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Whitey Herzog

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Title: Whitey Herzog  
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Subject: St. Louis Cardinals, Veterans Committee, Joe Torre, Ozzie Smith, Kansas City Royals
Collection: 1931 Births, American Sportsmen, Baltimore Orioles Players, Baseball Players from Illinois, California Angels Coaches, California Angels Executives, California Angels Managers, Detroit Tigers Players, Kansas City Athletics Coaches, Kansas City Athletics Players, Kansas City Athletics Scouts, Kansas City Royals Managers, Living People, Major League Baseball Executives, Major League Baseball General Managers, Major League Baseball Managers, Major League Baseball Managers with Retired Numbers, Major League Baseball Outfielders, Major League Baseball Third Base Coaches, Manager of the Year Award Winners, McAlester Rockets Players, National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees, New York Mets Coaches, New York Mets Executives, People from St. Clair County, Illinois, St. Louis Cardinals Executives, St. Louis Cardinals Managers, Texas Rangers Managers, Washington Senators (1901–60) Players
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Whitey Herzog

Whitey Herzog
Outfielder / Manager
Born: (1931-11-09) November 9, 1931
New Athens, Illinois
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 17, 1956, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1963, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average .257
Home Runs 25
Runs batted in 172

As Player

As Manager

As General Manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame
Inducted 2010
Vote 87.5%
Election Method Veteran's Committee

Dorrel Norman Elvert "Whitey" Herzog (; born November 9, 1931 in New Athens, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball manager. Born in New Athens, Illinois, he made his debut as a player in 1956 with the Washington Senators. After his playing career ended in 1963, Herzog went on to perform a variety of roles in Major League Baseball, including scout, manager, general manager and farm system director. Most noted for his success as a manager, he led the Kansas City Royals to three consecutive playoff appearances from 1976 to 1978. Hired by Gussie Busch in 1980 to helm the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series and made two other World Series appearances in 1985 and 1987 under Herzog's direction. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25, 2010, and was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum on August 16, 2014.


  • Playing career 1
  • Player development 2
  • Managerial career 3
    • Texas Rangers 3.1
    • Managerial success 3.2
      • Whiteyball 3.2.1
    • Late years 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Playing career

A left-handed batter and thrower, Herzog originally signed with the New York Yankees by scout Lou Maguolo.[1] While he never appeared in a major league game for them, Herzog was profoundly influenced by their manager, Casey Stengel, during several spring training sessions with the Yanks. After being traded by New York as a prospect, he played for the Washington Senators (1956–58), Kansas City Athletics (1958–60), Baltimore Orioles (1961–62) and Detroit Tigers (1963). In eight seasons, Herzog batted .254 with 25 home runs, 172 runs batted in, 213 runs scored, 60 doubles, 20 triples, and 13 stolen bases in 634 games. In reference to his success as a player versus his success as a manager, Herzog once said, "Baseball has been good to me since I quit trying to play it." (Herzog has made this statement several times, most recently in an interview with Fox Sports Midwest which has aired several times in August and September 2007 during St. Louis Cardinals rain delays).[2]

Player development

After his playing career ended, Herzog rejoined the Athletics for two seasons, as a scout in 1964[3][4] and a coach in 1965.

The next seven years were spent with the New York Mets, the first, in 1966, as the third-base coach for manager Wes Westrum. Beginning in 1967 Herzog then made his mark with the club as its director of player development for the next six campaigns. Under his watch, the Mets produced young talent that either became part of the nucleus of its World Series teams in 1969 and 1973 or eventually had successful major league careers. Among them were Gary Gentry, Wayne Garrett, Jon Matlack, John Milner, Amos Otis and Ken Singleton. Herzog was a candidate to become the Mets' manager after the death of Gil Hodges prior to the 1972 season, but was passed over in favor of first-base coach Yogi Berra by chairman of the board M. Donald Grant.[5]

Managerial career

Texas Rangers

Perceiving Grant's actions as a snub,[5] Herzog left the Mets to accept the first managerial assignment of his career when he signed a two-year contract with the Texas Rangers on November 2, 1972.[6] He took over a ballclub that finished 1972 in last place in the American League (AL) West with the majors' worst record at 54–100 under Ted Williams.[7] Hired based on recommendations from general manager Joe Burke to owner Bob Short, Herzog had the understanding that he was to help develop the team's young prospects.[8]

His debut at the helm was a 3–1 Rangers loss to the Chicago White Sox at Arlington Stadium on April 7, 1973. His first victory was a 4–0 decision over the Kansas City Royals five nights later on April 12 at Royals Stadium.[9]

He never got the chance to finish the 1973 season. Three days after a 14–0 defeat to the White Sox at Comiskey Park and Texas with a 47–91 record,[9] he was dismissed on September 7.[8] He was succeeded in the interim for one game by Del Wilber and in the longer term by Billy Martin, who had been fired by the Detroit Tigers on August 30.[6] Short defended the change by telling reporters, "If my mother were managing the Rangers and I had the opportunity to hire Billy Martin, I'd fire my mother."[8]

Managerial success

Herzog as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Herzog continued building his managerial credentials with the California Angels (1974 on an interim basis; as a coach, he filled in between the firing of Bobby Winkles and the hiring of Dick Williams.[10]), Kansas City Royals (1975–79) and St. Louis Cardinals (1980–90). He had his greatest success in Kansas City, where he won three straight American League Western division titles from 1976 to 1978, and in St. Louis, where he won the 1982 World Series and the National League Pennant in 1985 and 1987. In total, he led six division winners, three pennant winners, and one World Series winner in compiling a 1,281–1,125 (.532) career record.

