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
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 II.
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 2005.
After Schmidt, the oldest Cardinals who died during the course of this past year were Bud Byerly at 91 and Cliff Chambers, age 90.
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 87
The former Navy man fought in
World War II and
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
January 26: Bud Byerly, age 91
The right-handed pitcher, one of
the last few surviving members of the Cardinals' 1944 World Series champion
club, passed away in
February 11: Gene Crumling, age 89
A catcher from
February 17: Howie Nunn, age 76
After five seasons in the minors,
the right-hander made the Cardinals' bullpen in 1959. His ERA was 7.59 ERA in 16
May 28: Harry Parker, age 64
The right-handed reliever had two
short stints with
June 4: Pedro Borbon, age 66
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 71
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 96
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 89
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,
Remembering the Browns
Former St. Louis Browns player Les Moss (87) also passed away in 2012.
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