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Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, a Cardinals legend, dies at 95

June 06. 2018 11:17PM

Albert “Red” Schoendienst, a St. Louis Cardinals staple since the 1940s, died Wednesday at age 95.

He was the oldest living member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Schoendienst’s tenure with the Cardinals organization began as a player from 1945-56 and 1961-63. He was a coach for the team in 1964 and 1979-95, manager from 1965-76 and interim manager in both 1980 and 1990. Since 1996, he has served the club as a senior special adviser.

His family issued a statement that read, “Red Schoendienst has passed away today surrounded by his family. He had a life full of happiness for 95 years. He inspired all that knew him to always do their best. Red was a great ball player, but his legacy is that of a great gentleman who had respect for all. He loved his family, friends, teammates, the community and his country. He will be greatly missed.”

Cardinals owner and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. said in a statement, “Red was one of the greatest Cardinals of all time, 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 Cardinals fans across multiple generations. He will be sorely missed.”

Former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols tweeted a photo of him and Schoendienst, saying, “It was a privilege to know and learn from one of baseball’s best.”

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement that read, “Red Schoendienst was one of the most beloved figures in the rich history of the St. Louis Cardinals, the franchise he served for 67 years. ... The connection between Red and the fans of St. Louis spanned multiple generations and he was a wonderful ambassador for our game. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Red’s family, his many friends and admirers throughout our game, and Cardinals fans everywhere.”

Schoendienst broke into the majors in 1945 as a replacement for another future Hall of Famer, Stan Musial, who was in the Army, and he led the National League with 26 stolen bases as a rookie. The Germantown, Ill., native spent 15 of his 19 big league seasons with the Cardinals, primarily as a second baseman. He also played parts of two seasons with the New York Giants and parts of four years with the Milwaukee Braves.

He still ranks among the Cardinals’ all-time top 10 in games, runs, hits, doubles and total bases.

In 2,216 career games, Schoendienst hit .289 with a .337 on-base percentage, a .387 slugging percentage, 84 homers and 773 RBIs. A 10-time All-Star, Schoendienst was part of World Series champion teams for the Cardinals in 1946 and the Braves in 1957.

Schoendienst also managed the Cardinals to a World Series title in 1967, and he got St. Louis back to the Fall Classic the next year. Counting his two stints as interim skipper, he amassed a 1,041-955 managerial record (.522 winning percentage).

As a coach, Schoendienst helped St. Louis claim two more titles, in 1964 and 1982.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1989, and the Cardinals retired his uniform No. 2 in 1996.

Schoendienst is survived by four children, eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. His wife of 53 years, Mary, died in 1999.

—Field Level Media

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