Whitey Herzog
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, 2010
Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog
Born: November 9, 1931 at New Athens, Ill.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 5.11 Weight: 187

Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Coach 1966
  • Director of Player Development 1968 - 1972

Whitey Herzog played for the following teams:

Whitey Herzog managed the following major league teams:
Share your memories of Whitey Herzog


clubhouse report
May 14, 2002
Long before "The White Rat" and his Cardinals battled the Mets for NL East supremacy in the 1980's, Whitey was Wes Westrum's (say that 3 times fast) third base coach. Legend has it that Westrum was insecure about Herzog supplanting him as skipper and thus Whitey ended up as Mets farm director. The Mets system churned out many fine players under Herzog, most of whom the Mets dealt away, and Whitey left too, to manage Texas in 1973. I remember Whitey saying something to the effect of--yeah we had a pretty good farm system--until we traded ten guys for Rusty Staub.

October 16, 2002
The more I read into the books that were written about the Mets, the more that I am convinced that it was Whitey Herzog, more than anyone, who was responsible for the development of the team that went on to be the 1969 World Champions.

Give the man a lot of credit. He was a stand-up guy who told the truth. He told M. Donald Grant he didn't know anything about baseball. How much more truthful could you get?

Mr. Sparkle
October 18, 2002
Michael, you are correct about Whitey, he was a very big part of building that team. He should have been manager after Gil dies, but the Mets as always wanted a big name and they gave the job to anotehr ex- Yankee, Yogi Berra. Whitey got pissed and left the Mets, only to haunt them with the Cards in the 80's. I hate the White Rat for being part of those Cardinal teams who I despised during the 80's. But, he really should have been manager in the early 70's.

Bob R.
January 9, 2003
Of all the stupid things done during the regime of M. Donald Grant - and there were many - possibly the dumbest was letting Whitey Herzog go. The '69 and '73 pennant winning teams largely consisted of talent picked and molded by Whitey. His success on other teams after leaving the Mets speaks for itself.

Jonathan Stern
March 14, 2005
Reading Whitey's autobiography is amazin' for anyone like me who was too young to follow the Miracle years, but remembers the Mets-Cards rivalries of the 1980's. The man bled blue and orange as passionately as anyone could have and clearly remained emotionally invested in the team long after he fled M. Donald Grant. Other books claim that it was he, and not Johnny Murphy, who built the Miracle Mets. I'm in no position to agree or disagree.

Grant barred Herzog from Gil Hodges's funeral. Whenever I feel the need to defend the Grant against certain charges, I read or think about stories like that and decide not to bother. Talk about cold.

In this present era of steroids madness, it is always worth recalling the 80's drug problems. You want scary? Watch the replay of the infamous Game 7 from the 1985 World Series, featuring: John Tudor's 2.5 innings of batting-practice pitching; the later announcement of Tudor's fight with a clubhouse electrical fan (he lost both the fight and the game) and subsequent trip to the hospital; Herzog's rancorous ejection; and Joaquin Andujar's infamous and terrifying meltdown on the mound. That game looked more like a bad dream than any I've ever seen, live or on television. Too bad Doc couldn't have won those four games he lost that year.

Todd Brewster
December 21, 2005
Whitey Herzog was the greatest third base coach I ever saw. He must have won 2 or 3 games by sending the runner home from second base on an infield ground out. He also would send the runner on first to third on a ground ball to the left side of the infield. There is no doubt in my mind that Whitey was also the greatest farm director ever. What people forget in the infamous Otis trade is that the Mets also sent Bob Johnson who was a great pitcher. However, my favorite quote was: "Ryan for Fregosi? Why I wouldn't even trade Leroy Stanton for Fregosi even up" and of course he was right. We might have sent too much for Staub, but Rusty was worth it.

March 19, 2006
Along with Seaver, Stengel, Hodges, Gooden, Cashen, Hernandez, Koosman, etc., one of the most important Met figures ever. We hated you when you managed the Cardinals, Whitey, but if M. Donald Grant had been smarter, you would have managed or general-managed the Mets to a lot more success.

Vince Pox Marx
February 9, 2008
The New York Mets have had a long and inglorious history of mistakes and failure. Hell, its part of their charm. But, of the many blunders committed, such as not drafting Richie Allen when he was available in the 1961 expansion draft, to not signing Joe Morgan when a Met scout recommended it in 1961, to not drafting Reggie Jackson with the number one pick in the mid-sixties, the failure to appreciate Whitey Herzog was probably the worst error of them all. Had Herzog been given the GM job after Johnny Murphy died following the 1969 season, the chain of disastrous events that followed would not have occurred. The Ryan for Fregosi and Otis for Foy trades wouldn't have happened. Ted Simmons would have been drafted by the Mets instead of Jon Matlack and the Staub deal would not have come off. The Mets would have contented through the entire decade of the seventies and perhaps a number of classic Subway Series against those great Yankee teams would have followed. It has been said that dysfunction starts at the top and the top of the Mets organization was as dysfunctional as a Joe MacDonald trade.

May 6, 2008
Almost forgotten that Whitey was with the Mets in the 60's and early 70's. The most underrated and biggest mistake made by the Mets was letting this man go. Every Mets fan (at least the ones who can remember the 80's) hated Whitey, but never ever doubted his baseball IQ.

November 15, 2010
My favorite memory of Whitey comes from 1986. Marv Albert was interviewing him shortly after Bart Giamatti was named president of the National League. Marv, in his sarcastic way, said, "So Whitey...now that there's an opening as president of Yale, are you interested?" Whitey snapped, "I don't think that's funny at all!"

Shickhaus Franks
July 5, 2011
It is a shame that Mr. Warmth aka M. Donald Grant himself (note the sarcasm) forced the White Rat to move on to North Texas in the 1970's.

Sports Illustrated did an issue called "One Day In Baseball" which covered every MLB game on June 21, 1987 where they followed Herzog from fishing at dawn to managing a game that afternoon vs the Montreal Expos where Whitey used the Lord's name in vain way too many times.

Joe Santoro
November 28, 2014
Whitey Herzog was a very smart baseball man. But I disagree with him about the Rusty Staub deal. Offensively, Rusty was better than Singleton, and was tough to strike out. Defensively, I would have to pick Ken over Rusty. Jorgy? Had some good years with the Mets. Foli was a fine shortstop. Still, it was one of the best trades the Mets have ever made. Rusty was an All-Star. Gil Hodges pushed for it, but never lived to see it.

July 27, 2017
Of the numerous mistakes that have been made by Mets management, the refusal to promote Whitey to General Manager after the death of Johnny Murphy was the biggest of all. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of the organization's minor league prospects and was more than qualified for decisions on what should be done with them. There was nobody from within who was better suited for the position than he.

Unfortunately, the stubbornness of the people in charge got in the way of reason. Herzog often told M. Donald Grant the truth about his lack of knowledge on running a major league team. Old M. Donald, who didn't care much about the farm, could not take the deserved criticism and didn't give Whitey his just due. This was a major oversight that would affect the Mets negatively for years.

The Mets would've had a more solid pennant-contending team if Herzog had been their GM in the 1970s. A roster comprised mostly of home-grown talent was bound to make them very successful. Whitey's input in developing players for the Mets was never brought to fruition due to the egotism and cowardice of his superiors.

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