Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Red Schoendienst, St. Louis Cardinals Star and Oldest Hall of Famer, Dies at 95

The epitome of the baseball lifer, Schoendienst became a revered figure in St. Louis. He first donned a Cardinals uniform at a tryout camp in 1942 — a red-haired, freckle-faced teenager from the Midwest who was later likened in the press to a latter-day Huckleberry Finn. While in his 90s, he was listed as a special assistant to the general manager.

Playing second base, his position for nearly his entire playing career, Schoendienst teamed with shortstop Marty Marion in a superb double-play combination, most notably on the 1946 Cardinals team that defeated the Boston Red Sox in a seven-game World Series. Bobby Doerr, Boston’s second baseman in that Series, had been the oldest surviving Hall of Famer, ahead of Schoendienst, when he died at 99 in November 2017.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:51 AM | 103 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, hall of fame, red schoendienst

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. Rally Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5687572)
Article says the oldest living HOFer is now Tommy Lasorda.

I think Bob Feller is the person who spent many years as a HOFer - inducted in 1962, died 2010 so 48 years being a HOF inductee.

Koufax is right behind him and has the potential to push the record out of reach. He's been a HOFer for 46 years now and is 82. Looks to be in great shape for his age so 50 looks likely and I would not bet against him getting 60. Just a perfect storm of circumstances, as he was inducted at age 36. Most HOF players are still playing when they are 36, trying to reach a big milestone.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:27 AM (#5687580)
RIP to the combo platter Hall of Famer in a sport that doesn't have them.

   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5687595)
Like Pesky he is one of those guys I've never read a bad word about. Seems like he was just a genuinely good dude.
   4. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5687634)
I remember my grandfather talking about Schoendienst the way he talked about Dizzy Dean and Joe Medwick, so I always thought Schoendienst was a generation older than he was. I was surprised Schoendienst was still alive when I was able to look him up when I got my first baseball encyclopedia in about 1985. He was actually born around the same time as Papaw, who died 30 years ago.

Whitey Ford will be 90 in four months, and he's the oldest Hall of Fame player now. He and Lasorda are the only HOFers on Wikipedia's list of the oldest living players. There are some other really good players on the top 100, like Bobby Shantz, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Billy Ripken's enemy Roy Face, Curt Simmons and the first Frank Thomas.

And Don Mossi.
   5. wjones Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:28 AM (#5687643)
It is remarkable how many players on the Cardinals' 1946 World Series Championship team lived very long lives. It looks impressive if it was more modern, but these guys grew up in the Great Depression and most fought in WW II. The staring lineup consisted of Garagiola (90); Musial (92); Schoendienst (95); Marion (94); Kurowski (81); Harry Walker (80); Dusak (74, the wimp of the lineup); Slaughter (86). On the bench you had Moore (82); Sisler (78); and Buster Adams (75). On the mound was Brecheen (89); Beazley (71); Burkhart (88); Dickson (73); Wilks (73); Barrett (75); Lanier (91); Munger (75). That is 19 significant players off that roster that lived past 70, 11 that lived past 80, and 5 that lived past 90!

I didn't look up the numbers, but their opponent in the Series, the Red Sox, also had a lot of long-lived players as I recall, led of course by Doerr who almost hit 100.
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5687652)
I first heard of Schoendienst when I took this book out of the library in second grade. First book I ever took out of a library in my life, and Schoendienst's career highlight was depicted on the cover. For a long time I thought his name was pronounced SHOE-shun-deenst, until he got on national TV during the first Braves-Yankees World Series and I heard it pronounced correctly.

Glad to see that the obit mentioned his comeback from TB, which was a much bigger story at the time than the obit implicitly indicated. If ESPN had been around in the 50's, there wouldn't have been enough violins and tinkling pianos on Earth to have filled up the feelgood specials they would've run on the player with the partially missing lung.

   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5687661)
That Wiki list of the oldest living players is interesting. While Whitey Ford is the oldest living HoFer from the great 1949-53 Yankees dynasty, the oldest surviving player from those teams is Yogi's backup catcher Charlie Silvera, who played in but one World Series game during his entire career but still wound up with six World Series rings.
   8. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5687668)
The 1955 Dodgers have had pretty good longevity too. Six of them are still alive- Erskine (91), Newcombe (91), Lasorda (90), Roger Craig (88), Ed Roebuck (86), and Koufax (82). 20 players lived past 70, 13 past 80, and at least four past 90.
   9. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 07, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5687676)
It's not all that surprising that baseball players would be long-lived. These guys were healthy athletes during their younger days, made more money than the average person, and were exposed to excellent health care throughout their lives. And they didn't get themselves constantly beat up like football players do.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5687687)

It's not all that surprising that baseball players would be long-lived. These guys were healthy athletes during their younger days, made more money than the average person, and were exposed to excellent health care throughout their lives. And they didn't get themselves constantly beat up like football players do.


On the other hand, it seems those old guys were more likely to be smokers than football players.

Now today's ballplayers ought to live quite a long time.
   11. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5687700)
The oldest living NFL player is Brett Favre, at 48 years old. Second oldest is Andrew Luck. Fact!

