Congratulations to Whitey Herzog on his call from the Hall! It was long overdue. As a fellow southern Illinoisan (Whitey is from New Athens, and I’m from Belleville), I’m pleased as punch that a homestate boy is being inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Whitey Herzog was Cardinal baseball in the 1980’s. Before Whitey came to St. Louis, the Cards were a sub-par team. Whitey came in and cleaned house. As a GM, he wheeled and dealed to get the players he wanted. He had a great working relationship with Gussie Busch, then the Cards’ owner.
Whitey created his own brand of baseball, better known as “Whiteyball.” Whiteyball consisted of stealing bases and manufacturing runs, among other things. Whiteyball put fans in the stands, excited the baseball faithful, and led to a World Series win for the first time in 15 years. The Cards also won 2 NL pennants under Whitey’s management, one in 1985 and 1987. After Whitey left the Cards, he went to the Angels where he helped build that team too.
I have lots of great memories of Whiteyball. Thanks to my BFF who bought a lot of Cards tickets on her credit cards, we went to lots of Cards games in the 1980’s. I used to take my daughter to the Cardinals game. Bleacher seats were $4.00, and if she could walk under the turnstile, she got in free. Can’t do that anymore! But she went to the dark side and became a Cubs fan. That’s one of the ultimate acts of rebellion!
As Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch puts it so eloquently here, it’s long past time to retire Whitey’s uniform number 24. In my opinion, it should have been on the wall of the new Busch Stadium when it opened. I look forward to seeing Whitey inducted into the Hall on MLB TV, and if only I could win the lottery, I could be there in person. I know, I know, I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than winning the lottery.
In other news, it appears that the Cardinals are giving us another early Christmas present by signing pitcher Brad Penny, once he passes his physical. Penny will be another reclamation project for Dave Duncan. The winter meetings are not over yet, so maybe Cardinals fans will receive more Christmas presents in the days ahead.
Time for me to fly! See you all soon!