Cardinals constant and legend Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst died a little over one week ago at the age of 95. He was the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, a title bestowed upon him when Bobby Doerr died last November. Tommy Lasorda is now at the front of the line. In his honor, this will be an all-Red version of the 10.5.
Red vs the Cubs
To start off, and since the Cardinals are in Wrigley tonight (EDIT: I am a fool, the games are at Busch) to start a three-game series, here are some notable Red facts when he played against the Cubs.
In exactly 1,300 plate appearances against the Cubs, Red hit .301/.358/.396, with a 109 OPS+, his highest against any team.
In both 1946 and 1949, Red hit safely against the Cubs for 11 straight games. The 1949 hitting streak was particularly iimpressive, he hit .400/.423/.420.
Red holds the Cardinals record for most hits at Wrigley Field in a single season with 28 in 11 games in 1953. During those 11 games, Red batted a blistering .549/.582/.725.
Red had a total of 160 hits at Wrigley Field as a Cardinal, third all-time behind Stan Musial (234) and Lou Brock (171). Here's the rest of the top-25:
(Thank you, Play Index.)
Gifs on Red
Here's a nice story about Red from our EIC, @cardinalsgifs. (It's also a nice story about Red and Gifs' friend, I suppose.)
In 2013 I was working on a project with someone. It was the week leading up to the World Series, and the guy was from St. Louis, friends with Red. We met for an initial meeting and the Cardinals came up. He asks, "Hey I am going back to St. Louis for game 3, would you like me to get Red to sign anything?" I replied, "Unfortunately I don't have anything on me to give you." And that was that. A few weeks pass, I was saddened by the World Series loss of course, and we have a follow up meeting and the guy greets me with four autographed cards from Red himself.
Recent words written about Red that are worth reading
You probably already know this, but we're lucky to have so many great writers and media personalities who follow the Cardinals and keep all of us adequately informed. From Will Leitch to Bernie Miklasz and so on, when there's a Cardinals subject that needs to be covered, I'm usually confident it will be covered well. Here at Birds on the Black, StlCardsCards wrote this wonderful tribute to Red. And here are some other words on Red from blogs and elsewhere that are worth reading.
The Ol Redhead by Cardinals70 of Cards Conclave
Red Schoendienst was the St. Louis Cardinals by John Fleming of STL Bullpen
Meaning of Schoendienst’s name beautifully sums up his brilliant career by Bernie Miklasz of The Athletic
The entire Schoendienst archives at RetroSimba
Regarding the last one, we like to highlight other pieces of work that deserve to be read, so let me take a minute to note how wonderful the RetroSimba blog has been day in and day out for numerous years now. C70 summed it up pretty well here.
And you can do this with almost anyone. If they wore a Cardinals uniform for only a single day, the Retrosimba blog will tell you all you need to know about that person.
Moving over to the podcast medium, you might not be familiar with the Infinite Inning podcast which is hosted by Steven Goldman, the former editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus. It's not a podcast for those who have a short commute, some episodes can run as long as two hours ("infinite" is in the title after all). But the intro history lesson that accompanies every episode is almost always excellent. Episode 58 was very Cardinals-centric and featured some good Red and Stan Musial anecdotes, and included this quote from the host:
"You want a HOF level accomplishment that doesn't fit into any neat categories like Schoendienst's career? Well, permanently pissing off Stan Musial has got to be way up there."
The entire story is good and will provide the adequate context, and you can listen to it here.
And remember, if you think there is a piece of writing that deserves to be featured on the 10.5, please send it my way at alcrisafulli at gmail.
Willie on Red
"Ninety-five years. You get that and it's a blessing itself."
That will do it. Have a great weekend, everyone.