— One of the Hall of Fame’s newest electees toured the museum on Monday and saw a familiar face. Longtime manager Whitey Herzog said seeing the Hall of Fame case dedicated to fellow Hall of Fame manager Casey Stengel brought back a lot of memories and much gratitude.
It was Stengel, Herzog said, who went out of his way to spend time with Herzog when he was a player and later as a third base coach.
``I think he knew I was going to be a manager before I did,’’ Herzog said in the Plaque Gallery of the Hall after taking his orientation tour. ``The two biggest things he taught me were how to handle the media and not to hire your buddies when you become a big league manager. You’ve got to surround yourself with good people.’’
Stengel won 10 World Series titles while managing the New York Yankees. Herzog was a bench player on those great Yankee teams.
Herzog, elected by the Veterans Committee last December along with longtime umpire Doug Harvey, will be surrounded by good people during his induction on July 25 on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center. Also to be inducted is former outfielder Andre Dawson, the lone electee of the BBWAA. Announcer Jon Miller and Daily News writer Bill Madden will be honored with the Ford C. Frick and Spink Awards as well.
``It’s quite an honor, I can tell you that,’’ Herzog said. ``If as many people from St. Louis are coming to Cooperstown that weekend that told me they are, we could have a million people here.’’
Herzog is a beloved figure in St. Louis, guiding the Cardinals to a World Series title in 1982 over the Milwaukee Brewers in seven games, and then losing seven game World Series to the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins in 1985 and 1987, respectively.
Herzog began his managing career in the early 1970s with short stints with the Texas Rangers and California Angels, and got his break break when he was hired as the Kansas City Royals manager in 1975, which was future Hall of Famer George Brett’s rookie season. Herzog guided Kansas City to three straight division titles from 1976-78, losing to the Yankees in the playoffs every season, including twice in five games.
After being fired by the Royals after the ’79 season, Herzog was hired by the Cardinals in 1980, and managed them to three World Series appearances during the next decade.
Herzog became both the team’s manager and general manager beginning in the 1982 season, and tailored the team around the Cardinals spacious home field, Busch Stadium, with a premium on speed and defense. Players like Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, leadoff man Vince Coleman, centerfielder Willie McGee and outfielder Vince Coleman epitomized the types of players Herzog coveted.
In the veteran’s committee election last December, Herzog received 14 of the 16 votes cast, while Harvey received 15 of 16 votes. Twelve votes were necessary for election.
Herzog was a four-time manager of the year and was named the manager of the decade by Sports Illustrated for the 1980s.
Asked Monday is his style, nicknamed ``Whiteyball,’’ would work in today’s game, Herzog said not unless the fences were moved back to 375 feet down the lines and about 450 feet to centerfield.
``The emphasis is more on home runs now, but I don’t think teams run enough in today’s game,’’ Herzog said.
``You’ve got to have motion on the bases, but I’d say 27 or 28 or the managers in today’s game never run.’’
Herzog, 78, said he wasn’t sure how he will react when it comes time to give his induction speech on July 25.