Billy Herman

William Jennings Bryan Herman (July 7, 1909 – September 5, 1992) was an American second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the 1930s and 1940s. Known for his stellar defense and consistent batting, Herman still holds many National League (NL) defensive records for second basemen and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

Billy Herman
Billy Herman 1965
Second baseman / Manager
Born: July 7, 1909
New Albany, Indiana
Died: September 5, 1992 (aged 83)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 29, 1931, for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
August 1, 1947, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Batting average.304
Hits2,345
Home runs47
Runs batted in839
Managerial record189–274
Winning %.408
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1975
Election MethodVeteran's Committee

Biography

Early life

Born in New Albany, Indiana, in 1909, and named after William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Presidential candidate and statesman of the turn of the 20th century,[1] Herman attended New Albany High School.

Baseball career

Herman broke into the majors in 1931 with the Chicago Cubs and asserted himself as a star the following season, 1932, by hitting .314 and scoring 102 runs. His first at-bat was memorable. Facing Cincinnati Reds pitcher Si Johnson, Herman chopped a pitch into the back of home plate, which then bounced up and hit Herman in the back of the head, knocking him out.[2] A fixture in the Chicago lineup over the next decade, Herman was a consistent hitter and solid producer. He regularly hit .300 or higher (and as high as .341 in 1935) and drove in a high of 93 runs in 1936.

BillyHermanGoudeycard
A 1933 Goudey baseball card of Herman.

After a sub-standard offensive year in 1940, Herman was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1941. He had one of his finest offensive season in 1943, when he batted .330 with a .398 on-base percentage and 100 runs driven in.

Herman missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons to serve in World War II, but returned to play in 1946 with the Dodgers and Boston Braves (after being traded mid-season). At 37, he was considered prime managerial material by the new owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On September 30, 1946, Herman was traded to Pittsburgh with three marginal players (outfielder Stan Wentzel, pitcher Elmer Singleton and infielder Whitey Wietelmann) for third baseman Bob Elliott and catcher Hank Camelli. Herman was promptly named playing manager of the 1947 Pirates, but he was aghast at the cost—Elliott—the Pirates had paid for him. "Why, they've gone and traded the whole team on me", he said.[3] Elliott won the 1947 NL Most Valuable Player award and led Boston to the 1948 National League pennant. Herman's 1947 Pirates lost 92 games and finished tied for seventh in the NL, and he resigned before the season's final game. (His last appearance as a Major League player was on August 1 of that year.)

Herman then managed in the minor leagues and became a Major League coach with the Dodgers (1952–57) and Braves (now based in Milwaukee) (1958–59)—serving on five National League pennant winners in eight seasons. Then he moved to the American League (AL) as the third-base coach of the Boston Red Sox for five years (1960–64), before managing the Red Sox to lackluster records in 1965 and 1966; his 1965 Boston club lost 100 games. After his firing by the Red Sox in September 1966, he coached for the California Angels (1967) and San Diego Padres (1978–79) and served in player development roles with the Padres and Oakland Athletics.

Herman finished his 1,922-game big-league career with a .304 batting average, 1,163 runs scored, 2,345 hits, 486 doubles, 82 triples, 47 home runs, 839 runs batted in, and 428 strikeouts. He won four NL pennants (in 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1941) but no World Series championships as a player (although he was a coach on the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers). His record as a Major League manager was 189-274 (.408). Herman holds the NL records for most putouts in a season by a second baseman and led the league in putouts seven times. He also shares the Major League record for most hits on opening day, with five, set April 14, 1936.

Later life

Billy Herman - San Diego Padres - 1978
Herman in 1978

Herman moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in 1968. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975. He died of cancer in 1992.[4]

Personal

Herman's granddaughter is Cheri Daniels, wife of former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ Joseph Wancho, Billy Herman. Society for American Baseball Research Biography Project
  2. ^ Mackin, Bob, "The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records", Greystone Books, 2004.
  3. ^ Boston Braves Historical Association Newsletter, Vol. 19, No. 3, Autumn 2010
  4. ^ "Billy Herman, 83; Ex-Cub and Dodger Was Hall of Famer". The New York Times. September 7, 1992. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "First Lady Janet Holcomb: Home". www.in.gov.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Connie Ryan
Milwaukee Braves third-base coach
1958–1959
Succeeded by
George Myatt
Preceded by
Jack Burns
Boston Red Sox third-base coach
1960–1964
Succeeded by
Billy Gardner
Preceded by
Salty Parker
California Angels third-base coach
1967
Succeeded by
Rocky Bridges
1935 Chicago Cubs season

The 1935 Chicago Cubs season was the 64th season for the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 60th in the National League and the 20th at Wrigley Field. The season saw the Cubs finish with 100 wins for the first time in 25 years; they would not win 100 games in another season until 2016. The Cubs won their 14th National League pennant in team history and faced the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, but lost in six games.

