While in virtually any other context, being called a "rat" wouldn't be considered a compliment, for Cardinals' fans it is a term of endearment. As a matter of fact, the "rat" label is reserved for a Hall of Famer who embodies excellence in a uniquely Cardinals' way and who holds a special place in all of our hearts.
When Whitey Herzog joined the Cardinals in 1980, fans immediately fell in love with the "White Rat".
The White Rat and the #CardsRatPack he assembled brought a unique brand of baseball to St. Louis. Emphasizing speed and defense, #Whiteyball became synonymous with winning and it helped define one of the greatest eras in Cardinals' history.
Just as the famous Rat Pack led by Humphrey Bogart, Sammie Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra embodied a sense of style infused by the essence of cool for a generation of Americans enjoying pop culture, the White Rat and the #CardsRatPack he assembled epitomized baseball cool in a uniquely Midwestern way that played to our hometown Cardinals' pride for nearly a decade.
The White Rat was both our manager and, for a time, our General Manager. The White Rat masterfully assembled the #CardsRatPack like a devoted young fan would carefully collect and trade baseball cards.
Simply put, #WhiteyBall defined an entire era of winning for a generation of Cardinals fans during the 80s. Focusing on speed and fundamentals, it was no nonsense it was high energy it was blue collar and it was unpretentious. #WhiteyBall was about getting it done, one pitch, one hit, one stolen base, one inning and one game at a time.
Throughout the season as we honor Whitey Herzog, we will be raising money in his name through our charity Cardinals Care to help fund the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation. Learn more about the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation. Make a donation in Whitey's name.
This season we are honoring Whitey Herzog with the #CardsRatPack campaign that seeks to tap into the heart and soul of the #WhiteyBall era.
The #CardsRatPack fan engagement campaign will be unlike any other effort. This season, we will be engaging fans in entirely new ways and sharing the extraordinary story of the #WhiteyBall era through both illustrated printed baseball cards and virtual cards that will come to life through animation via the teams digital and social media channels. Perhaps most importantly, our fans will shape the storytelling by sharing their memories and we will raise money to help kids learn baseball.
On Wednesday, July 12th, the #CardsRatPack cartoon series will debut on social media. Then each week for 12 weeks on #WhiteyBall Wednesdays and Fredbird Fridays, we will release a new #CardsRatPack cartoon and two new illustrated baseball cards. Each of the 24 #CardsRatPack baseball cards and virtual cards (cartoon episodes) conveys an important part of the White Rat's extraordinary tale.
We will need our fans to help complete the series by taking part in a special video contest detailed below that will result in one talented fan's video being converted into a professionally animated #CardsRatPack cartoon to be shared with the White Rat, his pack and all of Cardinals Nation!
Be sure to follow the Cardinals social media for information on how to secure autographed memorabilia and take home one or more of the #CardsRatPack baseball cards.
We are asking fans to submit videos sharing their favorite memories about Whitey. It can be anything you want so long as you keep the video to a minute or less. We will select one fan's video to illustrate into the final card in the #CardsRatPack.
We will select the most compelling video to be professionally animated, with the new cartoon to be unveiled at the ballpark (and on all our digital platforms) at the end of the season as part of a special #CardsRatPack theme night that will be the culmination of the season long celebration.
Join us today by sharing your favorite memory via video by uploading it to us using our online video submission form.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Enter by 11:59 pm CT on August 19, 2017. Open only to legal residents of Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kansas who are eighteen (18) years of age or older (except in the case of legal residents of certain states/territories/provinces where the legal age of majority is greater than eighteen (18) years of age, such legal age of majority) at the time of entry. One (1) prize will be awarded. TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM GAME AND LODGING IS NOT INCLUDED. Online entry only. Limit one (1) entry per person/e-mail address/household. Void where prohibited. See Official Rules which govern, for complete details.
Baseball in St. Louis was reborn in the 1980s under Whitey Herzog.
A native of New Athens, Ill., in the Metro East area of St. Louis, Herzog managed the Cardinals from 1980 to 1990. He ranks third in franchise history with 822 victories - trailing only Tony La Russa (1,408) and Red Schoendienst (1,041) - and his teams won three National League pennants and the 1982 World Series.
Hand-picked by club president August Busch Jr., Herzog took over the Redbirds on June 9, 1980. Two months later, Herzog turned over his on-field managerial duties to become general manager and have more direct involvement in player personnel. He assumed the dual role of field manager and general manager in October. At the winter meetings that December, Herzog began to transform the Cardinals with three blockbuster trades involving 21 players. He envisioned a team built on speed and defense in spacious Busch Stadium.
