On this date 23 years ago former Cardinals second baseman and manager Albert "Red" Schoendienst was elected by the Veterans Committee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
A 10-time All-Star who played in three World Series (1946 with St. Louis and 1957 and 1958 with the Milwaukee Braves) and managed the Redbirds in two more (a win in 1967 over the Red Sox and a loss in 1968 to Detroit), Schoendienst somehow avoided being sent to the hall.
He batted .289 over a playing career that spanned from 1945 to a handful of at bats as a 40 year old in 1963. He batted better than .300 eight times, led the National League in hits (200) in 1957. He also led in stolen bases with 26 in 1945 and in doubles with 43 in 1950.
Schoendienst was a respected coach with the Cardinals in 1964 when the team won its first World Series since 1946 under the leadership of Johnny Keane. Floundering in the late summer, the Redbirds planned to fire Keane at the end of the season and to replace him with Gas House Gang shortstop Leo "The Lip" Durocher. But they rallied to win the National League pennant and the Fall Classic. So the Cardinals felt compelled to give him Keane a new contract. The only problem was that he was tipped off to the Birds' plans to let him go, so Keane quit the Cardinals to take the skipper's job with the Yankees instead.
Durocher had moved on so the Cardinals were without a manager for 1965 and Schoendienst got his big break by default. He led the Cardinals until 1976 and then filled in as interim manager in 1980 and 1990. Schoendienst won 1,041 times in 1,999 games.