Saturday, June 8, 2013

June 8, 1980: The Whitey Herzog Era Begins

On June 8, 1980, Ken Boyer was told he would be relieved of his managerial duties after the first game of a doubleheader against the Expos in Montreal. This came on a on a day that Cardinals outfielder Bobby Bonds tied a National League record with six walks during the doubleheader. Once Boyer was relieved of his duties Jack Krol took the helm for the second game the Cardinals lost both contests but a new era of baseball was about to begin for the club. 1,100 miles away at Grant's Farm in St. Louis a press conference was held announcing that Dorrel "Whitey" Herzog was going to be the new manager of the team. The hiring had a historical impact on the team that will never be forgotten. His teams built on speed, defense and pitching ushered in the era of "Whitey Ball", they didn't hit a lot of home runs but they did  just about everything else to win ballgames. He led the club to a World Series Title in 1982 and won the National League Pennant in 1985 and 1987. The White Rat was a genius, he realized that Busch Stadium was built for speed and he built the perfect team to utilize the ballpark to their advantage.  He managed the club until 1990 in his time as skipper he managed the team to 822 wins, which is third on the all time list for Cardinals managers only Tony LaRussa and Red Schoendienst have more. The things that Herzog did with the Cardinals earned him baseball immortality, he was inducted into Cooperstown in 2010 and his #24 will never be worn by another Cardinal.

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