May 17, 2024

Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog dies at age 92

NEW YORK — Whitey Herzog, the gruff and ingenious Hall of Fame manager who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to a few pennants and a World Series title within the Nineteen Eighties and perfected an intricate, nail-biting technique often known as “Whiteyball,” has died. He was 92.

Cardinals spokesman Brian Bartow stated Tuesday the staff had been knowledgeable of Herzog’s loss of life by his household. Herzog, who had been at Busch Stadium on April 4 for the Cardinals’ dwelling opener, died on Monday, based on Bartow.

“Whitey Herzog devoted his lifetime to the game he loved, excelling as a leader on and off the field,” Jane Forbes Clark, chair of the Hall of Fame’s board of administrators, stated in a press release. “Whitey always brought the best out of every player he managed with a forthright style that won him respect throughout the game.”

A crew-cut, pot-bellied tobacco chewer who had no persistence for the “buddy-buddy” faculty of administration, Herzog joined the Cardinals in 1980 and helped finish the staff’s decade-plus pennant drought by adapting it to the synthetic floor and distant fences of Busch Memorial Stadium. A typical Cardinals victory beneath Herzog was a low-scoring, one-run recreation, sealed within the ultimate innings by a “bullpen by committee,” relievers who is perhaps changed after a single pitch, or briefly shifted to the outfield, then introduced again to the mound.

The Cardinals had energy hitters in George Hendrick and Jack Clark, however they largely relied on the pace and resourcefulness of switch-hitters Vince Coleman and Willie McGee, the acrobat fielding of shortstop and future Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and the efficient pitching of starters resembling John Tudor and Danny Cox and relievers Todd Worrell, Ken Dayley and Jeff Lahti. For the ’82 champions, Herzog did not hassle rotating relievers, however merely introduced in future Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter to complete the job.

“[The media] seemed to think there was something wrong with the way we played baseball, with speed and defense and line-drive hitters,” Herzog wrote in his memoir “White Rat: A Life in Baseball,” printed in 1987. “They called it ‘Whiteyball’ and said it couldn’t last.”

Under Herzog, the Cards received pennants in 1982, 1985 and 1987, and the World Series in 1982, once they edged the Milwaukee Brewers in seven video games. Herzog managed the Kansas City Royals to division titles in 1976-78, however they misplaced every time within the league championship to the New York Yankees.

“On behalf of the entire St. Louis Cardinals organization, I would like to offer our condolences to the family and many friends of Whitey Herzog,” Cardinals chairman and chief govt officer Bill DeWitt Jr. stated in a press release. “Whitey and his teams played a big part in changing the direction of the Cardinals franchise in the early 1980s with an exciting style of play that would become known as “Whitey Ball” throughout baseball. Whitey loved the Cardinals, their fans, and St. Louis. He will be sorely missed.”

Overall, Herzog was a manager for 18 seasons, compiling a file of 1,281-1,125. He was named Manager of the Year in 1985 and voted into the Hall by the Veterans Committee in 2010, his plaque noting his “stern, yet good-natured style,” and his emphasis on pace, pitching and protection. Just earlier than he formally entered the Hall, the Cardinals retired his uniform quantity, 24.

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Whitey’s family, his friends across the game, and the fans of the Cardinals and the Royals,” commissioner Rob Manfred stated in a press release.

When requested concerning the secrets and techniques of managing, he would reply a way of humor and an excellent bullpen.

Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog was born in New Athens, Illinois, a blue-collar neighborhood that may form him lengthy after he left. He excelled in baseball and basketball and was open to skipping the occasional class to soak up a Cardinals recreation. Signed by the New York Yankees, he was a middle fielder who found that he had competitors from a prospect born simply weeks earlier than him, Mickey Mantle.

Herzog by no means performed for the Yankees, however he did get to know manager Casey Stengel, one other grasp shuffler of gamers who turned a key affect. The light-haired Herzog was named “The White Rat” as a result of of his resemblance to Yankees pitcher Bob “The White Rat” Kuzava.

As a participant, Herzog batted .257 over eight seasons and performed a number of positions. His finest yr was with the Baltimore Orioles in 1961, when he hit .291. He additionally performed for the Washington Senators, Kansas City Athletics and Detroit Tigers, with whom he ended his taking part in profession, in 1963.

“Baseball has been good to me since I quit trying to play it,” he preferred to say.

After working as a scout and coach, Herzog was employed in 1967 by the New York Mets as director of participant growth, with Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan among the many future stars he helped deliver alongside. The Mets preferred him properly sufficient to designate him the successor to Gil Hodges, however when the manager died out of the blue in 1972, the job went to Yogi Berra. Herzog as an alternative debuted with the Texas Rangers the next season, ending simply 47-91 earlier than being changed by Billy Martin. He managed the Angels for a number of video games in 1974 and joined the Royals the next season, his time with Kansas City peaking in 1977 when the staff completed 102-60.

Many gamers spoke warmly of Herzog, however he did not hesitate to rid his groups of these he now not wished, dumping such Cardinals stars as outfielder Lonnie Smith and beginning pitcher Joaquin Andujar. One commerce labored out brilliantly: Before the 1982 season, he exchanged .300 hitting shortstop Garry Templeton, whom Herzog had chastised for not hustling, for the San Diego Padres‘ light-hitting Ozzie Smith, now broadly thought to be the perfect defensive shortstop in historical past. Another deal was much less far profitable: Gold Glove first baseman Keith Hernandez, with whom Herzog had feuded, to the Mets within the center of 1983 for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey. Hernandez led New York to the World Series title in 1986, whereas Allen and Ownbey have been quickly forgotten.

Herzog was simply as robust on himself, resigning within the center of 1990 as a result of he was “embarrassed” by the staff’s 33-47 file. He served as a marketing consultant and basic manager for the Los Angeles Angels within the early ’90s and briefly thought of managing the Boston Red Sox earlier than the 1997 season.

If the ’82 championship was the spotlight of his profession, his biggest blow was the ’85 collection. The Cardinals have been up 3 video games to 2 towards his former staff, the Royals, and in Game 6 led 1-0 going into the underside of the ninth, with Worrell introduced in to complete the job.

Jorge Orta led off and grounded an 0-2 pitch between the mound and first base. In one of probably the most well-known blown calls in baseball historical past, he was dominated secure by umpire Don Denkinger, although replays confirmed first baseman Jack Clark’s toss to Worrell was in time. The Cardinals by no means recovered. Kansas City rallied for 2 runs to tie the collection and crushed the Cards 11-0 in Game 7.

“No, I’m not bitter at Denkinger,” Herzog advised the AP years later. “He’s a good guy, he knows he made a mistake, and he’s a human being. It happened at an inopportune time, but I do think they ought to have instant replay in the playoffs and World Series.”

As if testing Herzog’s humor, the Hall inducted him alongside an umpire, Doug Harvey.

“I don’t know why he should get in,” Herzog joked at the time. “Doug kicked me out of more games than any other umpire.”

Herzog is survived by Mary Lou Herzog, his spouse of 71 years, kids Debra, David and Jim and their spouses, 9 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.