The 1935 season is largely remembered for the Cubs' 21-game winning streak. The streak began on September 4 with the Cubs 2.5 games out of first place. They would not lose again until September 28. The streak propelled the Cubs to the National League pennant. The 21-game winning streak tied the franchise and major league record set in 1880 when they were known as the Chicago White Stockings.

1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1935 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the third playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 8, 1935, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, hosted by the Cleveland Indians of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 4–1.

1936 Chicago Cubs season

The 1936 Chicago Cubs season was the 65th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 61st in the National League and the 21st at Wrigley Field. The Cubs tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for second in the National League with a record of 87–67.

1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fourth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 7, 1936, at National League Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the home of the Boston Bees of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–3. It was the National League's first win in All-Star Game history.

1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the fifth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 7, 1937, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., the home of the Washington Senators of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 8–3.

The game, watched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is remembered because of a play in which Earl Averill of the Indians hit a ball that struck pitcher Dizzy Dean on the toe, breaking it. Complications of this injury shortened the career of the future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher.

1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1938 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the sixth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 6, 1938, at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–1.

1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the eighth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1940, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–0.

1941 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers, led by manager Leo Durocher, won their first pennant in 21 years, edging the St. Louis Cardinals by 2.5 games. They went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

In The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, this team was referenced as one of "The Greatest Teams That Never Was", due to the quality of its starting lineup. Dolph Camilli was the slugging star with 34 home runs and 120 RBI. He was voted the National League's Most Valuable Player. Pete Reiser, a 22-year-old rookie, led the league in batting average, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Other regulars included Hall of Famers Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers scored the most runs of any NL team (800).

The pitching staff featured a pair of 22-game winners, Kirby Higbe and Whitlow Wyatt, having their best pro seasons.

1942 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers team won 104 games in the season, but fell two games short of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League pennant race.

1943 Brooklyn Dodgers season

With the roster depleted by players leaving for service in World War II, the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in third place.

The team featured five future Hall of Famers: second baseman Billy Herman, shortstop Arky Vaughan, outfielders Paul Waner, and Joe Medwick, and manager Leo Durocher.

Herman finished fourth in MVP voting, after hitting .330 with 100 runs batted in. Vaughan led the league in runs scored and stolen bases.

1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 11th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1943, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 5–3.

This was the first major league All-Star Game scheduled as a night game.

1946 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season tied for first place with the St. Louis Cardinals. The two teams played in the first ever playoff series to decide the pennant, and the Cardinals took two straight to win the title.

With their star players back from the war, Brooklyn had jumped back into serious contention. They would be respectable until their move to Los Angeles 10 years later.

This season was the team's – and Major League Baseball's – last non-integrated one.

1964 Boston Red Sox season

The 1964 Boston Red Sox season was the 64th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished eighth in the American League (AL) with a record of 72 wins and 90 losses, 27 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees.

1975 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1975 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Ralph Kiner.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Earl Averill, Bucky Harris, and Billy Herman.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Judy Johnson.

Bill Burwell

William Edwin Burwell (March 27, 1895 – June 11, 1973) was an American professional baseball player, manager and coach. During his active career, he was right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Browns and Pittsburgh Pirates. In 70 MLB games, six as a starting pitcher, he won nine games and lost eight, with a 4.37 earned run average. He posted six saves and one complete game, allowing 253 hits and 79 bases on balls, with 49 strikeouts, in 218​1⁄3 innings pitched. He was born in Jarbalo, Kansas.

Burwell was listed as 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and 175 pounds (79 kg). He won 239 minor league games during a 22-year playing career. He pitched for all or parts of 12 straight seasons (1923–34) for the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association. He also fashioned a lengthy post-pitching career as a minor league manager (including two seasons, 1945–46, as skipper of the Indianapolis franchise) and Major League coach. He worked in the latter role for the Boston Red Sox (1944) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1947–48; 1958–62). While serving as pitching coach on Danny Murtaugh's staff, Burwell was a member of the Pirates' 1960 world championship team.

