Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Whitey Herzog, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #195

Not only is today the 21st anniversary of Randy "Moose" Milligan's arrival in Baltimore, it's also the 78th birthday of former O's outfielder Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog. With a name like that, it's no wonder that he went by "Whitey"!

The 5'11", 182-pound Illinois native spent two years near the end of his playing career in orange and black, having arrived in January of 1961 via a six-player trade with the Kansas City A's (catcher Clint Courtney was originally sent to K.C. as well, but was eventually returned to the Birds). Fellow outfielder Russ Snyder also came to Charm City in that trade, and might be better remembered by local fans, but Whitey more than held his own. Patrolling right and left field on a part-time basis, Herzog batted .291 and .266 in his two years here. His plate discipline was a major plus, as he walked 91 times and struck out only 77 time for a cumulative .379 on-base percentage.

The time that Herzog spent in Baltimore may have served a greater purpose for his post-playing career. His manager during the 1961 season was the legendary Paul Richards. During the 1970s and 1980s, Whitey gained acclaim as both a field manager and general manager, much like Richards. His teams in Kansas City and St. Louis won six division titles, and he took the Cardinals to the World Series three times in a six-year span (1982, 1985, and 1987), winning a World Championship in 1982. He was a two-time Manager of the Year, and in 2007 narrowly missed Hall of Fame selection by a vote of the Veterans Committee.

If you're so inclined, crack open an ice cold Budweiser tonight and toast the White Rat!


FreeTheBirds said...

I actually didn't know Herzog played for the Orioles. Does that make me less of a fan? My knowledge of pre-1966 O's history is pretty hazy.

Kevin said...

FTB - No worries, that's why I'm here. ;)