Wikipedia doesn't seem to have an oldest living ex-NFL player list, and most of the other lists I see seem to be outdated. I don't think the NFL Play Index allows us to search by age like the MLB one does. This list seems to be the most current, although #2 on the list died last month.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5687708)
Billy Ripken's enemy Roy Face
F*** that guy.
   13. wjones Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5687710)
It's not all that surprising that baseball players would be long-lived. These guys were healthy athletes during their younger days, made more money than the average person, and were exposed to excellent health care throughout their lives. And they didn't get themselves constantly beat up like football players do.

Good points, but also be mindful of the fact they smoked like chimneys and drank like fish, and worked hard in the off season to make ends meet.
   14. esseff Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5687723)
I didn't look up the numbers, but their opponent in the Series, the Red Sox, also had a lot of long-lived players as I recall, led of course by Doerr who almost hit 100.


They had at least four who lived into their 90s: Doerr, Pesky, D. DiMaggio and Boo Ferriss.
   15. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5687743)
Good points, but also be mindful of the fact they smoked like chimneys and drank like fish, and worked hard in the off season to make ends meet.


There's probably a good book to be written about the history of ballplayers' off-season jobs. For somebody like Musial, he was making the equivalent of $340K in 2018 dollars by 1947, when he was 26, which is peanuts by today's standards but certainly enough to make ends meet in 1947. Red Schoendienst was making $200K in current dollars by the time he was 27, Kurowski and Marion were about the same. Even Garagiola, who wasn't all that good, was making 2018-equivalent $150K by the age of 27.

The more marginal and younger players certainly needed to work in the off-season. For the established players, though, I suspect their off-season jobs were more about setting themselves up for a post-playing career rather than having to scrounge for every nickel.

   16. BDC Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5687745)
I guess I'm still a youngster if I can't remember seeing any of the oldest 100 players in a game. A couple of them (Curt Simmons, Roy Face) played long enough that I have a memory of seeing their records in annuals and almanacs, but I don't remember seeing them in person.

The oldest living player that I know I saw play is apparently Willie Mays, at 87 years, one month, one day.
   17. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5687746)
[The 1946 Red Sox] had at least four who lived into their 90s: Doerr, Pesky, D. DiMaggio and Boo Ferriss.


But only Boo Ferriss was prepared for his post-death existence as a ghost.
   18. BDC Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:01 PM (#5687752)
or somebody like Musial, he was making the equivalent of $340K in 2018 dollars by 1947, when he was 26, which is peanuts by today's standards but certainly enough to make ends meet in 1947

I remember reading that, till he entered the service, Musial worked in a wire factory in Donora (or nearby) during WW2, in the offseason. Probably more a matter of doing his part than being strapped for money. Musial was married with a young kid, and thus a low draft priority till late in the war. (He eventually enlisted in the Navy.)
   19. ajnrules Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5687759)
Sad news, but he did pass his 95th birthday. There have been five Hall of Famers to live to be 95, and they all passed in the past 15 years.

Al Lopez (1908-2005)
Lee MacPhail (1917-2012)
Monte Irvin (1919-2016)
Bobby Doerr (1918-2017)
Red Schoendienst (1923-2018)

RIP

Also worth noting that we also lost the oldest living former player Chuck Stevens recently, so Fred Caligiuri is now tops on the list. He is best known for being the pitcher to face the Red Sox in the second game of the season-ending double-header in 1941, where Ted Williams went 6 for 7 to get to .406. Caligiuri got the win, beating Lefty Grove. He is the last living pitcher to have a decision against Grove.
   20. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5687770)
Yastrzemski is the oldest living player I saw play. Gaylord Perry is a year older than him. I did go to a Royals game when Perry was playing for them, but he didn't pitch in that game. I didn't get to see any now dead players who were born before Yaz or Perry.
   21. John DiFool2 Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5687781)
And Don Mossi.


Beauty dies a quick death, ugly lingers forever.
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5687786)
The oldest living player that I know I saw play is apparently Willie Mays, at 87 years, one month, one day.


Same here. The first game I ever saw featured Willie and Hank, and neither started (which probably didn't happen very often).

   23. esseff Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:36 PM (#5687799)
I remember reading that, till he entered the service, Musial worked in a wire factory in Donora (or nearby) during WW2, in the offseason. Probably more a matter of doing his part than being strapped for money. Musial was married with a young kid, and thus a low draft priority till late in the war. (He eventually enlisted in the Navy.)


As a young'n I think he spent a short tenure at the Zinc Works, but early in his playing career his off-season employment was in his father-in-law's store.
   24. BDC Posted: June 07, 2018 at 12:43 PM (#5687806)
As a young'n I think he spent a short tenure at the Zinc Works, but early in his playing career his off-season employment was in his father-in-law's store

That's quite possible. I actually found the source, amazingly enough: James Giglio's 2001 biography Musial, which says that he worked in the zinc mill during at least one wartime offseason, contributing to his draft deferment. (It was Musial's father who worked at the wire factory, apparently not one of their more sterling employees.)

   25. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5687819)
Oldest living player I ever saw play was probably Denny McLain, who I saw pitch for the Brewers' AA team in Shreveport in '73.

