Tuesday, November 13, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #371 - Kansas City Royals / Whitey Herzog

  • Gotta love the discolored printing on the front of the card.
  • Whitey Herzog was signed by the New York Yankees in 1949. He never made the team, but he learned a lot from manager Casey Stengel during several spring training seasons.
  • Herzog played in the Yankees system from 1949-1955 (except for 1953-1954 due to military service). He moved on to the Washington Senators in 1956 and played for them from 1956-1958.
  • Whitey spent three seasons (1958-1960) with the Kansas City A's, two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles (1961-1962), and one year with the Detroit Tigers (1963). He played outfield and first base and had a lifetime .257 batting average in eight seasons.
  • Whitey worked for the A's as a scout in 1964 and as a coach in 1965.
  • From 1966-1972 Herzog worked for the New York Mets as a coach in 1966 and as a special scout and director of player development from 1967-1972. When Mets' manager Gil Hodges died of a heart attack before the 1972 season Herzog was passed over to  manage the club in favor of Yogi Berra.
  • In 1973 Whitey was hired to manage the Texas Rangers. The Rangers had lost 100 games in 1972. He didn't get through the season as the Rangers continued to perform poorly. Herzog was let go as manager on September 7 when Billy Martin became available to manage the team.
  • Whitey managed the California Angels on an interim basis for four games in 1974 after Bobby Winkles was fired. Dick Williams eventually was hired to manage the team.
  • In July 1975 Whitey was hired to manage the Kansas City Royals. The Royals fired Jack McKeon because of an inability to relate to the players.
  • The Royals were 41-25 (.621) during the remainder of the 1975 season but they couldn't catch the Oakland A's and finished second in the AL West.
  • Herzog managed the Royals to three straight AL West titles from 1976-1978 but they lost to the New  York Yankees in the AL Championship Series in all three of those seasons.
  • The Royals finished second in the AL West in 1979 and after the season Herzog was fired.
  • Whitey was hired to manage the St. Louis Cardinals in June of 1980. He moved up to the General Manager's post in August and then after the 1980 season Whitey assumed the dual duties of General Manager and field manager.
  • The Cardinals were successful during Herzog's tenure. They went to the World Series three times (1982, 1985, 1987) and they won the world championship in 1982.
  • Whitey resigned as the Cardinals manager in July 1990 after he was "embarrassed" by the team's performance.
  • Herzog worked for the California Angels in various positions (including General Manager from 1993-1994) after his tenure with the Cardinals.
  • Herzog was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
  • Team Highlights:

    • Record: 102-60, 1st in AL West, 8 games ahead of Texas
    • Attendance:  1,852,603 (3rd in AL)
    • Team Batting: .277 (5th in AL)
    • Team HR: 146 (6th in AL)
    • Team Stolen Bases: 170 (2nd in AL)
    • Team ERA: 3.52 (1st in AL)
    • Team Fielding: .978 (4th in AL)
    • All Stars: George Brett (starting 3B)
    • Awards: Frank White (Gold Glove 2B); Al Cowens (Gold Glove OF)
    • AL Leaders: Hal McRae (doubles - 54, hit by pitch - 13); Freddie Patek (stolen bases - 53); Dennis Leonard (victories - 20); Jim Colborn (hit by pitch - 13)
    • Batting Leader: George  Brett / Al Cowens (.312)
    • Home Run Leader: Al Cowens / John Mayberry (23)
    • RBI Leader: Al Cowens (112)
    • Stolen Base Leader: Freddie Patek (53)
    • Victories Leader: Dennis Leonard (20)
    • Losses Leader: Jim Colborn (14)
    • Strikeout Leader: Dennis Leonard (244)
    • Saves Leader: Doug Bird (14)
    • ERA Leader (starters): Dennis Leonard (3.14)
    • ERA Leader (relievers): Steve Mingori (3.09)
    • Players who could have had Royals cards in 1977 (batters with over 100 AB, pitchers with over 40 innings) :
      • Pete LaCock (UT) - .303, 3 HR, 29 RBI in 88 games
      • Joe Zdeb (OF) - .297, 2 HR, 23 RBI in 105 games
      • Jim Colborn (P) - pictured with Milwaukee Brewers

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