When we lose someone who had an extra special way about them, we often hear the words: ‘I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad’ about that individual.
Most times this is hyperbole, but it doesn’t seem so in Red Schoendienst’s case.
As tributes came in from Schoendienst’s former teammates, players, and colleagues, several echoed that sentiment, with even those players not crazy with their playing time under Red feeling tremendous respect toward the long-time Cardinals skipper.
“He touched so many lives along the way and I have never ever heard one bad thing said about Red Schoendienst,” Cards announcer Dan McLaughlin told ‘The Bernie Miklasz Show.’ Danny Mac relayed stories he’s heard the past two seasons when organizing tribute broadcasts for the 50th anniversaries of the 1967 and ’68 World Series Cardinals squads, both of which Red managed.
“I always would ask them about Red. Every single one of them I asked about Red,” McLaughlin said. “There were times when there may have been a frustrated player from that era about how he was handled, and they still said, ‘Red handled me with such great class that he still made me feel part of the team. He still made me feel important. He still gave me a role.'”
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Tony La Russa, all the more happy to pick Schoendienst’s brain on baseball matters, also pointed to the “Redhead’s” engaging personality as part of what made him great.
“He was wholesome, he was pure. In fact, I was looking yesterday when I heard the news, you know how you an album on your cell phone of your pictures, besides family I probably have more pictures with Red on that damn thing then I do of anybody else,” La Russa told the Bernie Show.
“And the ones I have, the great majority he’s smiling, he’s laughing. He was a person that brought the best out in everybody, and you love to go out and socialize with him because he wasn’t going to be moping, he wasn’t going to be negative,” TLR added.
“We always wanted to have a history of all the stories that he will tell, and unfortunately they’re gone because he won’t be able to tell them. They were wonderful stories and he delighted in telling them and you delighted in hearing them.”
While Red’s former players and fellow managers reveled in the man’s good nature and baseball acumen, he also served the Cardinals front office superbly as a senior adviser.
“I would ask him – what about this player, what about that player? – and he knew them and he knew how good they would be or what their limitations were. Very perceptive,” Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr. told Bernie and Michelle Smallmon.
“There are baseball people around who, when a manager comes to a new club and there’s a former manager that’s a consultant or a coach or in [Schoendienst’s] case a senior advisor, managers can sometimes be a little leery,” DeWitt added.
“Red was totally different. They wanted him around. They wanted his viewpoints. They wanted his perceptive ability to know about players and how they should be used. He was just such a great resource that way. He had a great relationship with all the managers despite the fact that he had managed himself for so long.”
Thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes to Schoendienst’s family and friends from everyone at 101 ESPN. You can hear La Russa, DeWitt and McLaughlin’s full chats here.
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