Whitey Herzog, manager who led Cardinals to World Series, dies at 92


April 16 (UPI) -- Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, who led the St. Louis Cardinals to a World Series in 1982, has died, the Cardinals announced Tuesday. He was 92.

"The entire Cardinals family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of Hall of Famer and World Series champion manager Whitey Herzog," the Cardinals said in a statement.

Herzog's family also issued a statement, saying he "was very ill."

"Whitey spent his last few days surrounded by his family," the family said in a statement issued by the Cardinals. "We have so appreciated all of the prayers and support from friends who knew he was very ill.

"Although it is hard for us to say goodbye, his peaceful passing was a blessing for him."

Herzog compiled a 1,281-1,125 record over 18 seasons as a manager, often employing a strategy known as "Whiteyball." He led the Cardinals to three National League pennants.

"Renowned for being two steps ahead of opposing managers," Herzog's Hall of Fame plaque reads, "maximized player contributions with a stern yet good-natured style, emphasizing speed, pitching and defense.

"Twice posted 100-win seasons, and was named 1985 Manager of the Year. A two-time Executive of the Year as general manager, also with player development contributions with the Mets and Angels."

Herzog was signed by the New York Yankees to start his MLB playing career, but was later traded as a minor leaguer to the Washington Senators. He also played for the Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers.

He then worked as a scout and coach for the Athletics. Herzog also was a third base coach and a director of player development for the New York Mets.

He was hired for his first managerial role in 1972 by the Texas Rangers. He led the Rangers to a 47-91 record, but was fired before the end of the season.

The California Angels hired Herzog as a third base coach the next season. He also served as an interim manager that season, leading the Angels to a 2-2 mark.

Herzog went on to manage the Kansas City Royals, posting a 410-304 mark over five seasons. The Royals won three-consecutive American League West titles during that span.

He was hired by the Cardinals in 1980 as an interim manager. He later became general manager and reclaimed the managerial position, holding both roles simultaneously. He compiled a 822-728 record during his tenure with the Cardinals.

Herzog also served as a general manager for the Angels in 1992 and 1993, before ending his MLB career. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

"Whitey Herzog devoted his lifetime to the game he loved, excelling as a leader on and off the field," Baseball Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark said.

"Whitey always brought the best out of every player he managed with a forthright style that won him respect throughout the game. His passion for the Hall of Fame was evident each time he returned to Cooperstown, and we will forever miss his smile and warmth. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Mary Lou, and his family."