Looking at that roster to make sure no one on the team was older than his 29 at the time, I was shocked to see that manager Gene Freese (who apparently gave himself a handful of at-bats that season) was only 39. To 13-year-old me he seemed ancient. Turns out he last played in MLB at 32 & was last worth a damn at 27. Must've gotten injured.


ETA: Per Wikipedia, "The following year, Freese broke an ankle during a spring training intrasquad game and missed almost the entire 1962 season. He never regained his 1961 form, although he stayed in the Majors through 1966."
   26. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:09 PM (#5687822)
The oldest living player I saw in person was Al Worthington, who is now 89. Worthington has always fascinated me because he missed two MLB seasons in the prime of his career because he refused to pitch for a team that was cheating. He spent the 1961 and '62 seasons in the minors rather than pitch for the White Sox, who were using a man in the scoreboard to steal catchers' signs and relay them. He was taken by the Reds in the November 1962 rule 5 draft, and spent seven more seasons in the majors after that. But he's the only player I'm aware of that chose to pitch in the minors because the MLB team he belonged to was cheating.
   27. Rally Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5687825)
Oldest I saw play was Gaylord Perry, a few months older than Jim Kaat. Both retired after 1983. I didn't really follow baseball until 1981 but even if I had followed a bit younger it wouldn't change much. For players who played at least to 1977, there are only 6 players older than Perry and Kaat, and 4 of those 6 retired in 1977. The other 2 are Vic Davalillo and Minnie Minoso. I was definitely not aware of them in 1980.
   28. stig-tossled, hornswoggled gef the typing mongoose Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5687826)
The oldest living player I saw in person was Al Worthington, who is now 89. Worthington has always fascinated me because he missed two MLB seasons in the prime of his career because he refused to pitch for a team that was cheating. He spent the 1961 and '62 seasons in the minors rather than pitch for the White Sox, who were using a man in the scoreboard to steal catchers' signs and relay them. He was taken by the Reds in the November 1962 rule 5 draft, and spent seven more seasons in the majors after that. But he's the only player I'm aware of that chose to pitch in the minors because the MLB he belonged to was cheating.


Sounds about right, in that I remember him from some early '60s book of profiles of Christian ballplayers that I found in our church library as a kid. Felipe Alou was in there too, I think, & Don Demeter. Other than those guys, memory fails me.
   29. Rally Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:12 PM (#5687827)
Definitely makes me feel old that two players I saw play are a few months away from their 80th birthdays.
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:28 PM (#5687841)
The oldest player that I have a clear memory of knowing of during his playing career, is Bobby Shantz (92) from the late-Stengel era Yankees, when I was just a lad.
   31. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5687846)

Oldest I saw play was, of course, Julio Franco.
   32. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5687852)
Yastrzemski is the oldest living player I saw play. Gaylord Perry is a year older than him.


I saw these two guys play in the first two games I attended live. Perry started the first game and Yaz played left field and batted cleanup in the second one. Brooks Robinson - who's a year older than Perry - was technically still active and playing for my home team that year (1977), but he only played in 24 games all season and neither of the games I attended in person.
   33. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 01:41 PM (#5687854)
Oldest I saw play was, of course, Julio Franco.
Franco was also the oldest Red Schoendienst's dad ever saw play.
   34. GGC Posted: June 07, 2018 at 02:49 PM (#5687892)
I recall Hank Aaron playing against the Red Sox as a Brewer DH. AFAICT, he's the oldest player I saw.
   35. DavidFoss Posted: June 07, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5687895)
Oldest I saw play was Gaylord Perry, a few months older than Jim Kaat. Both retired after 1983.

It is Kaat/Perry for me as well. I remember the "Super Veteran" series in the 1983 Topps set where they'd couple an recent photo with an old black and white photo from when they were younger. I remember being amazed by the "1959" and the straight-W on Kaat's card. Then, because Kaat wasn't a superstar, I was able to collect every single one of his Topps cards on a junior high school kid's budget (his rookie card was only around $10 when I picked it up). It made for a nice survey of changing Topps designs between 1960-1983.
   36. Sunday silence Posted: June 07, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5687896)
I didnt see it mentioned elsewhere but pitcher Bruce Kison died two days ago at age 68. He had some form of cancer and had chosen hospice care.

He stuck around for 15 years, 10 with the Pirate and 5 w/ Calif, also one other in BOX? I think. He had that won great moment of glory as a rookie in 1971 world series with his team down 2 games to 1 and behind in game 4, he came on in relief and gave 6 inn. no runs, 1 hit to earn the victory and turn the series around.
   37. eric Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5687900)
Caligiuri got the win, beating Lefty Grove. He is the last living pitcher to have a decision against Grove.


Caligiuri had a 1.5 K/9 rate in 1941 over 43 IP. That's about what I averaged when I pitched slow-pitch softball.
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5687907)
Oldest living player I saw was Wally Westlake (5th oldest), who was playing for the Indians when I saw him in an early season doubleheader in Griffith Stadium in 1954. He actually won the second game of that doubleheader with a bases clearing triple in the 10th inning.

