#91 Al "Red" Shoendienst
Progress: 1st of this card
252 of 407 61.9% complete
How acquired: $5.00 on Ebay
You read that right, a five spot for a '52 of a Hall of Famer. Sure, it has massive paper loss and terrible staining on the back, and some glue/paste crud on the front, but it's real, and it counts. I will gladly cross this guy off and move along, even in this shape. The front really ins't too bad other than some weird coloring (I suspect this may have been soaked at some point along the way).
I'm not what you would call a Cardinals fan. As I've been told many times by Cardinals fans, Cardinals fans are the best in baseball. I guess I'm an inferior baseball fan. But if that's what it takes to root for my teams, I'm okay with that. As not one of the chosen fans, I feel pretty good about picking up this Shoendienst in such sorry condition at this price. It's not one that has any special meaning to me, and ended up being the last card I needed from the 2nd Series (81-130). The 2nd Series is the most abundant, and typically act that way on the secondary market as the cheapest cards to find. Shoendienst is, by a healthy margin, the toughest card in the run. Even as an inferior baseball fan, with my smaller baseball intellect, this is a name I was familiar with. I'd go so far as to call Shoendienst the biggest Cardinal name in the '52 set (due in no small part to Musial's omission), ahead of Cloyd Boyer and Enos Slaughter, and as such, it seems Cardinal collector's have created a premium for this card that you typically only see with Yankees and Dodgers.
Stats: 18 seasons, 10x All-Star, 2,449 hits, 773 RBI's, 84 HR, .289 Avg., 2x World Series Champion ('46 STL, '57 MIL)
14 seasons as a Manager, 1,041 wins, 955 loses, '67 World Series Champions, '68 NL Pennant
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989
St. Louis Cardinals #2 is retired