As of early this afternoon, Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog is offically a member of the Hall of Fame.
St. Louis is a baseball town, without a doubt. When it comes to levels of fanaticism for sports teams, the Cardinals reach is longer, deeper and wider than any other organization or college. It's a borderline religion for many, and for those indoctrinated in the 1980's- Whitey Herzog was and will always be the high priest.
Generationally, my dad and I were pretty lucky. He grew up on the Cardinals of the 1960's. I on the 1980's- two of the most successful decades in the history of the franchise. (Conversely, I wonder if 70's and 90's kids and parents are just a little less enthusiastic about the Cardinals? Two fairly brutal decades...) Just like you'll never convince my dad that trading Steve Carlton was ever a good idea or that Ubaldo Jimenez could wash Bob Gibson's jock, you're not going to tell me that their was a more important figure for Cardinals baseball than Mr. Herzog.
You may be wrong, you may be right- but I'm just not listening.
Again, I fully admit that I'm tainted by the fact that when I first even realized what baseball was, he was the manager. And when I first played little league ball and dreamed about becoming a Cardinal, he was still the manager. Tony LaRussa is perhaps the greatest leader of the Cardinals franchise we've ever witnessed and I defend him oft on this site, but he can win 10 more World Series and I don't think he'll have the same emotional impact for me as the White Rat... It's pure luck that he was at the top of his game when I had 24 hours a day to concentrate on everything that had to do with the Cardinals.
It also helped, I suppose, that Whitey had the same haircut as my grandpa. White hair, spiked crew cut; cool as hell.
Congratulations to Mr. Herzog and his induction today.
Some reading and links on this, induction day for Whitey Herzog to the BWAA Hall of Fame:
- Tim Kurkjian of ESPN on how Whitey changed the game: LINK HERE
- Rick Hummel of STLToday on ex-players feelings: LINK HERE
- Bernie Miklasz of STLToday on the the case for Whitey's induction: LINK HERE
- The Cardinals will retire #24 on July 31st this year: LINK HERE
- Whitey credits the NY Times with getting him his first managerial job: LINK HERE
- Full coverage from MLB.com- including streaming/video of the ceremony: LINK HERE
- Randy Kovitz of the KC Star on Whitey's legacy with the Royals: LINK HERE
- The Sporting News interviewed Vince Coleman on Herzog: LINK HERE
- The Star-Telegram on Whitey's time with the Texas Rangers: LINK HERE
- David Wilhelm of the BND on Whitey's speech preparation: LINK HERE
- The Suburban Journal recounts Herzog's youth in New Athens IL: LINK HERE
- R.B. Fallstrom of the AP on following Herzog: LINK HERE
- A random photo gallery on the set of KTVI: LINK HERE
- Herzog believes the instant replay has a place in MLB: LINK HERE
- Perhaps the best commercial ever? Featuring Jack & Whitey: LINK HERE
- Whitey talks to the NY Daily News about his early days with the Mets: LINK HERE
- Richard Sandomir of the NY Times with the paper's offical Whitey piece: LINK HERE
- Bill Ivie from I-70 Basball checks in with thoughts on Whitey: LINK HERE
- A cool photo gallery of Herzog with Cedeno, Lasorda, Gussie, Templeton, etc: LINK HERE
- Inside Sports on the 1980 Brewers/Cards trade (w/pic of Whitey playing poker): LINK HERE
We'll add to this list as we come across more articles and video from today. Please feel free to add any we missed in the comments section so everyone can share and read/watch/listen...