The title of the oldest living
former St. Louis Cardinals player was held by one man for over two years.
However, Freddy Schmidt passed away
in November. A right-handed pitcher who appeared in 1944, 1946 and 1947 with
Schmidt lived to the age of 96.
The new titleholder as the oldest
living former Cardinal is Bill
Endicott, age 94. The outfielder, then 27 years of age, appeared in just 20
games for the 1946 Cardinals after returning from service during World War
Those who held the title before
Endicott and Schmidt are as follows. In 2010, Don Lang, the 95-year-old former third
baseman from the 1948 club, left us. Herman Franks, then 95, passed away in
2009, preceded by 96-year-old Don
Gutteridge in 2008 and Ernie
Koy, aged 97 upon his death in 2007. 100-year-old Lee Cunningham passed in
After Schmidt, the oldest
Cardinals who died during the course of this past year were Bud Byerly at 91 and Cliff Chambers, age
In terms of the living player who
played for the team the longest time ago, 92-year-old Stan Musial holds the distinction. “The
Man” first arrived in the bigs in September 1941. Red Schoendienst, who debuted in April
1945, is second on this list.
January 4: Paul Faulks, age
The former Navy man fought in
World War II and Korea and in his later years, spent
two decades with the Cardinals in a number of roles before retiring in 1987.
Most notably, Faulks was the head administrator of the Cards minor league
January 21: Cliff Chambers, age 90
“Lefty” came up in the Cubs
system. After serving in the Air Force during World War II and two more seasons
in Triple-A, he joined Chicago in 1948 before moving to Pittsburgh. After
throwing a no-hitter during his 2 ½ seasons with the Bucs, he was dealt to the
Cardinals in a salary dispute. The seven-player deal included Joe Garagiola
heading east. Chambers finished his MLB career with St. Louis in 1953.
January 26: Bud Byerly, age
The right-handed pitcher, one of
the last few surviving members of the Cardinals' 1944 World Series champion
club, passed away in St.
Louis. Eldred William Byerly pitched 21 seasons in
professional ball. That included parts of 11 years in the majors from 1943-60
with St. Louis, Cincinnati, Washington,
Boston and San Francisco mostly as a
February 11: Gene Crumling, age
A catcher from Pennsylvania, Crumling’s
entire Major League career consisted of six games for the 1945 Cardinals, during
which he collected a lone hit in 12 at-bats. He was called up to back up Del
Rice when starter Ken O’Dea was injured. Crumling returned to the minors until
retiring in 1952 at the age of 33. Oddly, the right-handed thrower was known as
“Lefty,” reflecting his childhood throwing motion.
February 17: Howie Nunn, age
After five seasons in the minors,
the right-hander made the Cardinals’ bullpen in 1959. His ERA was 7.59 ERA in 16
games for St.
Louis before he was returned to Triple-A. In April 1960,
the Cardinals sold Nunn’s contract to Cincinnati. He retired after spending much of
1962 and all of 1963 back in the minors.
May 28: Harry Parker, age
The right-handed reliever had two
short stints with St.
Louis, totaling 25 games in the 1970-71 seasons and again
in 1975. Parker spent most of his MLB time with the Mets and finished his career
with the 1976 Indians.
June 4: Pedro Borbon, age
Most baseball fans remember Borbon
for his bullpen work as a member of the Big Red Machine of Cincinnati in the
1970s. However, the right-hander from the Dominican concluded his 12-year MLB
career with 10 games in relief for the 1980 Cardinals. Oddly, his son Pedro also
finished his major league career as a Cardinal, in 2003.
July 7: Chick King, age
The outfielder appeared in just 45
big league games over five seasons in the 1950’s. He broke in with the Tigers
and also played for the Cubs before wrapping up his major league time by playing
five games with the 1959 Cardinals.
November 17: Freddy Schmidt, age
The right-handed pitcher had a
16-year professional career that included parts of three seasons with the
Cardinals, 1944, 1946 and 1947. Schmidt threw two shutouts for the 1944 club and
added 3 1/3 shutout relief innings in the World Series. He was traded to the
Phillies in 1947, then moved to the Cubs on waivers. He continued to pitch in
the minors until 1953.
November 23: Chuck Diering, age
The local product signed with the
Cardinals in 1941, but missed three years of minor league play due to World War
II. The outfielder reached the majors in 1947 and remained with the Cardinals
for five more years, through 1951. The right-handed hitter then went to the New York Giants for two years and three more with the Baltimore Orioles, finishing
his nine-year MLB career in 1956. Diering spent part of his final season, 1957,
with St. Louis’
Triple-A Omaha club.
Former St. Louis Browns player Les Moss (87) also passed away in
articles: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006
Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Also catch his Cardinals
commentary daily at The Cardinal
Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.