So this is sort of cool. If you were watching yesterday's game - in which case, peace be with you - you probably saw the team honor the Pennant-winning 1968 squad before the game. Absent was the manager of that team, Red Schoendienst, who, at 95-years-old, is the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. According to broadcaster Mike Shannon, Red was listening to the game at home because even at this age he is never far from the Cardinals.
Save for a couple of seasons managing elsewhere, Red has been the one constant for the Cardinals for almost 75 years. At this point he is the Cardinals. And for one season as a player he had a slash line that basically captures the entire history of the franchise, too. I'll explain.
Per FanGraphs, since the Cardinals were founded, their hitters in almost 800,000 plate appearances have a slash line of .266/.330/.382. No Cardinal has ever finished a season with that exact slash line, nor has anyone in all of MLB for that matter. In fact, only four Cardinals have ever finished a season with a .712 OPS (via Baseball Reference's Play Index).
None of those seasons really capture the Cardinals' career slash line in terms of lining up close in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging. For that we turn to Red's 1955 season, which, in my search comes the closest to doing just that.
It's not perfect. And maybe by celebrating a slash line that comes out to below league average by wRC+ (89) not everyone finds this to be as interesting as I do. But whatever, we don't celebrate Red for his hitting. And for all of the players who have passed through this organization, I do find it pretty cool that he was the one who popped up here.
That's all. And I hope we can all enjoy a better game today.