The only others in the top 20 I saw were Eddie Robinson (#6) with the Yankees, and Gil Coan (#10) and Ed Fitzgerald (#18) of the Nats. Coan was best remembered for being traded to the Orioles for Roy Sievers, who himself made it to 90 and died just a year ago.
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5687908)
I didnt see it mentioned elsewhere but pitcher Bruce Kison died two days ago at age 68. He had some form of cancer and had chosen hospice care.

He stuck around for 15 years, 10 with the Pirate and 5 w/ Calif, also one other in BOX? I think. He had that won great moment of glory as a rookie in 1971 world series with his team down 2 games to 1 and behind in game 4, he came on in relief and gave 6 inn. no runs, 1 hit to earn the victory and turn the series around.


That was also the first night game in World Series history, and the only night game of that Series.
   40. DavidFoss Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5687910)
Wikipedia doesn't seem to have an oldest living ex-NFL player list, and most of the other lists I see seem to be outdated. I don't think the NFL Play Index allows us to search by age like the MLB one does.

Is there a downloadable pro-football database? The Lahman Database only updates their stats only once a year, but their GitHub Mirror updates their "People" file containing biographical data regularly throughout the season. It's a bit hard to follow in midseason because the debut's and lastGame's are updated nightly, but death information is updated a few times a month as well.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5687912)
The oldest player that I have a clear memory of knowing of during his playing career, is Bobby Shantz (92) from the late-Stengel era Yankees, when I was just a lad.

You then might remember the fatal clump of hard dirt in the Forbes Field infield that turned the 1960 World Series completely around. Shantz was the pitcher at that point. That clump of dirt also likely caused the end of Casey Stengel's Yankees career.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 07, 2018 at 04:00 PM (#5687927)

The oldest living player I remember seeing play is probably Rick Dempsey, who caught for the Dodgers during Game 5 of the 1988 NLCS. That wasn't my first game, but it's the first one I can remember.
   43. Perry Posted: June 07, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5687929)
Not sure who the oldest living player I saw is, but I went back to the first game I ever attended (7/19/65) and the oldest survivor is Pirates pitcher Vern Law, who's 88. He's Mormon, so probably never touched tobacco or alcohol, so he may go on for a while yet.

   44. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5687943)
The oldest player in the first game I went to was Jim Palmer in a game at Comiskey in 1982. He was 36, and that game was almost 36 years ago.
   45. esseff Posted: June 07, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5687956)
With Stan and Red gone, the oldest living player I saw in person is Irv Noren. And this would be that game.
   46. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 07, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5687964)
I certainly remember Shantz and also Eddie Robinson (97) but I never saw either of them play live (saw them both on TV). The oldest player I saw live was my boy Rocky who'll be 85 in Auguat
   47. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 07, 2018 at 06:52 PM (#5688007)
The oldest living player I saw in person is probably Jeff Reboulet. We'll see if he lives to 95.
   48. AndrewJ Posted: June 07, 2018 at 06:56 PM (#5688010)
It is remarkable how many players on the Cardinals' 1946 World Series Championship team lived very long lives.


And outfielder Danny Litwhiler -- well, he got into six games before his contract was bought by the Braves -- made it to 95. That's six nonagenarians on the '46 Cards.
   49. BDC Posted: June 07, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5688011)
Oldest player in my first game was Ernie Banks, who was a few months older than Mays, but of course has passed away. The youngest player I saw that day was Larry Dierker, who is only 12 years older than I am – and at the time I first saw Dierker pitch, I hadn't even started elementary school :-O

That makes Banks the oldest player I ever saw, period; Banks followed by Mays and then Jim Bunning. They weren't really ancient at the time (mid-late 1960s; they were in their mid-late 30s) but there weren't a heck of a lot of really ancient ballplayers active then. Hoyt Wilhelm was the "Julio Franco" of that era, but I never saw him in person.

   50. OCF Posted: June 07, 2018 at 07:09 PM (#5688014)
I suppose most of us have a team that was our first strong fan attachment. Mine came at the ages of 14-15 (a little on the old side for that; I bet a lot of you were younger) and was the 1967-1968 Cardinals. I can still tell you the usual batting order: against righties, Brock, Flood, Maris, Cepeda, McCarver, Shannon, Javier, Maxvill, P; against lefties, move Javier to 2nd, Flood to 3rd, Shannon to 5th. The manager of that team was Schoendienst. The lead broadcaster was Harry Caray, with Jack Buck as his sidekick. Almost all of the games I caught were on radio.

Anyone have a link to a picture of Schoendienst in uniform in those days taken from the back? The jerseys had names on the back, and how they wrapped that 12-letter last name (2 syllables, 12 letters) around the jersey was something to see.
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5688021)
Anyone have a link to a picture of Schoendienst in uniform in those days taken from the back? The jerseys had names on the back, and how they wrapped that 12-letter last name (2 syllables, 12 letters) around the jersey was something to see.

