Thursday, December 5, 2013
no. 239 - red schoendienst
Who is the man: Red Schoendienst and the Cardinals had fallen on hard times in 1970. After going to the World Series in 1967 and 1968, Red and the boys plummeted to a 76-86 mark in 1970, the franchise's worst record since 1959. The Cards would rebound in 1971 though.
My observation on the front: This is another one of my early 1971s, complete with a crease in the southeast corner and not a single sharp edge.
Right on: You can call him Al ... or maybe you can't.
You see this cat Schoendienst is a bad mother: Schoendienst's longevity is astounding. Nineteen years as a player, 14 years as a manager, 30-plus more years as a coach and 90 years on this earth. He'll be 91 in February. It's totally cool that you can find a card of Schoendienst in the 1948 Bowman set and the 1990 Topps Traded set.
Shut your mouth: Schoendienst fought a well-publicized battle with tuberculosis in the late 1950s, but in a Sports Illustrated article, he fumed over the attention he received for coming back from the disease. "For over a year now it's been TB, TB, TB. I'm a ballplayer, not a doctor or a patient. This story you wrote here is just too dramatic for me. It just wasn't that tough."
No one understands him but his woman: On the same day Schoendienst got married, his new bride, Mary, watched him play a game a third base. During the game, a line drive nearly decapitated Schoendienst. After the game, the team's manager congratulated Mary on her marriage. She thanked him, then said, "Please get Red off third base before he gets killed."
(A word about the back): That .993 fielding mark mentioned lasted until Ryne Sandberg broke it in the mid-1980s.