Burwell was acting manager of the Pirates for the final game of the 1947 season, after player-manager Billy Herman resigned with one game remaining. Under Burwell, the Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 7-0. He also was a longtime scout and roving minor-league coach for the Pirates.

While working as pitching instructor in the Pirate organization in 1949, Burwell was instrumental to the development of pitcher Vern Law, then toiling for the Class B Davenport Pirates of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League. Burwell taught the 19-year-old Law how to change speeds and throw the change-up. Law later cited Burwell as the coach who most helped him during his time in the minor leagues.Burwell died at age 78 in Ormond Beach, Florida and is buried in nearby Daytona Beach.

List of Major League Baseball doubles records

Major League Baseball has various records related to doubles.

Players denoted in boldface are still actively contributing to the record noted.

(r) denotes a player's rookie season.

Second baseman

In baseball and softball, second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.

Good second basemen need to have very good range since they have to field balls closer to the first baseman who is often holding runners on, or moving towards the base to cover. On a batted ball to right field, the second baseman goes out towards the ball for the relay. Due to these requirements, second base is sometimes a primarily defensive position in the modern game, but there are hitting stars as well.

Stan Wentzel

Stanley Aaron Wentzel (January 13, 1917 – November 28, 1991) was an American professional baseball player. A longtime minor league outfielder and, later, a manager, Wentzel's only stint in Major League Baseball came at the end of the 1945 season, when he appeared in four games in centerfield for the Boston Braves. The 28-year-old rookie was a native of Lorane, Pennsylvania. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg).

Wentzel is one of many ball players who only appeared in the Major Leagues during the World War II period. After batting .321 with the Indianapolis Indians of the AA (then the minors' top level) American Association, he was called up by Boston and started four games for the Braves in the last week of the season, all against the New York Giants. He got only four hits in 19 at bats (.211), but had six runs batted in. He also scored three runs. In the field, Wentzel recorded eight putouts with no errors.

Wentzel returned to Indianapolis for 1946 and after that season, on September 30, he was included in a multiplayer trade that sent him to the Pittsburgh Pirates with future Hall of Fame second baseman Billy Herman, pitcher Elmer Singleton and infielder Whitey Wietelmann for third baseman Bob Elliott and catcher Hank Camelli. Herman was promptly named playing manager of the 1947 Pirates, but he was aghast at the cost — Elliott — the Pirates had paid for him. "Why, they've gone and traded the whole team on me", he said. Elliott would win the 1947 National League Most Valuable Player award and lead Boston to the 1948 National League pennant. Herman's 1947 Pirates lost 92 games and finished tied for seventh in the NL, and he resigned before the season's final game.

Wentzel never appeared in a game for the Pirates, but he played and managed in the Pittsburgh farm system through 1958. He died at the age of 74 in St. Lawrence, Pennsylvania.

Stew Hofferth

Stewart Edward Hofferth (January 27, 1913 – March 7, 1994) was an American professional baseball player. The catcher appeared in 136 Major League Baseball games played over three seasons for the 1944–46 Boston Braves. Listed at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 metres) tall and 195 pounds (88 kilograms), Hofferth threw and batted right-handed. He was born in Logansport, Indiana.

Hofferth spent eight years (1936–43) in minor league baseball, including three seasons (1940–42) as a player-manager in the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization, before his promotion to the Braves in 1944 during the World War II manpower shortage. He appeared in a career-high 66 games during his rookie season as the backup to Phil Masi and Clyde Kluttz. On May 13, 1944, Hofferth collected four hits and scored four runs in six at bats to help lead the Braves to a 16–2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. Two and a half months later, on July 30, he had another four-hit day against the Pirates, this time in four at bats, in a 6–4 Boston triumph at Braves Field.Hofferth's playing time diminished in 1945, although he hit three home runs and started 43 games at catcher (both career bests) for the Braves that season. Hofferth then spent the first two months of the postwar 1946 campaign on the Braves' roster, appearing in 20 games and starting 15 behind the plate. On June 15, he went hitless in three at bats against Ed Heusser of the Cincinnati Reds at Braves Field. Later that day, then the trading deadline in Major League Baseball, he was reacquired by Brooklyn in a one-for-one deal for fellow Hoosier Billy Herman, the veteran 36-year-old second baseman in the twilight of a Hall of Fame career. Hofferth never played another MLB game and retired after spending 1948 as a player-manager in the Dodger organization.

In addition to four home runs, his 88 big-league hits included 11 doubles and one triple. Hofferth died at age 81 in Valparaiso, Indiana.

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