Here you go, OCF
   52. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: June 07, 2018 at 07:45 PM (#5688033)
I apparently saw Jose Morales in one of his 3 PAs for the 1982 Orioles, though I have zero memory of it. He's the oldest player I saw. I do remember John Lowenstein pinch hitting for Gary Roenicke in the same game, because that's when my dad explained platooning to me. So Lowenstein (age 71) is the oldest player I saw and remember seeing.
   53. OCF Posted: June 07, 2018 at 07:51 PM (#5688036)
Andy: I remember more curve than that. Are you sure that's not a replica jersey for the general public? Of course, Red was pretty skinny - there wasn't much back to work with.
   54. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: June 07, 2018 at 07:55 PM (#5688042)
The first MLB game I attended was at Shea Stadium on May 10, 1986.

The Mets entered the game having won 17 out of 18 games and were 19-4. Playing 1B for the opposing team was an old guy named Pete Rose. He was batting .143 coming into the game and would retire by the end of the season. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone older play, but I definitely haven't seen anyone else who played on the same field as Stan Musial, whose last game in the bigs was famously against the rookie Rose. Rose went 0-3 with a BB that day. Pretty cool.

Also, as an aside, it is very unfair to become a fan of a team the year they win the WS. As a 7 year old, I thought this was going to keep happening all the time. :/
   55. AndrewJ Posted: June 07, 2018 at 07:56 PM (#5688043)
I assume that with the manager of the 1967 world champs gone, the earliest Series-winning team with a still-living manager is now the 1981 Dodgers (Lasorda).
   56. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 07, 2018 at 08:14 PM (#5688049)
The oldest player in the first game I went to was Jim Palmer in a game at Comiskey in 1982. He was 36, and that game was almost 36 years ago.

Wait, you're saying Jim Palmer is 72? Can't be . . . <checks BB-Ref> . . . OMG! He's almost 73, born 10/15/1945. Looks much younger on the Orioles TV broadcasts.
   57. OCF Posted: June 07, 2018 at 08:52 PM (#5688064)
The name Schoendienst pretty much shouts that it's a German name. And to emphasize the German theme, he spent his career playing and managing for Augie Busch's team in Augie Busch's ballpark. But he comes nowhere near making the starting lineup for the all-time German-American team, which has the most loaded infield imaginable - in particular, Hornsby at 2B, and behind Honrsby but still ahead of Schoendienst in the depth chart are Gehringer and Doerr.

Wait, you're saying Jim Palmer is 72?

Do you really want to know how old Willie Mays is? Henry Aaron? Bob Gibson?
   58. AndrewJ Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5688067)
The first MLB game I went to, it was 1978 and I saw Gaylord Perry pitch. He'll be 80 in September.

--

The first HOF induction I went to was in 1985, and I remember Joe Sewell (MLB debut: 9/10/1920) was one of the returning inductees.

I'm getting old.
   59. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:04 PM (#5688069)
For a long time I thought his name was pronounced SHOE-shun-deenst, until he got on national TV during the first Braves-Yankees World Series and I heard it pronounced correctly.
I've been hearing his name over and over for three days now, and I still can't say it right.

First game I ever saw in person was in Anaheim in 1986. The Angels were an old team then, so there were plenty of old men that are, happily, still kicking from that team. Don Sutton was the oldest guy on that roster and just turned 73, but he didn't pitch the day I went. Reggie Jackson just turned 72.
   60. Batman Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:06 PM (#5688071)
I assume that with the manager of the 1967 world champs gone, the earliest Series-winning team with a still-living manager is now the 1981 Dodgers (Lasorda
I think you’re right, and unless I missed somebody, 1984 and 1985 (Sparky Anderson and Dick Howser) are the only WS winners since 1981 with a manager who’s now dead.
   61. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5688074)
SHANE-deenst is how the Mets announcers pronounced it - or how I remember them pronouncing it, anyway
   62. salvomania Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:19 PM (#5688090)
Andy: I remember more curve than that. Are you sure that's not a replica jersey for the general public?

Here's a better picture of Schoendienst's wrap-around name on the back of the uniform. (click the thumbnail on the page for a larger view)
   63. haven Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5688092)
i think the oldest living player i saw was mudcat grant by a couple of months over bob veale......

oldest living hofer would probably be maz, not yaz

69/70 pirates

although i will admit to not remembering opponents all that much, my age was in single digits, the mind is fuzzy......

my grandfather is buried right up the road in donora from where musial grew up, a friend of mine lived in honus wagner's old house in carnegie......
   64. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:25 PM (#5688093)
SHANE-deenst is how the Mets announcers pronounced it - or how I remember them pronouncing it, anyway

That's how it's supposed to be pronounced, and that's how it was always pronounced on TV. If it'd been mispronounced it would've been earlier in his career, but before long he was too big time a player for the correct pronunciation not to have been known.
   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:33 PM (#5688100)
Andy: I remember more curve than that. Are you sure that's not a replica jersey for the general public? Of course, Red was pretty skinny - there wasn't much back to work with.

Yeah, you're probably right, since when I look at it closely I can see some sort of a logo that never would've been there on his earlier uniforms. It's possible that it's a faithful rendition of the jersey he wore in his last two stints as a manager, but the one that salvomania linked to in #62 is more like the one I remember from the 60's----note that the player in the picture is Julian Javier, who played for Schoendienst's pennant winning teams in 1967 and 1968.
   66. OCF Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5688101)
Thanks, salvomania. That's what I was talking about.

