Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst (/ˈʃeɪndiːnst/; born February 2, 1923) is an American Major League Baseball coach, and former player and manager. An outstanding second baseman, he played for 19 years with the St. Louis Cardinals (1945–56, 1961–63), New York Giants (1956–57) and Milwaukee Braves (1957–60), and was named to 10 All Star teams. He then managed the Cardinals from 1965 through 1976, the second-longest managerial tenure in the team's history (behind Tony La Russa). Under his direction St. Louis won the 1967 and 1968 National Leaguepennants and the 1967 World Series, and he was named National League Manager of the Year in both 1967 and 1968. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989. Schoendienst remains with the Cardinals as a special assistant coach; as of 2013 he has worn a Major League uniform as a player, coach, or manager for 68 consecutive seasons. He is the oldest living person to have managed a team that won the World Series.
Schoendienst was born in Germantown, Illinois. He signed with the Cardinals organization as an amateur free agent in 1942 and began his career in the D-level Georgia-Florida League with the Albany Cardinals, followed by the Union City Greyhounds of the Class D Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League. In 1943, after playing nine games for the Lynchburg Cardinals in the Class B Piedmont League he was promoted to the Double-A International League Rochester Red Wings, where he was named that league's Most Valuable Player before enlisting in the Army later that year. In 1944 he received a medical discharge due to a severe injury to his left eye. The injury significantly hampered his visual acuity while batting right-handed against right-handed pitching; he trained himself as a switch hitter, and eventually became one of the best in the game.
Schoendienst finished the '44 season with the Red Wings, then joined the Cardinals in 1945 as a left fielder, batting .278 with a league-high 26 stolen bases. In 1946 he moved to second base and helped the Cardinals to their third World Series title in five years. With sure hands and quick reflexes, he led the National League's second basemen for seven seasons and handled 320 consecutive chances without an error in 1950. His 1956 league record fielding average of .9934 stood for 30 years until broken by Ryne Sandberg. During the 1946 offseason he won the televised Home Run Derby.
Schoendienst in about 1953.
In 1956 the Cardinals traded him to the New York Giants, who dealt him the following season to the Milwaukee Braves, where he helped lead the team to its first pennant in nine years, batting .309 and finishing third in the NL MVP vote. In the World Series the Braves defeated the New York Yankees to win their only world championship in Milwaukee, and the franchise's first since 1914. Milwaukee repeated as NL champions in 1958 but lost to the Yankees in their World Series rematch; Schoendienst flew out to Mickey Mantle for the Series' final out.
During the 1958-59 off-season Schoendienst was diagnosed with tuberculosis and underwent a partial pneumonectomy in February 1959. He returned to the Braves in 1960 but was released at the end of the season. In 1961 he rejoined the Cardinals, first as a pinch hitter, then as a coach when Johnny Keane replaced Solly Hemus as the Cardinals' manager. Keane resigned the day following the Cardinals' 1964 World Series victory over the Yankees, and Schoendienst was named as his replacement. His managerial record over 12 full-time seasons (1965–76) and two subsequent stints as interim manager (1980 and 1990) was 1,041 victories and 955 defeats (.522). After two years as a coach for the 1977-78 Oakland Athletics, Schoendienst returned to the Cardinals as coach and special assistant to the general manager. He remains an employee of the Cardinals organization with the title of Special Assistant Coach.
In his playing career Schoendienst compiled a .289 batting average with 84 home runs, 773 runs batted in, 1223 runs, 2449 hits, 427 doubles, 78 triples and 89 stolen bases in 2216 games played. His defensive stats as a second baseman include 4616 putouts, 5243 assists, 1368 double plays, and only 170 errors in 10029 total chances for a .983 fielding average.
Schoendienst was a member of five winning World Series teams, all of which won in seven games: as a player with the Cardinals and Braves in 1946 and 1957 respectively; as the Cardinals manager in 1967; and as a Cardinals coach in 1964 and 1982. He was also a member of three teams that lost the Series after leading three games to one: the 1958 Milwaukee Braves (to the Yankees), the 1968 Cardinals (to the Detroit Tigers), and the 1985 Cardinals (to the Kansas City Royals).