Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Beloved Hall of Fame Cardinals Manager Passes Away

Former St. Louis Cardinals Manager and Hall of Famer Dorrel Norman Elvert “Whitey Herzog” has passed away at the age of 92. Herzog led the Cardinals to the World Series in 1982, 1985, and 1987 including a title in ’92. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

“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,” said Cardinals Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill DeWitt Jr. in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

Herzog ranks third in the Cardinals all-time managerial wins list with 822 trailing only Tony La Russa and Red Schoendienst. The Cardinals World Series win in 1982 over the Milwaukee Brewers was the team’s first in 15 years at the time.

Whitey Herzog Passes at Age 92

A native of New Athens, Ill., Herzog leaves behind his wife of 71 years Mary Lou Herzog, their three children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

“Whitey spent his last few days surrounded by his family,” The Herzog family said in a statement on Monday. “We have so appreciated all of the prayers and support from friends who knew he was very ill.  Although it is hard for us to say goodbye, his peaceful passing was a blessing for him.”

The Herzog family is planning a private celebration of life service. They would like any donations to be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Herzog had a lifetime managerial record of 1,281-1,125, good for a .532 winning percentage. He ranks 39th on the MLB’s all-time win total list and is a two-time Manager of the Year winner.

Before coming to the Cardinals, Herzog managed the Texas Rangers the, California Angels in 1974, and the Kansas City Royals from 1975-79. The Royals won three straight American League West Division titles from 1976-78 but fell to the New York Yankees in the League Championship Series all three times.

Whiteyball Before Moneyball

Herzog became famous for his style of play “Whiteyball.” It was a term from Herzog that was known for speed on the base paths, solid pitching and excellent defense. He used the style of play to lead the Cardinals to the ’82 World Series victory without a typical power-hitter.

In his memoir “White Rat” Herzog said the approach was a response to spacious, artificial surface stadiums at the time. Herzog said the approach wasn’t popular in the media at the time.

“They seemed to think there was something wrong with the way we played baseball, with speed and defense and line-drive hitters,” Herzog wrote in “White Rat.” “They called it “Whitey-ball” and said it couldn’t last.”

Herzog’s Playing Career

Herzog was primarily an outfielder during his eight-year professional career. He played for the Washington Senators, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers. In that time he had a .257 batting average with 25 home runs and 172 RBIs. It wasn’t until he became manager of the minor league McAlester Rockets in 1949. That was when he was given the nickname “Whitey.” The late sportscaster Bill Speith gave him the nickname for his light-colored hair.

Reaction to Herzog’s Passing

The MLB put out a statement in regards to the Hall of Fame manager.

“Whitey Herzog was one of the most accomplished managers of his generation and a consistent winner with both ‘I-70’ franchises,” Manfred said. “He made a significant impact on the St. Louis Cardinals both as a manager and a general manager, with the Kansas City Royals as a manager, and with the New York Mets in player development.”

“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 Royals.”

Main Photo: © Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports



More Posts

Send Us A Message