SHANE-deenst is how the Mets announcers pronounced it - or how I remember them pronouncing it, anyway

Yes, and that's how the Cardinal announcers said it - and if anyone would have known, they would have. Of course, the German ö or oe vowel sound does not exist in English, but that's a pretty standard way to handle it in German-American pronunciation. (But the town of Boerne, Texas is "Bernie.")
   67. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:39 PM (#5688108)

The first HOF induction I went to was in 1985, and I remember Joe Sewell (MLB debut: 9/10/1920) was one of the returning inductees.

I'm getting old.


Roger Angell was born 9 days after Sewell's debut, and he's still going strong.
   68. John DiFool2 Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:47 PM (#5688113)
my grandfather is buried right up the road in donora from where musial grew up, a friend of mine lived in honus wagner's old house in carnegie......


Bob Feller was my next-door neighbor. My dad took me to see him once (I was c. 7)...
   69. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: June 07, 2018 at 09:53 PM (#5688118)
Bob Feller was my next-door neighbor.


A fellow Iowa resident! Glory be!
   70. Perry Posted: June 07, 2018 at 11:20 PM (#5688158)
Are you sure that's not a replica jersey for the general public? Of course, Red was pretty skinny - there wasn't much back to work with.


Clearly a replica -- they've only had the Saturday jerseys with "St. Louis" on the front instead of "Cardinals" for 5 years. Not only that, it looks like it's tailored for a female.
   71. esseff Posted: June 08, 2018 at 12:33 AM (#5688168)
Here is one of my favorite photos showing Schoendienst's name on his uniform, next to a young bonus baby pitcher who never quite made it.
   72. Eric L Posted: June 08, 2018 at 12:41 AM (#5688169)
Thank goodness for retrosheet. Aug 6, 1966. Mets-cards. Bob Friend wins it. I saw Micky and
Willy that year but Bob edges Willy out
   73. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 08, 2018 at 03:39 AM (#5688178)
First game I attended was Tigers at Yankees; it may have been this game, Hank Aguirre and Whitey Ford the starting pitchers. For years I had remembered Aguirre hitting a triple, but his only career triple came (against the Yankees!) in the 2nd game of a double header in 1967. In the game I linked to, Aguirre (a really bad hitter) did have an infield single and advanced on a throwing error.

So it's possible that Whitey Ford is the oldest living player I've seen play in person. If my memory isn't as totally made-up as the Aguirre triple.
   74. Mefisto Posted: June 08, 2018 at 08:42 AM (#5688207)
The player with the earliest birthdate I saw in person was Johnny Temple (1924). I believe the oldest player still alive is Mays.
   75. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 08, 2018 at 09:01 AM (#5688218)
The oldest player I ever saw was Albert Pujols.
   76. Tom T Posted: June 08, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5688224)
Danny Litwhiler


Always good to see mention of the Ringtown native. Was the embodiment of hope for my father and his friends growing up in Shenandoah, given they weren't (yet) into jazz or big band music.
   77. SandyRiver Posted: June 08, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5688237)
Yes, and that's how the Cardinal announcers said it - and if anyone would have known, they would have. Of course, the German ö or oe vowel sound does not exist in English, but that's a pretty standard way to handle it in German-American pronunciation.

Our instructor for HS German told us to shape our lips to say "o" and then say "e", which comes out close to the English long "a", as noted above. That first syllable is the German word for "nice" or "pretty" - don't know what "dienst" means.

Willie is probably the oldest still-living player I've seen, as Whitey didn't pitch in any of the Yankee games I attended during his career. I saw Mays in a 1963 Mets game at the Polo Grounds, a 17-5 Giants win. That game also featured perhaps the hardest hit LD I've seen. Cepeda bounced one off the facing at the base of the upper deck in deepest left-center, perhaps 440' from the plate. From our viewpoint midway in the upper deck behind home, the ball never rose high enough to be silhouetted against the sky.
   78. Mefisto Posted: June 08, 2018 at 09:51 AM (#5688246)
"Dienst" means "service".
   79. DavidFoss Posted: June 08, 2018 at 09:57 AM (#5688250)
Our instructor for HS German told us to shape our lips to say "o" and then say "e", which comes out close to the English long "a", as noted above. That first syllable is the German word for "nice" or "pretty" - don't know what "dienst" means.

Sound samples of German are at the wiktionary. It's not a common vowel in English, but it is in French and German. It is a bit like the vowel in 'bird' if the 'r' is dropped.

I don't understand the long-a Americanization at all, but maybe I'm being helped by taking French in HS? The same thing happens Boehner and Schroedinger.

'dienst' means 'service'. "good work" or "excellent service" are the likely translations for Schoendienst. Some long ago paternal ancestor may have been a butler or handyman or something.

(this topic came up the other day on another discussion board, I'm summarizing the discussion).

(Coke to Mefisto)
   80. Perry Posted: June 08, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5688364)
Our instructor for HS German told us to shape our lips to say "o" and then say "e", which comes out close to the English long "a", as noted above. That first syllable is the German word for "nice" or "pretty" - don't know what "dienst" means.


