World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Herb Washington

Article Id: WHEBN0000892711
Reproduction Date:

Title: Herb Washington  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of world records in athletics, 1974 World Series, 1973 Pacific Conference Games, Footer US NC Indoor 60m Men, Washington (name)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Herb Washington

Herb Washington
Pinch runner
Born: (1951-11-16) November 16, 1951
Belzoni, Mississippi
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 4, 1974, for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
May 4, 1975, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
Games played 105
At bats 0
Runs 33
Stolen bases 31
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Herbert Lee Washington (born November 16, 1951) is a former world-class sprinter who parlayed his speed into a brief Major League Baseball (MLB) stint in 1974 and 1975 with the Oakland Athletics. Washington was called out on a pickoff play in the 1974 World Series. He was replaced in 1975 when the Athletics acquired a baserunning specialist who was also a position player. Washington returned to professional track, then became the owner/operator of numerous McDonald's restaurants and a minor league professional hockey franchise. He held a number of executive posts on varied boards and organizations.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Track career 2
  • Pro baseball career 3
  • Business career 4
  • Personal 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Washington was born in Belzoni, Mississippi, and his family moved to Flint, Michigan, when Washington was an infant. His parents worked in the automotive industry. Washington attended Flint Northern High School until 10th grade, when it was discovered that he lived outside of the school's boundaries. Losing a semester of athletic eligibility, Washington was forced to finish at the rival school, Flint Central High School. There he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.3 seconds, attracting numerous college scholarship offers. Washington chose Michigan State University because he knew that there were a number of black athletes at the school.[1]

At Michigan State, the four-time all-American won one National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) title, won seven Big Ten titles, and tied or broke the world record in the 50- and 60-yard dashes several times.

Track career

During the 1972 indoor season, he tied Kirk Clayton's two-year-old hand timed world record in the 50 yard dash of 5.0 at a meet in Toronto. A month later Mel Pender also tied the mark, twice. The following week, he set the 60-yard dash record outright at 5.8 at a home meet in East Lansing. Neither record has been surpassed, races run in yards are rare and records have been discontinued, hand times ceased to be accepted after 1977. A few years later, Washington said that his biggest disappointment had been not qualifying for the 1972 Summer Olympics.[2]

Washington was on the cover of the February 1972 issue of Track and Field News.[3] In 1973, Washington again tied the 50-yard record at the same meet in Toronto. Later that summer, Washington won the international Pacific Conference Games 100 metres also in Toronto.[4]

Pro baseball career

In 1974, Washington was tapped by Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley to become the team's "designated runner". Finley and Washington worked out a one-year $45,000 contract with a $20,000 signing bonus. The contract had an unusual clause requiring Washington to grow facial hair before the beginning of the season. Washington had difficulty growing a full mustache, so he used an eyebrow pencil to simulate full facial hair.[1]

Despite having no professional baseball experience, and having last played baseball in high school, Washington was a member of the Athletics 1974 World Series championship team.[5] Finley announced that he would utilize Washington as a "designated runner" and that he did not expect Washington to develop other baseball skills.[2] Washington received coaching on baserunning from Maury Wills.[5] Though Washington's teammates recognized his speed, he received a mixed reception from them because of his unusual background. Reggie Jackson said, "He's a great athlete, but he's not a baseball player."[2] Pitcher Rollie Fingers said that he thought the idea was "a little crazy" but that Washington "could run like crazy".[5] Bert Campaneris said that the team could count on Washington to steal a base when needed.[5]

Before the 1974 World Series, team captain Sal Bando said that he did not think Washington should be used in the World Series, noting that Washington might not have a second chance to make up for any mistakes committed during the series. Appearing as a pinch-runner for Joe Rudi in game two of the World Series, Washington was picked off of first base in a crucial ninth-inning situation by Dodgers reliever Mike Marshall. Early in the 1975 season, Washington was released. The Athletics had acquired Don Hopkins, a pinchrunning specialist who could also appear in the outfield.[2]

Washington played in 105 MLB games without batting, pitching, or fielding, playing exclusively as a pinch runner.[6] He had 31 stolen bases in 48 attempts and scored 33 runs during his short career. Washington is one of only seven players to have more game appearances than plate appearances,[7] presumably excluding starting pitchers who played primarily for the American League, and relief pitchers.

Washington's 1975 Topps baseball card is the only baseball card ever released that uses the "pinch runner" position label.[8]

Business career

Following his 13-month stint as the only "designated runner" in MLB history, Washington joined the professional track and field circuit and remained in competition until 1976. He worked for Michigan Bell as an assistant director of personnel.[9]

In 1980, he moved from the Detroit area to Rochester, New York, where he opened an inner-city McDonald's restaurant. He added his second local McDonald's franchise seven months later, and in 1986 he opened a McDonald's in suburban Pittsford, New York. He acquired a total of five Rochester-area McDonald's franchises. Washington's restaurant enterprise, HLW Fast Track Inc., owned 21 McDonald's franchises in Ohio and Pennsylvania by 2009; at that time, it was the largest McDonald's franchisee owned by an African American.[10]

Washington was co-chairman of the Small Business Committee of the United Way, and was active in the Urban League of Rochester. Washington was named to the New York State Athletic Commission in 1990. In 1992, he became the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Buffalo, New York, branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and later was named Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.[11]

In 2005, he founded the Youngstown SteelHounds minor league hockey franchise in the Central Hockey League (CHL). The SteelHounds were removed from the CHL in 2008 for non-payment of league dues. Washington said that he had paid the league's expansion team fees but that he owed some money, which he was withholding because the league did not reimburse him for some travel expenses.[12] The International Hockey League (IHL) expressed some interest in picking up the Youngstown team, but the league dropped the idea after no serious meetings were held between the team and the IHL.[13]

Personal

Washington's son Terrell ran track for Michigan State.[1] As of 2012, Terrell was the general manager of his father's McDonald's franchising company.[14]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Herb Washington: World-record sprinter and business success".  
  2. ^ a b c d "Herb Washington - athlete, not baseball player".  
  3. ^ https://www.trackandfieldnews.com/archivemenu/28-covers/133-past-covers-1967
  4. ^ "Pacific Conference Games". Gbrathletics.com. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  5. ^ a b c d Kawahara, Matt (May 31, 2014). "Herb Washington served as A’s ‘designated runner’ 40 years ago".  
  6. ^ "Player Page". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 11, 2007. 
  7. ^ Spatz, Lyle (2007). TheSABR Baseball List & Record Book – Baseball's Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics. United States: Simon & Schuster. p. 496.  
  8. ^ "Baseball's Only Designated Runner: Herb Washington". May 16, 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ Ortiz, Jorge L. (January 13, 2002). "Herb Washington / From fast to fast food / A's 'designated runner' succeeds in business".  
  10. ^ "84. H.L.W. Fast Track Inc.".  
  11. ^ Molaire, Mike F.; Jones, Marsha; Tanksley, Fred. African-American Who's Who, Past & Present, Greater Rochester Area (New Millenium ed.). pp. 193–4. 
  12. ^ Williams, Tom (June 4, 2008). Hounds scramble to find a league"'".  
  13. ^ "IHL moves on minus SteelHounds".  
  14. ^ Nelson, George (February 3, 2012). "McDonald's operator plans big updates". Business Journal Daily. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
  • Inhistoric: A's sign Herb Washington
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.