Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TTM Success-Whitey Herzog

Whitey "the White Rat" Herzog 1961-62

This post is partially inspired by Kevin at the incomparable Orioles Card "O" the Day blog. He did a post on Whitey a week or so ago which was inspired by Whitey's placement on the Hall of Fame Veteran's Committee induction ballot. He was also listed on the ballot in 2007 but narrowly missed being elected. So I'm hoping that Whitey is elected this time around even though I know it won't be for his time with the Orioles, but it still would be another former O to get into the Hall!

Since I don't want to copy all of the information in Kevin's post, I will focus on "the White Rat's" time on the Orioles. He appeared in 212 games over the '61-62 seasons and played mostly right field over that time. Whitey also played left field and came off the bench as a pinch hitter multiple times; his numbers were good if not outstanding. His time with the Birds was towards the end of his career and he only played one more season before turning his attention towards player development and managing. Whitey summed up his baseball career by saying that "Baseball has been good to me since I quit trying to play it."

If Whitey is elected to the HOF, it would be due to his skills as a manager and he'll likely wear a Cardinals hat on his plaque. He managed in the Majors for 18 seasons, mostly with the Cardinals and the Royals, and won three National League pennants and one World Series title, all with the Cardinals. He perfected a style of play that focused on pitching, speed, and defense which was affectionately called "Whiteyball". He also put a lot of stock into players who had a high on-base percentages, years before this became the "Moneyball" tactic that most teams now prefer to use.

Good luck Whitey! I hope the next time I go to the HOF I can see your plaque.


zman40 said...

That's good to see him on the ballot. I hope he gets in. He was a great manager.

Orioles Magic said...

I don't remember him very well outside of a few early '90s Topps manager cards. The 1990 card is the first that comes to mind for me. It would be great to have him in the Hall though.