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Paperback White Rat: A Life in Baseball Book

ISBN: 0060809108

ISBN13: 9780060809102

White Rat: A Life in Baseball

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

Filled with stories of such baseball legends as Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle and Satchell Paige, this compulsively readable autobiography of Whitey Herzog does not shy away from controversial opinions, but offers Whitey's own views on drug problems, troubles of the game, and managing theories. 16 pages of illustrations.

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A Hall of Fame Life in Baseball

When this book was first published, Whitey Herzog was widely regarded as the premier manager in baseball. His team, the St Louis Cardinals, had just played in their third World Series in six seasons; however, that trend was about to come to a crashing halt; the Cardinals would spend the next decade languishing in mediocrity, while Herzog himself would throw in the towel as the 1990 season neared the All-Star break. He had gotten sick of the way his players were underperforming, and was sick of the way the clubhouse had turned against him. It's no surprise that the Cards finished that season dead last in the NL East. If you're a fan of Whitey Herzog, or simply a fan of the game, you'll love reading this very honest biography. I even picked up a new expression, which Herzog coined: "Fish or cut bait". In other words, when faced with a tough decision, don't hesitate; be decisive and stand by your guns. Fish or cut bait! Herzog's brutal (at times) honesty helped in forging a winning relationship with the cantankerous owner of the Cardinals, Gussie Busch. Busch liked his style and let him do what was necessary to quickly build the team into a World Series winner; all that was accomplished in a little more than two seasons; to this day, I still can't believe he pulled it off so quickly. Herzog's brutal honesty backfired after the sixth game of the 1985 World Series; after umpire Don Denkinger blew the call at first base, which helped Kansas City pull off a 2-1 comeback win, Herzog remaked, "He f***ed us!" The Cardinals were now dead, even though they had ace John Tudor coming back to start Game Seven. Not surprisingly, the Cards were shelled, 11-0; in retrospect, Herzog had accurtely predicted the final outcome; however, I wonder if taking a more positive approach to what happened in Game Six, might've produced a more favorable outcome in Game Seven. "Yeah, Denkinger missed the call; but so what? That's baseball. We'll come back like gangbusters tomorrow night!" Nearly a quarter of a century after this book was released, Herzog was elected to the Hall of Fame. He certainly deserves it; this is a man of honesty and integrity who also happens to know more about baseball than just about anyone who ever lived. His life in baseball makes for a most fascinating read.
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