Barlick, Schoendienst overwhelmed by 1989 election to Hall

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Craig Muder

After devoting their life to baseball, Al Barlick and Red Schoendienst received the game’s greatest reward when they were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee on Feb. 28, 1989.

Neither seemed prepared to hear the news.

“It’s the biggest honor, because it’s the last one,” Schoendienst, who was 66 years old at the time of his election, told Gannett News Service. “There’s nothing that can come along and top it.”

Schoendienst played 19 seasons for the Cardinals, Braves and Giants – mostly at second base.

A .289 career hitter, Schoendienst totaled 1,223 runs scored and 2,449 hits and was thought by many to be the finest defensive second baseman of his time during a career that mostly predated the Gold Glove Award.

After his playing career, Schoendienst managed the Cardinals for 12 full seasons and parts of two others, winning two National League pennants and the 1967 World Series. He remained active as a coach for years following his managerial career.

“Red had an outstanding career,” said Hall of Famer and former teammate Stan Musial, “and the greatest pair of hands I’ve ever seen in baseball.”

Barlick served as a National League umpire for 28 years in a career that ran from the 1940s to the 1970s. Assigned to seven All-Star Games and seven World Series, Barlick owned a booming voice that stuck with players and managers alike.

Red Schoendienst poses next to his plaque following his induction to the Hall of Fame in 1989. (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

“He really took charge out there,” Musial said. “When he called a strike on you, you knew it.”

But Barlick couldn’t believe it when he received the call of a lifetime from Cooperstown.

“I think it’s a miracle I got in,” Barlick said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Barlick and Schoendienst were inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 23, 1989, along with Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski in front of the largest crowd to that point in Induction Ceremony history.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series