Whitey Herzog

From BR Bullpen

1957 Topps #29 Whitey Herzog

Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2010

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Biographical Information[edit]

1987 Topps #243 Whitey Herzog

"Baseball has been good to me since I quit trying to play it." - Whitey Herzog

Although Whitey Herzog had an eight-year career as a major league player, he is much better known for the 19 years that he managed in the major leagues. He missed being elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007 by the Veterans Committee by only one vote, and was elected in 2009.

In the minors, Herzog missed the 1953 and 1954 seasons while serving in the military. His minor league career spanned six seasons, and he hit .291.

Herzog was an outfielder who broke in with the Washington Senators in 1956, hitting only .245 but getting 7 triples. He stole 8 bases, and undoubtedly could have stolen more but base-stealing was not then in fashion (the league leader, Luis Aparicio, had 21). He was eventually relegated to back-up duties, and then sold to another perennial doormat team, the Kansas City Athletics, in the days when Roger Maris was an outfielder there. Herzog hit a personal-best .293 in 1959. In 1960, he had a chance to compare notes with another future manager on the team, Dick Williams.

He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 1961, and was able to get 323 at-bats, hitting .291 on a team that finished third in the league. Dick Williams also moved to the Orioles in a separate trade. Herzog was the third outfielder on the team, while Williams was the # 5 outfielder. In 1962, though, Herzog hit a bit lower, .266, and was relegated to being a back-up outfielder, while the Orioles finished 7th. He finished out his career in 1963 with the Detroit Tigers.

After retiring, Herzog moved to the Kansas City A's as a scout (1964) and coach (1965) and the New York Mets (1966-1972) as a coach, scout, and eventually as the farm director.

Manager Whitey Herzog leaves mound after conferencing with pitcher Bob Tewksbury and catcher Tony Pena

Whitey was successful as a manager both with the Kansas City Royals of the 1970s and the St. Louis Cardinals of the 1980s. His teams had six division championships, three pennants and one World Series title. His top player with Kansas City was George Brett and his best-known players with St. Louis were probably Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee.

In addition to managing the Texas Rangers, California Angels, Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals, Whitey Herzog was General Manager of the Cardinals from 1980 to 1982 and of the Angels in 1993 and 1994.

Herzog was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on December 7, 2009 in a vote of the Veterans Committee for managers and umpires. His induction took place the following July.

His grandson, John Urick, played in the minor and independent leagues from 2003 to 2010 and then became a minor league coach.

"Great manager - he was a player's manager. Whitey surrounded himself with good baseball people . . ." - pitcher Bill Gogolewski about Herzog's first year as a big league manager

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time Manager of the Year Award (1982/ML & 1985/NL)
  • Division Titles: 6 (1976-1978, 1982, 1985 & 1987)
  • NL Pennants: 3 (1982, 1985 & 1987)
  • Managed one World Series Champion with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982
  • 100 Wins Seasons as Manager: 2 (1977 & 1985)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 2010

Preceded by
Ted Williams
Texas Rangers Manager
Succeeded by
Billy Martin
Preceded by
Bobby Winkles
California Angels Manager
Succeeded by
Dick Williams
Preceded by
Jack McKeon
Kansas City Royals Manager
Succeeded by
Jim Frey
Preceded by
Ken Boyer
St. Louis Cardinals Manager
Succeeded by
Red Schoendienst
Preceded by
John Claiborne
St. Louis Cardinals General Manager
Succeeded by
Joe McDonald
Preceded by
Red Schoendienst
St. Louis Cardinals Manager
Succeeded by
Red Schoendienst
Preceded by
Dan O'Brien, Sr
California Angels General Manager
Succeeded by
Bill Bavasi

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1973 Texas Rangers American League 47-91 -- Texas Rangers replaced by Del Wilber and Billy Martin
on September 7
1974 California Angels American League 2-2 -- California Angels replaced Bobby Winkles (30-44) on June 27/
replaced by Dick Williams on July 1
1975 Kansas City Royals American League 41-25 2nd Kansas City Royals replaced Jack McKeon (50-46) on July 25
1976 Kansas City Royals American League 90-72 1st Kansas City Royals Lost ALCS
1977 Kansas City Royals American League 102-60 1st Kansas City Royals Lost ALCS
1978 Kansas City Royals American League 92-70 1st Kansas City Royals Lost ALCS
1979 Kansas City Royals American League 85-77 2nd Kansas City Royals
1980 St. Louis Cardinals National League 38-35 -- St. Louis Cardinals replaced Ken Boyer (18-33) and Jack Krol (0-1)
on June 9 /
replaced by Red Schoendienst on August 29
1981 St. Louis Cardinals National League 59-43 1st St. Louis Cardinals missed playoffs
because of split season
1982 St. Louis Cardinals National League 92-70 1st St. Louis Cardinals World Series Champs
1983 St. Louis Cardinals National League 79-83 4th St. Louis Cardinals
1984 St. Louis Cardinals National League 84-78 3rd St. Louis Cardinals
1985 St. Louis Cardinals National League 101-61 1st St. Louis Cardinals Lost World Series
1986 St. Louis Cardinals National League 79-82 3rd St. Louis Cardinals
1987 St. Louis Cardinals National League 95-67 1st St. Louis Cardinals Lost World Series
1988 St. Louis Cardinals National League 76-86 5th St. Louis Cardinals
1989 St. Louis Cardinals National League 86-76 3rd St. Louis Cardinals
1990 St. Louis Cardinals National League 33-47 -- St. Louis Cardinals replaced by Red Schoendienst on July 6

Further Reading[edit]

  • Thomas Boswell: "Trader Jack, Whitey the Rat and Other Good Ideas", in Why Time Begins on Opening Day, Penguin Books, New York, NY, 1984, pp. 61-76.
  • John Denton: "Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog passes away at 92", mlb.com, April 16, 2024. [1]
  • Doug Feldmann: Whitey Herzog Builds a Winner: The St. Louis Cardinals, 1979–1982, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2018. ISBN 978-1-4766-6780-5
  • Steve Henson: "Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame old-school manager of Cardinals and Royals, dies at 92", Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2024. [2]
  • Whitey Herzog (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, September 1994, pp. 61-63. [3]
  • Mike Shropshire: Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and 'The Worst Team in History' - The 1973-1975 Texas Rangers, Dutton Books, New York, NY, 1996. ISBN 978-1556114953

Related Sites[edit]