Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog Dead at 92

Cardinals manager was known for tight games under 'Whiteyball' strategy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2024 1:40 PM CDT
Baseball Great Whitey Herzog Dead at 92
Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog is seen before the start a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets Aug. 19, 2023, in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Whitey Herzog, the gruff and ingenious Hall of Fame manager who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to three pennants and a World Series title in the 1980s and perfected a nail-biting strategy known as "Whiteyball," has died at 92. Cardinals spokesman Brian Bartow said Tuesday the team had been informed of his death by Herzog's family, per the AP.

  • A crew-cut, pot-bellied tobacco chewer who had no patience for the "buddy-buddy" school of management, Herzog joined the Cardinals in 1980 and helped end the team's decade-plus pennant drought by adapting it to the artificial surface and distant fences of Busch Memorial Stadium. A typical Cardinals victory under Herzog was a low-scoring, 1-run game, sealed in the final innings by a "bullpen by committee," relievers who might be replaced after a single pitch, or temporarily shifted to the outfield, then brought back to the mound.

  • "They (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, published in 1987. "They called it 'Whiteyball' and said it couldn't last."
  • Under Herzog, the Cards won pennants in 1982, 1985, and 1987, and the World Series in 1982, when they edged the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games. Herzog managed the Kansas City Royals to division titles in 1976-78, but they lost each time in the league championship to the New York Yankees.
  • Overall, Herzog was a manager for 18 seasons, compiling a record of 1,281 wins and 1,125 losses. 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 speed, pitching, and defense. Just before he formally entered the Hall, the Cardinals retired his uniform number, 24.
  • When asked about the secrets of managing, he would reply, a sense of humor and a good bullpen.
  • Herzog is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mary Lou Herzog; their three children, Debra, David, and Jim, and their spouses; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
(More obituary stories.)

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