St. Louis posted the best record in the N.L. in 1981 but finished second in the Eastern Division in both halves of the strike-interrupted season and did not make the playoffs. Herzog relinquished his general manager duties on Opening Day of the 1982 season. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series with a thrilling sevengame victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. It marked the franchise's first championship in 15 years.
Two more pennants followed in 1985 and 1987. Meanwhile, fans flocked to Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals' entertaining style of play that became known as "Whiteyball." In Herzog's eight full seasons as skipper, St. Louis drew at least 2.4 million spectators annually while topping the 3-million plateau for the first two times in club annals (1987 and 1989). Herzog, who valued his sterling relationship with Busch, resigned July 5, 1990, less than a year after Busch died, and did not manage again.
Before coming to St. Louis, Herzog managed the Texas Rangers (1973), California Angels (1974 on an interim basis) and Kansas City Royals (1975-79). The Royals won three straight American League Western Division titles from 1976 to 1978 but fell to the New York Yankees in the League Championship Series all three times.
Herzog's lifetime managerial record was 1,281-1,125, a .532 winning percentage. His win total ranks 37th on baseball's all-time list through 2015. He was named the 1982 Major League Manager of the Year and 1985 N.L. Manager of the Year. The charismatic "White Rat" also spent time as a big league coach, farm system director and scout and briefly served as general manager of the Angels in 1993 and 1994.
Primarily an outfielder during an eight-year big-league playing career, Herzog batted .257 with 25 home runs and 172 RBI for the Washington Senators (1956-58), Kansas City Athletics (1958-60), Baltimore Orioles (1961- 62) and Detroit Tigers (1963).
As a minor leaguer with the McAlester (Okla.) Rockets in 1949, Herzog was christened with the name "Whitey" by sportscaster Bill Speith for his light-colored hair.
Herzog was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 by the Veterans Committee. Two days before the enshrinement ceremonies July 25, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. announced that Herzog's number 24 would be retired by the organization. Herzog wore No. 3 in 1980, but infielder Ken Oberkfell gave up No. 24 after the season and Herzog took it. Herzog was voted the manager on the All-Busch Stadium II team in 2005 and was an inaugural member of the Cardinals' Hall of Fame in 2014.
NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME PLACQUE
"An Architect and respected leader who built and managed teams to six division titles, three pennants and the 1982 World Series Title. Renowned for being two steps ahead of opposing managers, maximized player contributions with a stern yet good-natured style, emphasizing speed, pitching and defense. Twice posted 100-win seasons, and was named 1985 manger of the year. A two-time executive of the year as General Manager, also with player development contributions with Mets and Angels. Totaled Eight seasons as a Major League Player"
CARDINALS HALL OF FAME PLACQUE
The "White Rat" led the Cardinals to the 1982 World Championship and captured NL Pennants in 1985 and 1987. Held dual roles as General Manager and Field Manager in 1981. During that season, he radically rebuilt the team's roster around speed, defense and pitching, qualities suited to Busch Stadium's roomy, artificial turf playing field. His teams' successful and exciting style of play became known as "Whitey Ball." When he retired, his 822 wins as Redbird skipper ranked second all time to Red Schoendienst. Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.Inaugural Class 2014
Since it was founded in 1987, the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation has helped children by providing funds to benefit youth baseball programs in both Missouri and Illinois. The foundation was established to improve ballfields and make them safer for amateur baseball. These improvements have included the construction of facilities, installation of new turf, the addition of new fencing with padding, construction of dugouts, the installation of irrigation and new lighting. The foundation has also provided funds to assist with purchasing equipment, uniforms and other expenses related to youth baseball.
Over the years, thousands of dollars have been donated to various American Legions, Little League programs, and schools to fund improvements to ballfields, as well as help local children play the game of baseball.
American Legion Baseball is close to Whitey's heart, as he views it as the greatest vehicle for a young baseball player to go from high school to college to play the game.In recent years, the foundation has made substantial donations to the Belleville Parks and Recreation Department to fund the construction of their American Legion field named for Whitey. In addition, the foundation has supported projects in Jackson Missouri, Carrolton Illinois, Josephville Missouri, Columbia Illinois, St. Louis County Missouri, St Clair Missouri, Elsberry Missouri, and Waterloo Illinois.
Whitey and his foundation are passionate about working tirelessly to improve the quality of baseball facilities for youth desiring to play the game that gave so much to Whitey and his #CardsRatPack.