Short Among the Braves

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Johnny Logan

For a decade, Johnny Logan provided All-Star caliber shortstop play for the Milwaukee Braves. He teamed with another infield All-Star, second baseman Red Schoendienst, at the end of the 1950s, when the Braves took back-to-back National League pennants.

Johnny Logan was the Braves’ shortstop for a decade starting in 1952. A three-time All-Star, Logan was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1961.

Logan was signed by the Boston Braves in 1947. He made his debut in Boston in 1951, batting .219 in 62 games.

By 1952, Logan was the Braves’ starting shortstop, batting .283. In 10 seasons with the Braves (both the Boston and Milwaukee versions), Logan hit a combined .270. His best season offensively came in 1955, when he batted .297 with 13 home runs and 83 RBIs. He also led the National League with 37 doubles in 1955.

Logan was chosen for the National League All-Star team in 1955. He made the NL All-Star team each season from 1957 through 1959.

After a decade-long tour with the Braves, Logan was traded in 1961 to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gino Cimoli. In Pittsburgh, Logan was relegated to a backup role, first behind Dick Groat and then Dick Schofield. In three seasons with the Pirates, Logan batted a combined .249. He retired after the 1963 season.

Logan had a career batting average of .268 over 13 major league seasons.

 

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Jack of All Bases

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Jackie Brandt

Jackie Brandt was a multi-talented outfielder who played for five different teams during his 11-year major league career. His best seasons came with the Baltimore Orioles, where he was an All-Star in 1961.

Brandt was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 and made his debut with the team in 1956. After 27 games with St. Louis, he was traded (with Red Schoendienst) to the New York Giants, batting .299 in 98 games for the Giants with 11 home runs and 47 runs batted in. He spent 1957 and most of the 1958 season in military service, and then hit .270 for the Giants in 1959. He also won a Gold Glove that year.

Jackie Brandt was a member of the American League All-Star team in 1961. That season, he batted .297 with 16 home runs and 72 RBIs.

Jackie Brandt was a member of the American League All-Star team in 1961. That season, he batted .297 with 16 home runs and 72 RBIs.

Following the 1959 season, Brandt was traded with Gordon Jones and Roger McCardell to the Baltimore Orioles for Billy Loes and Billy O’Dell. He batted .254 with the Orioles in 1960, and then had his best season at the plate in 1961, hitting .297 with 16 home runs and 72 RBIs. That summer he was named to the American League All-Star team.

Brandt batted .255 in 1962, with career highs in doubles (29), home runs (19) and RBIs (75). In his six seasons with the Orioles, Brandt hit a combined .258 and averaged 14 home runs and 57 RBIs per season.

In December of 1965, Brandt was involved in the first of two trades that would transform the Orioles from perennial also-rans to World Series champions. First Brandt traded with  pitcher Darold Knowles to the Philadelphia Phillies for that team’s bullpen workhorse, Jack Baldschun. While Brandt found a new home in Philadelphia, Baldschun’s stay in Baltimore lasted only a few hours. The next day, Balschun was packaged with pitcher Milt Pappas and dealt to the Cincinnati Reds for an outfielder … one Frank Robinson. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now 32, Brandt appeared in only 82 games with the Phillies in 1966, batting .250 with one home run and 15 RBIs. He split the 1967 season between the Phillies and the Houston Astros, batting .213 in 57 games. He retired after the 1967 season.

Brandt had a career batting average of .262 on 1,020 hits, including 175 doubles and 112 home runs.

Leading with Hands and Heart

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Red Schoendienst

In more than 60 years in a major league uniform (as a player, coach and manager), no individual was unanimously more respected for his talent and his heart than Red Schoendienst. He was a good hitter and a great fielder, a leader of winners whether on the field or from the dugout.

Red Schoendienst led the National League with 26 stolen bases as a rookie with the Cardinals in 1945. His .342 batting average in 1953 was second to Brooklyn’s Carl Furillo.

Red Schoendienst led the National League with 26 stolen bases as a rookie with the Cardinals in 1945. His .342 batting average in 1953 was second to Brooklyn’s Carl Furillo.

Schoendienst played 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, batting a combined .289 and was named to the National League All-Star team nine times. His best season offensively for the Cardinals came in 1953, when he batted .342 with 15 home runs and 79 RBIs.

In 1956 Schoendienst was traded by the Cardinals with Jackie Brandt, Dick Littlefield and Bill Sarni to the New York Giants for Al Dark, Ray Katt, Don Liddle and Whitey Lockman. He hit a combined .302 in 1956 and hit .309 in 1957, playing the last 93 games with the Braves after being traded to Milwaukee for Ray Crone, Danny O’Connell and Bobby Thomson. He finished the 1957 season with 200 hits, tops in the major leagues. He was a key ingredient in the Braves’ success, being named to the All-Star team for the tenth time and finishing fourth in the Most Valuable Player balloting.

Red Schoendienst led the National League with 26 stolen bases as a rookie with the Cardinals in 1945. His .342 batting average in 1953 was second to Brooklyn’s Carl Furillo.

Red Schoendienst led the National League with 26 stolen bases as a rookie with the Cardinals in 1945. His .342 batting average in 1953 was second to Brooklyn’s Carl Furillo.

Schoendienst played four seasons in Milwaukee, hitting a combined .278, and was released by the Braves following the 1960 season. He signed with St. Louis and finished his career where it started, hitting .300 in 1961 and .301 in 1962 as a part-time player. He retired six games into the 1963 season to become a Cardinal coach and, later, the team’s manager.

Schoendienst finished his 19-season career with 2,449 hits for a .289 batting average. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.

 

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Let the Trading Begin

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(January 3, 1961) The Kansas City Athletics today announced that Frank ‘Trader’ Lane had been named the team’s the general manager and executive vice president.

Frank Lane

Frank Lane

Lane had been the general manager for the Cleveland Indians since November of 1957. During his three seasons at the helm of the Cleveland franchise, he guided the Tribe to a pair of fourth-place finishes and a second-place finish in 1959. He also engineered one of the most infamous trades in Indians’ history, dealing American League home run champion and fan favorite Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn after the 1959 season.

He was known as “Trader Lane” for his propensity to deal star players. During his career as a baseball executive (that included tours with the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals before Cleveland), Lane made over 200 trades that included players such as Jim Busby, Norm Cash, Roger Maris, Enos Slaughter, Red Schoendienst, and Early Wynn. He reportedly tried to trade Stan Musial, but Cardinals’ owner August Busch nixed the deal.

While in Cleveland, Lane once even traded managers – Joe Gordon for Detroit Tigers skipper Jimmy Dykes.

Lane would not have much time to make trades for the A’s. Lane was ousted from his position in August 1961 as a result of a lingering feud with Kansas City owner Charles Finley. The dispute resulted in a lawsuit that would not be settled until 1965.

 

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