Quick Takes


    It was one of the best one-liners in baseball history. Yom Kippur was during a scheduled start in the 1965 World Series, a start Sandy Koufax was not going to make. Don Drysdale started that Game One for Koufax. During the game, Don struggled, and when manager Walter Alston went out to the mound to remove him, Drysdale quipped, "I bet you wish I was Jewish, too!"


    Bill Sharman is the only coach to win the league title in the ABL, the ABA and the NBA. As great a basketball player as he was, he achieved even greater status as a pro coach. In 1962, Bill Sharman led the Cleveland Pipers of the ABL to the league title; that league folded after the one season. Moving on to the ABA, Sharman coached the Utah Stars for three seasons and won the league title in 1971. The following season, he coached the Lakers to a NBA crown.


    Oregon State did it again. They became the first team in a decade to repeat as College World Series champion, completing a dominant run through the tournament with a 9-3 victory over North Carolina on Sunday night.


    Terrell Owens recently took a verbal shot at Cowboys departed coach Bill Parcells. He accused Parcells of not involving him enough in the team’s offense. Owens apparently was involved in the Cowboys offense enough to lead the NFL in dropped passes in 2006.


    When showing innings pitchers have pitched, you’ll hypothetically and typically see 123.1 or 123.2. No such thing! The implication is that .1 means 1/3 of an inning and .2 means 2/3 of an inning. Obviously incorrect! 123 1/3 or 123 2/3 is the correct way to state it. Please tell me you understand.


    On April 21, 1951, Bill Barilko, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman, scored an overtime goal in Game Five to win the Stanley Cup over the Montreal Canadiens. His winning goal made him a hero throughout Ontario. Unfortunately, he was only able to savor his newfound celebrity status for a few short months. In August, he and a pilot friend vanished on a flight into northern Canada to go fishing. The two men were never heard from again. Some 11 years later, wreckage from a plane that was believed to be the one carrying the two men was discovered. The circumstances surrounding the crash, however, continue to be veiled in mystery.


    Thanks to Jordan Davis for this one. Said Abraham Lincoln’s Jewish mother, “Again with that ugly hat! Why can’t you wear a baseball cap like the other kids?


Story of the Week



    Albert Fred Schoendienst is one of the most popular and beloved figures in St. Louis baseball history. That career began in 1945. As player, coach, manager or special consultant, “Red” has been in a Cardinals uniform in seven different decades. As a player, he was a gritty second baseman with a strong arm and a good bat. He overcame great adversity when he rebounded from tuberculosis in 1960, after the illness forced him to miss all but five games the previous season. As a manager, Schoendienst led the Cards to two World Series and one World Series title, managing the team in four different decades. His 14th-inning home run won the 1950 All-Star Game for the National League.


    Schoendienst was very versatile. A fine hitter, a switch-hitter at that, he had a lifetime batting average of .289. He possessed better-than-average speed. And he was recognized as being one of the top defensive second basemen in baseball. In the early years, he teamed with brilliant shortstop Marty Marion to form a stellar double-play combination.


    Credited by his roommate Stan Musial (yes, these guys had roommates way back then, even future Hall-of-Famers) as having "the greatest pair of hands I've ever seen," Schoendienst forged a 19-year career as a tremendous second baseman with the Cardinals, Giants and Braves, earning 10 All-Star selections. He led the National League in fielding percentage six times, and also hit .300 or better in seven different seasons. Red had an excellent batting eye and bat control, as was evidenced by his career BB-K ratio of 606-346.

    In 1953, Schoendienst was in his ninth year with the Cardinals, and he finished second in the NL batting race, hitting .342 to Carl Furillo's .344. He scored 107 runs, collected 193 hits, 35 doubles, five triples and 60 walks. He drove in 79 runs from the #2 spot in the order and set a career-high with 15 home runs. He was elected to the All-Star team for the seventh time.

    Red Schoendienst was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the veterans committee as a player in 1989. Schoendienst, 84, continues to suit up for batting practice in his role as special assistant to Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty.


Played For: St. Louis Cardinals (1945-1956, 1961-1963), New York Giants (1956-1957), Milwaukee Braves (1957-1960).
Managed: St. Louis Cardinals (1965-1976, 1980, 1990).

Awards: All-Star (10): 1946, 1948-1955, 1957.
Player: World Series. Cardinals win in 1946, Braves win in 1957, Braves lose in 1958.

Manager: World Series. Cardinals win in 1967, Cardinals lose in 1968.


Highlight Notes:
Hit eight doubles over a three game span, a major league record that has stood since 1948.
Led NL second basemen in fielding seven times, and in 1956 his .9934 fielding average set a record.
Went 57 straight games without an error in 1950, and 323 chances, a record.
Hit home runs from both sides of the plate on July 8, 1951.
Was third in 1957 NL MVP voting, behind Hank Aaron and Stan Musial.
Had hitting streaks of 28 games (1954) and 23 games (1957).
Led league in hits (200, 1957)
Twice led league in at bats (659, 1947; 642, 1950)


Last Week’s Trivia


    It was Joe Louis who once said of his career earnings, "Half of it went to wine, women and song.........the other half I wasted.”


Trivia Question of the Week


    What is the origin of the letter K used to mark a strikeout in scoring a baseball game?  No, it has nothing to do with the great K-oufax. See next week’s Sports Junkie for the answer.