June 11, 2018

Red Schoendienst RIP

Dana Mathewson

Baseball legend RedSchoendienst has died He was 95.

A WORD FROM TIM, a local St. Louisan:

Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst was an icon here in St. Louis, and was the very definition of Cardinal excellence. He grew up in Germantown, Illinois, in one of the German settlements east of St. Louis. My grandmother knew him; she grew up in Trenton, a nearby community. Schoendienst's father was a coal miner and he grew up quite poor, without electricity or indoor plumbing.

Nonetheless, these little German communities were and still are wonderful places; science fiction writer Ray Bradbury often wrote about them, and they were as near to paradise as he could envision on this Earth. These were the "good" communities in southern Illinois, as opposed to the shanty-mill towns full of Appalachian hillbill8es or the crime riddled black communities infested by organized crime. There are places in the region where nothing grows because of the pollution. But when you get into these little German (or Italian) communities you find delightful places, clean, well kept, and very community oriented. Germantown is such a place.

Schoendienst was a natural at baseball, but he had a serious eye injury which hampered him, especially as a hitter. He learned to switch hit as a result. He was a great player, but an even better coach and manager, and was a fixture with the Redbirds for as long as I have been alive. It will be strange to not have him here.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:34 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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