in a statement, “and a beloved member of the Cardinals organization for over six decades. His influence on this organization cannot be overstated. Red was a great player, a great manager and a wonderful mentor to countless players, coaches and members of the front office.
“He was also a fan favorite who connected with millions of Cardinal fans across multiple generations. He will be sorely missed.”
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