Countdown To Opening Night: Two

The Grapefruit League is finished, and the regular season is now only two days away. Yes, the day after tomorrow — or really the evening after tomorrow night — the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright will face the Cubs and Jon Lester on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

The No. 2 , obviously, signifies just one Cardinal: Red Schoendienst.

2

Yes, the Hall of Famer and beloved Cardinal has been in baseball for 70-plus years now, with the great majority of those as a Cards player, coach, manager and special assistant to the general manager. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989, his No. 2 was retired in 1996 and he was part of the inaugural class in the Cardinals Hall of Fame last year.

He was, however, not exclusively a Cardinal. Red was traded to the New York Giants in June 1956, and then by the Giants to the Milwaukee Braves in June 1957. The Braves won the World Series that season, beating the Yankees, then lost the Series to the Yankees the following year.

Red Schoendienst  June 6, 1960 X 6662 credit:  John G. Zimmerman - staff

During the 1958-1959 off-season, Red was diagnosed with tuberculosis and underwent surgery to remove a portion of a lung in February 1959. He was told he would never play again, yet returned for five games late in 1959 and played in 1960 (making the cover of Sports Illustrated in June, in a truly awesome photo).

Next week, Red will be recognized for those contributions as a Brave when he becomes the 14th member of the Milwaukee Braves Honor Roll during a ceremony at Miller Park. The Brewers announced the news on Wednesday.

The 10-time All-Star will be honored by the Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Braves Historical Association in a 12 p.m. CT ceremony. Schoendienst, 92, will not be able to attend the unveiling of his place on the Honor Roll, which is located on the third-base side of the Miller Park Field Level Concourse.

Over 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, Schoendienst played for the Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants. He played in 2,216 games, recorded 2,449 hits and had a career .289 average. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1989.

He was traded from the Giants to the Braves in 1957 and led the National League in hits (200) that season, also helping the Braves to the World Series title that year and the NL pennant the following season.

It’s terrific that Red is being honored, and actually pretty cool that the contributions of the Milwaukee Braves are still recognized there today.

Since most of Red’s baseball life has been with the Cardinals, however, here’s a more familiar photo of him in red — it’s from his managerial days, and is a great photo of the 1968 team from Sports Illustrated.

2-1

Mike Shannon is so … Shannon-esque, isn’t he?

Only two more days!

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