It was 70 years ago today that Albert “Red” Schoendienst began his remarkable career in Major League Baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals are marking the milestone by honoring Red with a special pre-game ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Reds.
In addition, the team is launching a season-long campaign encouraging fans to demonstrate their affection for Red by sharing a video message via social media using the hashtag #LoveRed2.
“We want to mark this amazing milestone by letting Red know how much he means to the entire Cardinals family,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We encourage fans to join us in showing their affinity, affection and appreciation for No. 2 as he celebrates 70 years and counting in Major League Baseball.”
The team is asking fans to join Cardinals players, broadcasters and team officials in taping video messages where they say their name while announcing that they love Red too. Share your video on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Vine using the hashtag #LoveRed2. More information is at cardinals.com/lovered2.
Tonight Red, who will be joined by his family, will be honored with a special ceremony at 7 p.m. He and fans will enjoy congratulatory video messages from players throughout the game and the team will wear a commemorative No. 2 “70 Years in Uniform and Counting” patch on their sleeves.
Red made his Major League Baseball debut on April 17, 1945, when the Cardinals played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The young man from Germantown, Ill., joined the team to fill in for left fielder Stan Musial, who was serving in the U.S. Navy. That game, Red went 1 for 4 with a triple and run scored.
Sure, it’s a Monday — but there are only 6 days until the Cardinals begin the 2015 regular season against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
And, for all of us as Cardinals fans, 6 means only one person.
Stan Musial, baseball’s perfect warrior and baseball’s perfect knight.
We’ve written plenty about The Man here through the years, even a Cardinal Love Letter in honor of his 92nd birthday in November 2012. So, instead of more words to honor No. 6, just pictures instead. Six more, of course.
With President John F. Kennedy before the 1962 All-Star Game. Continue reading
Feb. 2 is always an important day. Yes, of course, it’s Groundhog Day, but after dealing with the 13 1/2 inches of snow that fell in my hometown yesterday, I don’t think spring is on the way anytime soon.
More importantly, Feb. 2 is the birthday of Red Schoendienst — today he turns 92 and been involved in baseball for more than 70 years, and of course nearly all with the St. Louis Cardinals.
How much of Cardinals history has he been part of? As this from the SABR Baseball Biography Project puts it:
On October 28, 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals won their 11th World Series championship. Among those celebrating with the team was 88-year-old Red Schoendienst, who had first tasted World Series victory as a young second baseman for the Cardinals in 1946.
Sixty-five years after he savored his first World Series win, Schoendienst was still an integral part of the Cardinals organization. Officially listed as Special Assistant to the General Manager, at heart he was still a coach, donning a uniform for pregame practice at home games, at which he routinely hit fungoes to infielders.
Learning about Red and his expansive history with the team is one of the best parts about becoming a Cardinals fan. Who doesn’t love seeing him in his uniform with his No. 2 on the back, or in his red Hall of Fame blazer on Opening Day?
We’ve heard Bob Gibson’s name a lot in the past couple of days, leading up to the announcement of the National League MVP yesterday. Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers became the first NL pitcher named the Most Valuable Player since Gibson in 1968, with each winning the Cy Young Award also.
It’s always amazing to look back at Gibson’s stats from that year. The most incredible, and likely most well known, is the 1.12 ERA. Looking at his game log from 1968, the highest ERA he had at any point was 2.35 — on April 20, after his third start of the season. It was 0.96 after starts on July 25 and July 30, and was 0.99 on Sept. 2 after his 10th shutout of the year.
In that 10th shutout, a 10-inning 1-0 win over the Reds, he pitched all 10 innings and allowed just four hits.
Speaking of shutouts, he had five straight complete game shutouts from June 6 to June 26, allowing 21 total hits in those games and striking out 35. He walked five, but none in two of the games.
Let that sink in for a moment. Five straight complete game shutouts.
His record, which probably also is familiar, was 22-9 — and it’s the number of losses that’s so surprising. But two were by scores of 1-0, one was 2-0 and two were 3-2. He won 15 consecutive games between June 2 and Aug. 24. There were only three games all season in which he had no decision, including his first two starts of the year. Continue reading
Sure, the official start to the 2014 Major League Baseball season was last Monday. Or last Sunday night, or March 22 in Australia — take your pick. Yes, it’s true the St. Louis Cardinals have played six games so far. None of that matters.
Today is when the season officially begins, for this afternoon is the home opener at Busch Stadium. Real baseball, at last.
Photo by Kelly
There’s nothing any of the other 29 teams do for their opening days that comes close to how the Cardinals kick off the home season. Now, I haven’t been to one everywhere (although that sounds like an amazing addition to my goal of getting to a game at all the big league ballparks, doesn’t it?) but I’ve caught bits and pieces of highlights and games, plus have been to several Cubs opening days in the past. And I’ve attended two Cardinals opening days.
St. Louis just does it best.
The Clydesdales, the Hall of Famers, the parade of players around the track and just the overall atmosphere — goosebump-inducing, each and every year. Whether you’ve been to Busch Stadium to experience it in person or just watched on television, you know what I mean.
Not many major leaguers have a 19-year playing career that includes being a 10-time All-Star. Not many managers lead the same team for 12 straight years, let alone to back-to-back National League pennants and one World Series championship. Even fewer have been involved in baseball for more than 70 years.
Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In fact, there’s just one man who has done all of the above — and nearly all of it while wearing Cardinal red.
Or perhaps that should be Cardinal Red, given that man is Red Schoendienst, who today celebrates his 91st birthday.
It’s good to see that the United Cardinal Bloggers are paying tribute to Red with our monthly project today. He’s been such a part of the Cardinals for so very long now, and deserves the recognition and tributes. In the three-year history of Aaron Miles’ Fastball, I’ve enjoyed honoring him on his birthday each year.
And in case you don’t know much about Red beyond starring in perhaps the greatest Cardinals commercial ever, read on for what I wrote two years ago. And take a look at Red through the years in my post from last year.