Veterans elect Herzog, Harvey to baseball hall
Former manager Whitey Herzog and longtime crew chief Doug Harvey were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday by the veterans committee.
Herzog had been a single vote short in his previous try.
As for Harvey, Herzog joshed: "I don't know why he should get in. Doug kicked me out of more games than any other umpire."
Like Herzog, Harvey fell one vote shy in the last election. This time, they both easily drew enough support to reach Cooperstown, N.Y.
"I don't think I would've had my heart broken if I'd missed by another vote or two. But I'm damn happy it's over," Herzog said. "It was just in the last few years when I was only missing by a few votes that I thought, maybe I do deserve it."
Among those who came close this year was former players' union head Marvin Miller. He was on a separate slate for executives and officials, and fell two votes short.
Herzog was a fixture in major league dugouts for two decades. He won the 1982 World Series and three NL pennants with the Cardinals and three division titles with Kansas City. He became the 19th manager to make the hall.
More creative things
"I think he was one of the guys who started managers looking at doing more creative things," said Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, one of Herzog's star players. "You'd see him take a relief pitcher and put him in right field."
Smith was a late addition to the 16-member panel that considered managers and umpires. Candidates needed 12 votes (75 per cent) to make it, and Herzog got 14 in voting Sunday at the baseball winter meetings. Results were announced Monday, and the 78-year-old Herzog was told he was in.
Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog drew his nickname because of his light blond hair while playing minor league ball. He wasn't much of a major league outfielder, but made his mark managing.
"He's the best baseball man I've ever been around," said Washington manager Jim Riggleman, a former member of Herzog's staff. "If you worked under Whitey, you had a chance to manage in the major leagues."
Herzog started managing in 1973 with Texas and compiled a .532 career winning percentage.
Herzog and Harvey will be enshrined at the induction ceremonies on July 25.
9th umpire in Hall of Fame
Harvey umpired in the National League for 31 seasons before retiring in 1992. He worked five World Series and six all-star games, and handled more than 4,600 games overall.
The 79-year-old Harvey was picked on 15 of 16 ballots this time, becoming the ninth umpire in the hall.
"Ten years into my career, my late father said to me that one day I would realize what I have achieved. When I woke up this morning and I received the call from Cooperstown, I realized for the first time exactly what that means," Harvey said in a statement.
"I accept this election ... on behalf of all umpires from the minor leagues to the major leagues and for those who umpire at every level," he said.
Harvey has been in frail health since being diagnosed with oral cancer in 1997. He often chewed a wad of tobacco.
Harvey was distinguished by his shock of silver hair, and players often called him "God" in tribute to his work. He helped bring a new style to umpiring, too. Rather than make emphatic, instant calls, as was the norm when he began in 1962, he would take a split-second to get a snapshot of the play in his mind.
"He had the players' respect. He had the pitchers' respect —most of the time," longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said.
"Sometimes you see umpires and you say that guy's not giving his best, he's getting lackadaisical. Not him," he said.
A separate 12-person committee that reviewed 10 executives didn't elect anyone. John Fetzer, who owned the Detroit Tigers from 1956-83, got eight votes and fell one vote short.
Miller, who became head of the players' association in 1966 and built the union into a powerful force, drew seven votes. Jacob Ruppert, who owned the Yankees when they acquired Babe Ruth, also had seven.
Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez and Barry Larkin are eligible for the first time in hall voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Results will be announced Jan. 6.
The next veterans committee vote for players is in 2010.