With his extensive background in player development, Herzog also was a general manager with both the Cardinals (1980–82)[11] and the California Angels. He succeeded Jack Krol as manager of the Redbirds in 1980,[12] managed for 73 games, then moved into the club's front office as GM on August 26, turning the team over to Red Schoendienst. During the offseason, Herzog reclaimed the manager job, then held both the GM and field manager posts with St. Louis for almost two full seasons, during which he acquired or promoted many players who would star on the Cards' three World Series teams of the 1980s.[11]


Herzog's style of play, based on the strategy of attrition, was nicknamed "Whiteyball"[13] and concentrated on Jack Clark hitting third or fourth, protected by one or two hitters with lesser power, followed by more base stealers. This tactic kept payrolls low, while allowing Herzog to win consistently in stadiums with deep fences and artificial turf, both of which were characteristics of Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium) and Busch Memorial Stadium during his managerial career.

A less noticed (at the time) aspect of Herzog's offensive philosophy was his preference for patient hitters with high on-base percentages:[14] such players included Royals Brett, Hal McRae, and Amos Otis, and Cardinals Clark, Keith Hernandez, José Oquendo, and Ozzie Smith, as well as Darrell Porter, who played for Herzog in both Kansas City and St. Louis. However, in St. Louis Herzog also employed free-swinging hitters who were less patient but fast runners, such as Vince Coleman and Willie McGee.

Late years

Whitey Herzog's number 24 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010.

Herzog also expressed an interest in becoming President of the National League when that job opened in 1986.[15] The role eventually went to Yale University President A. Bartlett Giamatti, who also became the Commissioner of baseball in 1989. In a nationally-televised interview on NBC, after Giamatti accepted the job of NL President, Marv Albert jokingly asked Herzog if he would be interested in the job opening for President of Yale University. Herzog replied, "Well, you're trying to be funny now, Marv. I don't think that's funny at all."[16]

After leaving the Cardinals in 1990, Herzog then held various front office and consulting posts with the Angels, including a brief stint (1993–94) as general manager. Herzog and Jim Leyland were leading candidates to become manager of the Boston Red Sox following the 1996 season. Both rejected offers from the Red Sox, so the team hired Jimy Williams instead.[17] Herzog was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans' Committee on December 7, 2009, receiving 14 of a possible 16 votes.[18] Herzog's induction into the Hall of Fame was on July 25, 2010.[18] In addition, the Cardinals retired the number '24', which he wore during his managerial tenure with the club, in his honor on July 31, following his induction.[19] Rick Ankiel was the last Cardinal to wear number 24.

His younger brother, Codell ("Butz") died on Feb. 20, 2010, at 76. He made out Whitey's first lineup with the Cardinals in 1980.[20] His grandson John Urick was a minor league first baseman and outfielder from 2003 until 2010 who played for managers and former Herzog-era Cardinals Garry Templeton and Hal Lanier.[21][22]

In January, 2014, the Cardinals announced Herzog among 22 former players and personnel to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for the inaugural class of 2014.[23]


  1. ^ "Lou Maguolo". Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Liebman, Glenn (March 1992). "Here Are Some New Names for Humor Hall of Fame". Baseball Digest: 23. 
  3. ^ Peterson, John E. (2003). The Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History, 1954–1967. McFarland. p. 308.  
  4. ^ Launius, Roger D. (2002). Seasons in the Sun. University of Missouri Press. p. 124.  
  5. ^ a b , Saturday, July 24, 2010.The New York TimesSandomir, Richard. "Leaving Mets Put Herzog on a Path to the Hall,"
  6. ^ a b , Saturday, July 24, 2010.Fort Worth Star-TelegramBuck, Ray. "Stop in Arlington was first in Whitey Herzog's road to Cooperstown,"
  7. ^ The 1972 Season – Retrosheet.
  8. ^ a b c Rogers, Phil. The Impossible Takes A Little Longer. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1990.
  9. ^ a b 1973 Texas Rangers (schedule, box scores & splits) –
  10. ^ "Williams Will Manage Angels On 3 – Year Pact; Winkles Out; Angels Hire Dick Williams After Dismissing Winkles". The New York Times. June 28, 1974. p. 27. 
  11. ^ a b "Cards' Herzog in Dual Role". The New York Times. October 25, 1980. p. 18. 
  12. ^ "Cards Drop Boyer And Name Herzog; Worst Record in Majors". The New York Times. June 9, 1980. p. C7. 
  13. ^ O'Hearn, Michael (2007). The Story of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Creative Company. p. 44.  
  14. ^ Newhan, Ross (July 5, 1987). "A Deep Team Rises to Top Despite Injuries, Cardinals Are Flying High and Leading NL East". Los Angeles Times. p. Sports 3. 
  15. ^ "Will Herzog Be Next N.L. President?".  
  16. ^ 
  17. ^ "Red Sox hire Jimy Williams.".  
  18. ^ a b Hummel, Rick (December 7, 2009). St. Louis Post-Dispatch Retrieved December 7, 2009. 
  19. ^ Cardinals retire Herzog's No. 24 : Sports
  20. ^ Herzog’s brother dies; gave Whitey his first Cards lineup (Feb. 21, 2010)
  21. ^ "Another Branch in a Baseball Family". Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  22. ^ "John Urick at". Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  23. ^ Cardinals Press Release (January 18, 2014). "Cardinals establish Hall of Fame & detail induction process". www.stlouis.cardinals. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
  • – career managing record
  • Baseball Hall of Fame – 2008 Veterans Committee candidate profile
  • Baseball Hall of Fame – 2007 Veterans Committee candidate profile at the Wayback Machine (archived April 20, 2007)
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