Red Schoendienst (True) Rookie Cards

Red Schoendienst has one true rookie card. In 1942, while working at Scott Field in Belleville, Illinois Red heard that the Cardinals were holding tryouts and those who tried out for the team would be allowed to watch a Cardinals game at no charge.

Red Schoendienst Baseball Origins

In a 1989 interview with “5 On Your Side” Red shared how he got started in baseball. Sportsman Park in Greenville, Mississippi was the destination, Red hitchhiked via a milk truck and slept on a park bench in an effort to try out and make the team.

Impressing Cardinals Head Scout, Red was kept at the camp the remainder of that week. But by the end of the week was sent home without a contract. When Head Scout Joe Mathes got wind of this he quickly sent for Red and offered the young 19-year-old a contract.

He eventually made the team and on April 17, 1945, he debuted as the Cardinals left-fielder. The following year he would transition to second-base where he flourished into the best pair of hands in the game and led the league in fielding percentage six times.

Oh! That Last Name

His full name is listed as Albert Fred Schoendienst. The term of endearment “Red” was more than likely taken from his middle name and his extremely red hair. The pronunciation of his last name has more variants than the 1998 Topps Tek Baseball product.

But according to sources, it’s pronounced \SHANE-deenst\ respectively.

Red Schoendienst Handicap

Red told the story of an incident he had as a 16-year-old that would’ve altered his life entirely. While working on a fence a nail injured his left eye. He almost lost that eye but with time and no surgery, it healed but not without side effects.

Suffering from headaches for years it would eventually take effect on his right-handed batting. Finding it difficult to pick up on certain pitches, he taught himself how to bat left-handed.

Also, contributed to the game as a coach and a successful manager. All in all, he had a total of 70 years of service in Major League Baseball in some way, shape, or form!

St Louis Cardinal pitcher Adam Wainwright told Fox Sports this about Red Schoendienst.

“He knew more about the game, had seen more, experienced more and had more to teach and give than anybody I’ve ever seen. A great baseball mind. A great Cardinal man.”

Career Stats & Accomplishments

According to Baseball-Reference.com career stats are: Runs 1,223 | Hits 2,449 | Batting Avg .289

Accomplishments:

  • 10x All-Star
  • 2x World Series Champion (1946, 1957)
  • 1989 Hall of Fame Induction

I almost forgot. You know that bad left eye? He had a batting average of .300+ seven times! As a ballplayer, he played for 19 seasons. 15 years with the Cardinals, 4 years with the Milwaukee Braves, and 2 years with the New York Giants.


Before We Begin

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1947-1966 Exhibits (PRC)

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These 1947-1966 Exhibits of Red Schoendienst are difficult to identify. They were not licensed and had limited distribution methods.

There are slight differences that help us determine release dates. On the lower right hand side of the card there is a “MADE IN USA” copy right.

It’s believed that the one of him fielding (pictured center) has a 1/2″ long copy right which dates this one to be released in 1947. Which would make this one a Pre-Rookie Card, respectively.

The other one (pictured right) has a 5/8″ long copy right which dates this one to 1948. That would make this one a Rookie-Year Card, technically speaking.

The photo of him batting is believed to be released between 1954-1956 because the “PRINTED IN U.S.A.” copy right is in all caps and these were the only years they did that.

Exhibit cards were printed on thicker card board stock and measure 3-3/8″ X 5-3/8″. They were blank backs and could’ve been used as a post card if you so chose too.

The cards were produced by Exhibit Supply Co. based out of Chicago. The company manufactured arcade vending machines that dispensed a wide variety of these cards.

Who’s hot was the featured photo, enter your penny into the slot and you could’ve gotten: baseball players, movie stars, boxers, and yes, even a pin up girl.


True Rookie Card

Identifier (RC) Defined

A rookie card is a trading card that is the first to feature an athlete AFTER that athlete has participated in the highest level of competition within his or her respected sport. It must be licensed by both the League and the Players Association. An RC identifier is only given to cards that fit this criteria. Below is an exhaustive list of the featured players true rookie cards.

1948 Bowman, #38 (RC)

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The lone rookie card of Red Schoendienst is this 1948 Bowman. It measures 2-1/16″ X 2-1/2″ packs were distributed at the national level and sold for a penny, they came with one card and one piece of bubblegum.

1948 is also the year that Bowman made their debut into the baseball card world and ironically the complete set featured 48 cards. Get it? 48 cards in 1948! With an aggressive business strategy, Bowman found themselves as the only card manufacturer to dominate nationally in its distribution.

Card number 38 of our featured Hall of Famer gives collectors a black and white action photo. I love the pose and really appreciate the background of the ballpark.

The photo sits on a white border and surprisingly to me the overall card stock on this set holds up really well as decent-looking copies can still be found today. However, a well-centered one can be difficult to find.

The card back gives us black ink on gray cardboard. Not much eye appeal but we do get player bio towards the top of the card. Player commentary at the center of the card and of course advertisements: Bolony Bubble Gum – “the Bubble Gum with three different flavors.”

Bowman was not a baseball card company they were a bubble gum manufacturer that used baseball cards to sell bubble gum. Genius concept!

I’d like to recommend the 10 Commandments of the Rookie Card for a more detailed definition as to what is a rookie card.


Post-Rookie Theme

Identifier (PRT) Defined

The PRT identifier has a dual function. It’s used to identify cards that feature a player after their rookie season but in some way the card design has elements that feature a rookie theme. Also, for vintage, this identifier can be used for second year cards which are highly collectable, and often times preferred, but they are NOT true rookie cards.

1949 Bowman, #111 (PRT)

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This was the second mainstream release of Red Schoendienst and makes for a good Post-Rookie Theme alternative. If cost of the rookie card is an issue try this second year card instead.

It does offer Red early enough in his career, and it was the first time the Bowman brand used color. One can only assume that the use of color was perhaps to rival the popularity of their competitor, 1948 Leaf.

Whatever the reason, collectors win!

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.

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