Bernie Miklasz wrote about that very thing in his piece on Schoendienst in The Athletic yesterday -- his name means "beautiful service," which he thought summed up his life and career perfectly.
   81. OCF Posted: June 08, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5688439)
It's always a struggle when teaching an advanced math class: when a theorem or definition has a historical name attached to it, how much respect do we give to the pronunciation of that name in the original language? Pretty easy to do with all things Riemann (even though we do have to correct our students who like to say RYE-mun, which just grates on my ears). Harder in other cases. The vowel in question above comes up when we talk about Hölder's Inequality.

The first game I ever went to was in Forbes Field, featured the Giants and Pirates, and was 1-0. Willie Mays was in that game. I remember him being thrown out trying for a triple - but I'm not sure that was actually Mays. Clemente got hauled off on a stretcher after crashing into a wall catching a fly in the corner. Which may make Mays the oldest player I saw.
   82. BDC Posted: June 08, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5688473)
I don't understand the long-a Americanization at all

I don't know the history in America, but I suspect there are lots of dialect variants, and one of them may be behind the common rendering of "Schoendienst" (or Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen," for that matter :) Particularly back when Germans were settling various parts of the US, they would not all have spoken modern standard German.

In this video, for instance, if you go to Saxon and Plattdeutsch dialects, you can hear the "ö" vowel as /e/, as in American "Shane." Other dialects have the sound more as Americans say "shun." There's pretty marked variation in the everyday language in Germany even today.
   83. Batman Posted: June 08, 2018 at 03:28 PM (#5688482)
The first game I ever went to was in Forbes Field, featured the Giants and Pirates, and was 1-0. Willie Mays was in that game. I remember him being thrown out trying for a triple - but I'm not sure that was actually Mays. Clemente got hauled off on a stretcher after crashing into a wall catching a fly in the corner. Which may make Mays the oldest player I saw.
Was it this game? The Giants and Pirates played four 1-0 games at Forbes during Clemente's career, and he did leave that one after making a catch in the 7th. It was Andre Rodgers who was thrown out at third trying for a triple.
   84. Sunday silence Posted: June 08, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5688531)
wikipedia says it was the 8/5/60 game that Clemente was carted off, but the BaseRef link suggests that he finished the inn. and was replaced at the top of the 8th. He's not given credit for any assists in the game:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT196008050.shtml

also not quite sure how the winning run scored, I guess sam Jones threw the ball into RF on the bunt?
   85. Batman Posted: June 08, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5688543)
The top of the 7th ended with a Clemente catch and then his spot didn't come up in the bottom half, so he wasn't officially replaced until the top of the 8th when the Pirates took the field again. Looks like Dick Groat is the oldest survivor of that game. He's six months older than Mays.
   86. OCF Posted: June 08, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5688549)
Yeah, 8/5/60 is the right year and the right time of year. I was 7 years old. It was a family vacation to visit relatives in Pennsylvania; we lived in Oklahoma.

The assist for the thrown-out-at third was Bill Virdon, not Clemente; I vaguely remember Virdon picking the ball off the wall in left center, which would have been way, way out there. I remembered it for years as Mays thrown out at third, but the box score clearly says that was Andre Rodgers. (Yeah, if Mays had hit it there, given how fast he was, he wouldn't have been out at third.) Or I see that Mays also had an outfield assist at third base, although that was on a single and was a different play - but maybe that's how my memory got Mays into it.

Clemente did not finish the inning in which the wall collision occurred. I'm sure of that. But from where we were sitting, we couldn't see into the right field corner, where that happened. There were two fly outs to right in the 7th - and one of those was Mays. Maybe that's the play?

As for how the winning run scored - I have no clear memory of that.
   87. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 08, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5688555)
I was shocked to see that manager Gene Freese (who apparently gave himself a handful of at-bats that season) was only 39. To 13-year-old me he seemed ancient. Turns out he last played in MLB at 32 & was last worth a damn at 27. Must've gotten injured.


ETA: Per Wikipedia, "The following year, Freese broke an ankle during a spring training intrasquad game and missed almost the entire 1962 season. He never regained his 1961 form, although he stayed in the Majors through 1966."


Freese and 1B Gordy Coleman had surprisingly good years (the HRs looked glitzier in those days) and P Joey Jay surprised with a 21 win season for the surprising 1961 Reds pennant winner. I had no expectations going into that season, it was Robinson and Pinson and a bunch of scrubs on offense and Bob Purkey and Jimmy O'Toole and a bunch of nobodies as starters to my 9 year old eyes. Unfortunately, they had to face the '61 Yankees and only managed one win in the WS.

