With the addition of Roger Maris in 1967 St. Louis went to spring training as a team with an outside chance to win the pennant. The questions were: Could Schoendienst get the most out of Maris and a shaky pitching staff? What would he do for a third baseman? To answer the last first, Schoendienst went to work converting Mike Shannon, an excellent outfielder. There were days when Shannon's chest was black and blue from the balls that bounced off it and Schoendienst's hands swollen from hitting them to him. But in the end Shannon was a third baseman.
Before leaving St. Petersburg for the opening of the season, Schoendienst wrote down the order in which he expected each team to finish and sealed his prediction in an envelope. He had St. Louis first. With Shannon at third base and Maris doing an excellent job, St. Louis won the pennant even though its best pitcher, Bob Gibson, was out part of the year with a broken leg. This year the Cardinals won again despite sub-par performances from some key individuals. One of the most important factors in the team's success was the pitching of Ray Washburn, who won 10 games in 1967 and improved that to 14 in 1968 including a no-hitter. Washburn is one of the men whom Schoendienst stuck with and showed confidence in when others had all but given up on him. Another is Nelson Briles, a relief pitcher with a terrible 4-15 record three seasons back, who has won 33 games for Schoendienst over the last two years.
When a game in St. Louis is over, Albert Schoendienst returns to his home and pulls open the louvered doors that cover the small, tasteful bar he recently had completed. He will say to his wife Mary, "Mame, would you like a drink?" and Mary may say yes. Schoendienst has often said that he is a very lucky man and that he is really "only here on borrowed time," but as he pours the drinks he will look at a large, oblong Father's Day card placed prominently over the bar. It was given to him by his nine-year-old son Kevin. Mary will tell him that Cathleen and Eileen and Colleen are, as usual, doing fine in school, and that Kevin is out playing baseball or football or basketball and she may remind him that Kevin is still a better name than Fritz. But Schoendienst will be smiling at the card. It says, "Dear Dad, You're a Winner!"