SI Vault
 
HERR BEAUTIFUL SERVICE
Gerald Holland
September 30, 1957
Which, being freely translated, means Albert (Red) Schoendienst, the Braves' great second baseman and sparkplug in their pennant drive
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 30, 1957

Herr Beautiful Service

Which, being freely translated, means Albert (Red) Schoendienst, the Braves' great second baseman and sparkplug in their pennant drive

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

A clubhouse incident during the stretch served to illustrate the point. Red lay on the rubbing table and Doc Feron, the Milwaukee trainer, was working on him. A visitor Red knew walked in and looked at him, then pointed to a bruise the size of a cantaloupe on the underside of Red's leg, behind the knee.

"If you think that's bad, Red," said the visitor, "you should see Musial. I saw him in St. Louis. He's got 'em in Technicolor."

Red smiled, but Doc Feron bridled as if an aspersion had been cast.

"That's his good leg!" cried the doc indignantly. He pointed to the other leg, which had an elastic bandage on it. "You should see that one!" The implication was clear that the doc would tolerate no downgrading of Red in any department whatsoever.

Neither would anyone else in the room. Manager Fred Haney confirmed what he had been saying around the circuit and told how he put Red in charge of the team on the field, confident that the other players would take direction from him because they respected his ability and judgment and sound baseball instincts. Players—Crandall, the catcher; Pafko, the veteran utility man; Covington, the young outfielder—all of them testified to Red's steadying influence and sound maneuvering of the team. Red, it was clear, rubbed no man the wrong way, spoke all baseball dialects, was capable of getting along with all kinds of baseball temperaments.

More than a pro

The professional admiration extended far beyond this room. Managers like Birdie Tebbetts of Cincinnati and Mayo Smith of the Phillies had credited Red with assuring the Braves of a pennant and Tebbetts had gone so far as to nominate him for the most valuable player of the year award.

Fans sensitive to the niceties of the game have no quarrel with Tebbetts on that point. One admirer of Schoendienst put it this way:

"People say Red is a pro. He is a great deal more than a pro. He is like an oldtime craftsman with a genuine pride in his work and confidence that he can do it well. He does not need constant self-reassurance.

"When Red makes an error, he does not feel a compulsion to atone for it by doing something spectacular. He puts the error out of his mind and says to himself, 'We will now return to playing baseball.'

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9