Hall of Fame skipper Whitey Herzog dies at 92

By Thomson Reuters Apr 16, 2024 | 1:54 PM

Whitey Herzog, the Hall of Fame manager of the 1982 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, died Tuesday at the age of 92.

“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,” team chairman and chief executive officer Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a news 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.”

Herzog is survived by Mary Lou, his wife of 71 years, along with three children, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. The Herzog family also issued a statement.

“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.”

Herzog compiled an overall record of 1,281-1,125-3 (.532) across 18 seasons as manager of the Texas Rangers (1973), California Angels (1974), Kansas City Royals (1975-79) and Cardinals (1980-90).

He guided the Cardinals to a seven-game triumph against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 World Series and led St. Louis to two more National League pennants in 1985 and 1987. His 822 wins with St. Louis rank third in franchise history behind fellow Hall of Famers Tony La Russa (1,408) and Red Schoendienst (1,041).

Herzog was the NL Manager of the Year in 1985 and was inducted into Cooperstown in the Class of 2010. He is also a member of the Royals’ and Cardinals’ Halls of Fame.

As a manager, his strategy that became known as “Whiteyball” was based on valuing pitching, speed and defense over home runs. He prioritized base stealers and patient hitters with high on-base percentages.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred released 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.”

Born on Nov. 9, 1931 in New Athens, Ill., just outside of St. Louis, Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog got the nickname of “Whitey” because of his light blonde hair.

An outfielder, Herzog played eight seasons in the majors with the Washington Nationals/Senators (1956-58), Kansas City Athletics (1958-60), Baltimore Orioles (1961-62) and Detroit Tigers (1963). He batted .257 with 25 homers and 172 RBIs in 634 games.

Herzog had been the second-oldest living Hall of Famer. Willie Mays, also 92, was born six months before Herzog.

The Herzog family is planning a private service after a period of grieving. They requested that any donations be made to Shriners Hospital for Children.

–Field Level Media