Cardinals all-time best second basemen in franchise history
By Greg Simons
2. Red Schoendienst
Oquendo spent the majority of his working career with St. Louis. Red Schoendienst spent the bulk of his life in a Cardinals uniform, having worn a birds-on-the-bat jersey for 67 of his 76 years in baseball. While he of course coached and managed most of that time, his 15 full or partial seasons as a Cardinals player earned him this second-place ranking.
Schoendienst debuted with St. Louis in 1945, leading the league in stolen bases with 26, nearly 30% of his career total as the game quickly transitioned away from using steals as a notable weapon. While his remaining times leading the league in hitting categories while a member of the Cardinals was limited to at-bats twice and doubles, and plate appearances once apiece, Red was consistently recognized as a top player.
A recipient of All-Star honors in nine different seasons for St. Louis, Schoendienst also received MVP votes five different times, peaking with a fourth-place finish in 1953. That stellar campaign saw him bat .342/.405/.502 with 15 home runs, 79 RBI, and 107 runs scored. With cumulative Cardinals numbers of 1980 hits, 1025 runs, 651 RBI, matching totals of 65 for career home runs and triples, and 352 doubles, Schoendienst slashed .289/.339/.388 over 1,795 games.
The numbers tell a good story and justify Schoendienst's high ranking here, but his lifelong allegiance and service to the Cardinals franchise endeared him with several generations of fans. When considering individuals who have had the most influence on the team, Albert Fred "Red" Schoendienst has a strong case for the very top of that chart.