We moved a week later to Philly, and I lost interest over the next year and switched allegiance to the up and coming Phillies. I was hard to root for a team via the box scores in the newspaper.
   88. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 08, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5688557)
Oldest living players:

Oldest whose card I have: Wally Westlake
Oldest I remember coaching: Billy DeMars
Oldest whose son I knew slightly: Bobby Schantz
Oldest player I saw play: Alex Grammas

I see that Ed Fitz Gerald is on the list. I always thought he wrote the Champions in Sport and Spirit books, but that was a professional writer named Ed Fitzgerald I find out 60 years later.
   89. Batman Posted: June 08, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5688559)
A book named "Going, Going... Caught!" has some pages on Google Books (see p.235-237) describing OCF's first game, with some pictures of one of Clemente's catches. Groat called it the "best game I ever played in" and Danny Murtaugh said Clemente's catch on Mays the best one he'd ever seen. I guess it got OCF hooked on baseball.
   90. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: June 09, 2018 at 07:49 AM (#5688826)
The oldest player I saw play was Nate Berkenstock, who was born in 1832. (Granted, I "saw" him play in my OOTP game, but still.)
   91. BDC Posted: June 09, 2018 at 09:13 AM (#5688842)
I see Eddie Robinson (age 97) at the Ballpark in Arlington every so often, which is always a treat. Did I ever tell the story of seeing Ben Zobrist shake Eddie Robinson's hand? :)

Another longtime Ballpark regular, though I haven't seen him there recently, is Frank Lucchesi. Lucchesi never played above Class B, but was one of Schoendienst's contemporaries as a manager. He's 91 now.
   92. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 09, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5688845)
I see that Ed Fitz Gerald is on the list. I always thought he wrote the Champions in Sport and Spirit books, but that was a professional writer named Ed Fitzgerald I find out 60 years later.

Ed Fitz Gerald the ballplayer had his 15 minutes of fame in 1958 when he spoiled Billy Pierce's perfect game bid with a pinch double with 2 outs in the 9th, a hit that barely made it inside the RF foul line. Within the context of their respective professions, Ed Fitzgerald the sportswriter had a far more distinguished career.
   93. PreservedFish Posted: June 09, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5688856)
What I am interested in is BDC's habit of ending a parenthetical with a smiley face, and allowing one bracket symbol to serve as both the smile and the close of the parenthesis. Is that legit? What say you?
   94. Mefisto Posted: June 09, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5688860)
It's a moral atrocity.
   95. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 09, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5688862)
It's the standard internet shorthand for 'Call an ambulance! Someone cut off the bottom half of my face with a parenthese!'
   96. BDC Posted: June 09, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5688865)
So you would all prefer a close-parenthesis (so that the sentence looks like it ends in a dribbly double chin :)).
   97. Omineca Greg Posted: June 09, 2018 at 11:26 AM (#5688866)
Shouldn't it have been, "So you would all prefer a close-parenthesis (so that the sentence looks like it ends in a dribbly double chin :))?"?

That smiley dude has issues. I think even the Canadian medical system (where death panels decide who gets what :) would pay for corrective cosmetic surgery.
   98. Mefisto Posted: June 09, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5688868)
Yeah, but then I close my quotes inside the period unless I'm just quoting an entire sentence, so what do I know.
   99. PreservedFish Posted: June 09, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5688873)
Can you put a space between the smile and the bracket?

:) )

I'd suggest two spaces but I don't even want to be in the same zip code as that argument.
   100. SoSH U at work Posted: June 09, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5688875)
I'd suggest two spaces but I don't even want to be in the same zip code as that argument.


Instead, you want to relitigate the zip code argument.
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
aleskel
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogFive Tool Players | Articles | Bill James Online
(17 - 8:58am, Sep 24)
Last: Rally

NewsblogOTP 2018 September 17: How Brett Kavanaugh explains his baseball ticket debt
(2452 - 8:58am, Sep 24)
Last: BrianBrianson

Gonfalon CubsThe Final Push
(165 - 8:55am, Sep 24)
Last: Andere Richtingen

Sox TherapyDecisions Decisions
(1 - 8:46am, Sep 24)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogLong-time White Sox broadcaster 'Hawk' Harrelson bids emotional farewell in home finale vs. Cubs
(2 - 8:39am, Sep 24)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

NewsblogKen Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’
(1 - 8:37am, Sep 24)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature

NewsblogMariners extend longest postseason drought in major North American sports to 17 years
(10 - 8:29am, Sep 24)
Last: Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa

NewsblogTim Anderson's eventful day at the yard ends with shot at Joe West: 'Everybody knows he's terrible'
(10 - 6:15am, Sep 24)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogMadden: Hey, Rob Manfred! The analytic geeks are ruining starting pitching and it's making a joke of the game - NY Daily News
(2 - 4:18am, Sep 24)
Last: Endless Trash

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (September 2018)
(385 - 2:09am, Sep 24)
Last: Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB)

NewsblogOT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)
(829 - 1:37am, Sep 24)
Last: Baldrick

NewsblogFancred Sports : A lot of intrigue over Mets GM pursuit: old school vs. new school
(1 - 1:33am, Sep 24)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogTickets available as Marlins host Reds
(47 - 12:39am, Sep 24)
Last: DFA

NewsblogOT - 2018 NBA Thread (Pre-Season Edition)
(537 - 10:49pm, Sep 23)
Last: TFTIO is Lounging from the flat one

NewsblogWeekend OMNICHATTER for September 22-23, 2018
(166 - 8:55pm, Sep 23)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

Page rendered in 0.6395 seconds
46 querie(s) executed