In the St. Louis American, a couple writers reflect on the significance of Whitey Herzog's Hall of Fame-worthy managerial career, including his development of African American players.
One thing Herzog may not be recognized for in St. Louis but that should not be forgotten is the night in 1989 when he started nine players of color, with names like Smith, Coleman, McGee, Pendleton, Ford, Hill, Booker and Durham (and Pena). It is a far cry from what you see now, when some teams have a hard time finding African Americans to make the roster let alone stock their farm team. For Whitey it was about giving his team the best chance to win. Granted, some of these men were players who would come off the bench, but when the injury bug would bite Herzog had no reservations. He was the one manager in St. Louis who could pull it off and there would be no backlash, because Whitey was golden for all the right reasons.
Earl Austin, Jr.:
It was also a wonderful time for African-American fans who had a chance to cheer on the exploits of great black stars such as Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, Terry Pendleton, George Hendrick, and Lonnie Smith and so many others during the Herzog era in St. Louis.
I can still remember the days when fans would call the talk shows on KMOX radio complaining that the Cardinals had too many black players on the field, but that mattered little to Whitey, who flooded the field with great African-American stars throughout his tenure in St. Louis.