Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 1982: Herr Leads The Way To Victory

     On July 17, 1982, the mercury was rising in St. Louis, and the bats were getting hot as well, as Tommy Herr broke out of a 4 for 31 slump with three singles in four trips to the plate. Herr's performance included an RBI, and a run scored. The slumpbuster of a day helped lead the Birds to a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Busch.

     Herr had tough luck at the beginning of that '82 season, missing 26 games due to a leg injury. After coming back from the injury, he was swinging the bat well, then had to fight through pneumonia that took a toll, but he still battled through. The same can be said about the '82 squad as a whole. They had taken some lumps through the first half of that season, and even with the win on that scorcher of a day in July they lost 21 of their last 37 games.

     The club needed a spark, and the sparks came in many forms, as the club came together, and heated up like St. Louis weather as they made a run to the National League Pennant, and a World Series title. As stated in the article, Herr was struggling at the plate with a .235 average that day. He finished the season with a .266 average, 36 RBIs, and 25 stolen bases. The numbers might not make you look twice, but he was quick to flash the leather at second base, and Whitey Herzog considered him the guts of the team.

     A great lesson that can be taken from this is to expect to take the lumps, but no matter what you do, do not give up the fight. That applies to life, not just a baseball diamond. That is what that '82 squad did as they went 7-3 in the finals days of July, then kept battling as they put together a 34-26 record the rest of the way and took over the National League East, before going on a run that brought the Gateway City a title for the first time since 1967.

Check out the box score here:

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