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MLB Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog dies at age 92

MLB Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog dies at age 92

MLB Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog dies at age 92

St. Louis Cardinals logo^ MLB Team^ Major League Baseball^ national League central division^ with black/spotlight background

MLB Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, who led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series in 1982, has died at the age of 92. Herzog’s last public appearance had been in the stands at the Cardinals’ home opener 12 days ago, when he was introduced to the crowd along with the other Hall of Famers present.  The Cardinals said in a statement on X: “The entire Cardinals family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer and World Series champion manager Whitey Herzog.”

The Herzog family said in a statement released by the Cardinals: “Whitey spent his last few days surrounded by his family  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.” Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. added: “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. 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.”

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also said in a statement: “Whitey Herzog was one of the most accomplished managers of his generation and a consistent winner with both ‘I-70’ franchises. He made a significant impact on the St. Louis Cardinals as both a manager and a general manager, with the Kansas City Royals as a manager and with the New York Mets in player development. Whitey’s Cardinals’ teams reached the World Series three times in the 1980s, winning the championship in 1982, by leaning on an identity of speed and defense that resonated with baseball fans across the world. 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.”

Herzog, born Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog, was given the nickname “Whitey” due to his light blonde hair. Herzog reached the majors in 1956 and played for the Washington Senators, Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers for a total of eight seasons in MLB – hitting .257 with 25 home runs and 172 RBIs- before retiring as a player in 1963. (per Yahoo Sports).

Through Herzog’s post-playing career, he served as a scout for the Athletics and then as a third base coach/director of player development for the NY Mets. He took his first managerial job in 1973 when he succeeded Ted Williams as skipper of the Texas Rangers (lasting less than one season), and was then the interim manager for the California Angels for four games in 1974 before taking over the Kansas City Royals in the middle of the 1975 season. Herzog went on to manage in KC and brought the Royals to three division titles and a second-place finish from 1976-79. Herzog’s greatest managerial success came with St. Louis, where he led the Cardinals for 73 games in 1980 before being promoted to general manager, later returning as manager for the 1981 season. The Cardinals returned won the National League pennant in 1982 and defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games in the World Series. He led the Cardinals to World Series appearances in 1985 and in 1987, where the Cardinals lost, before moving on to serve as the Angels general manager in 1992-1993 before ending his 45-year association with MLB. Herzog was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a manager as part of the Class of 2010.

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. The Herzog family is planning a private celebration of life service, and asks that any donations be made to Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Editorial credit: WhoopieWhoopie / Shutterstock.com

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