|1984 Topps - Glossy All-Stars #12 Whitey Herzog|
I've always enjoyed one quirk of these All-Star cards, particularly for the managers. This card is from the 1984 set, features the 1983 All-Star game, which the Manager earned by being in the 1982 World series. But it's April, forget the All-Star break, forget the World Series, it's Opening Day.
So how does Whitey Herzog handle Opening Day? Let's see some stats
7-8? That's no fun. So let's get creative. Whitey took over midseason as manager 3 times. 1980 for the Cardinals, and 1975 for the Royals, as you might expect from the years listed above. He also managed 4 games for the Angels between managers in 1974. So let's add in Whitey's personal opening days.
Note: I'm not totally sure June 26 was his first game of 1974, but it seems to line up with the records of the previous manager, and starts a 2 for 4 stretch, which would be his final record that year.
We're up to 9-9, that's at least a .500 record. Can we get even more creative? How about 1981, which had a strike mid-year and the season was divided into halves. Everyone got a fresh start, a 0-0 record, and new shot at the playoffs, regardless of your previous record. Sounds like an opening day scenario to me. How'd he do in 1981's second opening day, in August?
There we go! A 10-9 "Opening Day" record, achieved completely legitimately with no funny business.
Just for fun, here's a video from one of my favorite Whitey Herzog stories. He was interested in becoming commissioner but was passed over for Bart Giamatti, previously president of Yale. Marv joked that if he didn't get it, there'd be an opening at Yale, and Whitey did not appreciate the joke. Seems a bit petty, but it's on the milder side of what we've seen from athletes and managers getting annoyed by reporters.