"He does not become stampeded. I remember seeing him recently when Burdette was being hit hard. Red walked halfway to the pitching mound and merely held up two fingers and said, 'Two away.' That was the most pertinent bit of information of the moment. Red delivered it and walked back to the bag. No grandstand gestures, just a concise reminder of what the situation was, including, quite incidentally, the physical demonstration of the all-important fact that Schoendienst was playing second base.
"Schoendienst is not really a take-charge guy at all. He has to be told to take charge. But when Haney gave him authority he did not dodge it. If he had thought the job was beyond him, he would have been able to say so without loss of pride.
"Schoendienst is a man who has a very old-fashioned virtue which goes way back before the invention of the tranquilizer pills. It is the virtue known as self-reliance. There are no slumps in the private life of such a man."
Red himself winced visibly when confronted with a recitation of all these tributes to him.
"One man can't make a team," he protested. "I don't do any more than anybody else. Crandall and Logan and Mathews—they'll all go in and talk to the pitcher. They'll move the outfielders if they spot something that calls for it."
But didn't Haney put him in charge out on the field? Didn't Fred tell all the other players that Red would be calling the shots?
Red shook his head. "He asked me to help out where I could, that's all."
No other attitude could be expected from an old pro. And although Red looked neither old nor particularly professional, that is precisely what he was. Baseball was his world; he had never made his living in any other way since the day 15 years ago in German-town, Ill. when he and his friend, Joe Linnemann, read for the first time that the Cardinals were holding tryouts for all comers at what was then known as Sportsman's Park in St. Louis.
"Joe," said Red, slapping the sports page, "let's go over to St. Louis and try out. The least we can get out of it is the chance to see some free ball games."
Joe said he'd just as lief. Both boys had played semipro ball in the Clinton County League and Red had survived a major crisis in his young life. During a hitch at a CCC camp, a nail had ricocheted after a hammer blow by another boy and had struck Red in the left eye. For a time it had been touch and go whether Red would lose the eye, but it had healed and seemed to be all right now.