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December 8, 2009

Jane Forbes Clark

Doug Harvery

Whitey Herzog


CRAIG MULDER: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Downtown Marriott Hotel and the Hall of Fame press conference to introduce the members of the newest class of 2010. I'm the director of communications at the Hall of Fame, and please allow me to introduce our honored guests on the dais. To my right, Jane Forbes Clark, the chairman of the board of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Class of 2010 Hall of Famer Doug Harvey, and class of 2010 Whitey Herzog and Jeff Idelson, the president of the National Hall of Fame.
Now I will turn the press conference over to Jane Forbes Clark, the chairman of the board. Jane?
JANE FORBES CLARK: Thank you. Good morning. As you know, the veteran's committee for managers and umpires met on Sunday and elected two of the candidates to the Hall of Fame class of 2010, Doug Harvey and Herzog, two very special men.
Doug spent 31 years as a National League umpire, working six All-Star Games, five World Series, and nine League Championship Series. He umpired 4,670 games, third-most all time when he retired, one of the game's most durable, effective umpires.
He pioneered the process of waiting one full second before he made a call on pitches delivered to the plate so that he could replay it in his mind. He was so revered among his colleagues, players, and media, that the nickname they gave him, "God" tells you all you need to know about Doug.
He is the ninth umpire to earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and his wife, Joy, is with him this morning. We welcome both you and Doug into our Hall of Fame family.
Whitey amassed 1,279 wins over 17 Major League seasons as manager. His teams captured six first-place finishes, three in the American League with Kansas City from 1976 to 1978, and three in the National League with St. Louis in '82, '85, and '87.
Three times his teams went to the World Series, winning with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982. Four-time Manager of the Year, he was recognized as the manager of the decade for the 1980s by Sports Illustrated, the 19th Major League manager elected to Cooperstown. His wife, Mary Lou, is here with us today. Welcome to the Hall of Fame family.
And we would now like to ask both of you to stand so that Jeff and I can put your new team's jersey and cap on.
CRAIG MULDER: We will hear from our newest Hall of Famers, and after we will take questions.
Doug, I welcome you to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Congratulations.
DOUG HARVEY: I just want to tell you how grateful I am. I thought I was going to have to kick up a fuss this year if you didn't bring me in, but I guess waiting the eight years or so that I did, it was well worth it. It's wonderful. Thank you, Jane.
CRAIG MULDER: Whitey, how does it feel to be in the Hall of Fame?
WHITEY HERZOG: Never did I dream I would be here. Never did I dream in my life I would be a member of baseball's Hall of Fame.
The last two years when I seen that I might have a chance, when I got pretty high in the voting, I think two years ago, I got pretty excited.
And then this year, I saw that Dick and I had split the vote for a number of years, six years, where we couldn't get in the way the voting was. But I'm very appreciative of this. It puts the icing on the cake.
One of the reasons I'm here, of course, is because -- I'm sure as hell not here because I was a good player, but I got to manage good people. When I went to New York to coach first base for the Mets, the New York press, I had a good relationship with them, and I pride myself in the fact that I managed 18 years and I never closed a door for a cooling-off period.
I wouldn't let my trainers hide in the trainers' room, and I think that's part of managing and part of understanding that the press does have a job.
And as long as we got the press on your side writing about baseball, writing about the Hall of Fame, baseball will always be America's pastime. Thank you very much.

Q. Where did the one-second delay come from? Where did you get that idea?
DOUG HARVEY: Oh, the delay (chuckling.) I have a picture at home of Jocko Conlan, an old-time umpire for any of you that are too young to know. But Jocko Conlan is calling the guy out. He's in foul territory. He's calling the guy out left-handed. He's got his head down. The ball is this far from the glove and his foot is that far from the bag.
I said, you know, if he had waited, he might have gotten that thing differently. So because of that, because of Jocko Conlan, that's how I decided I'm going to go, and I'm going to delay the call. It actually works. If you replay the pitch or the play, you actually replay it in your mind if you just give yourself a second. That's why.

Q. After all of these years, can you become friends now, after all the many arguments you've had?
WHITEY HERZOG: Well, let me say something. You know, I'm sitting next to Doug, and I'll be very honest, he kicked me out of more games, or maybe as many games as all the umpires combined.
DOUG HARVEY: Probably.
WHITEY HERZOG: It wasn't because of balls and strikes. It wasn't because of safe or out or because of fair or foul. It was mostly because of weather, and it was when he put the tarp on and when he took it off.
I want to say one thing. I want to say this, and I'll probably use it again at Cooperstown when I get there: Doug deserves to be a Hall of Famer because he is a Hall of Fame umpire, outstanding umpire, had pride in his job, hustled all the time. He tried to make better umpires of all the youngsters they assigned to him.
But he was the worst damn weatherman I ever saw. (Laughter.) I want to say two things to him: You know, if the sun is out in Cooperstown, please don't put the tarp on. (Laughter.)
And the other thing is, for Christ's sakes, don't kick me out of Cooperstown.
DOUG HARVEY: Well, one thing about it, we are going to get the game in. I guarantee you we're going to get the game in.
WHITEY HERZOG: I hope we both have good health till then. We are getting up there.
DOUG HARVEY: I say the best to you, Whitey. It was all a game and it was a wonderful, wonderful trip for both of us. We are very glad to be here, thank you.
WHITEY HERZOG: Very glad to be here.

Q. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your time in New York with the Mets, and especially your relationship with Casey and the influence Casey had.
WHITEY HERZOG: I think everybody knows that. I spent 1966 coaching third base, and after that, I became an assistant to the general manager. After that I traded with Sheffy and I became director of players. I got an awful lot of credit for the Miracle Mets in '69. We did win a World Series with an expansion club, and we never had a one, two, or three draft pick on our club.
One of the best compliments I ever got in my life, I went to congratulate Gil Hodges on the night that we won the World Series. Gil jumped out of his chair and he said, I want to congratulate you. I said, What do you mean? He said, Well, for four years you sent me players, and every time I've asked you something, you've sent me the right guy. I really appreciate that. You always sent what I wanted.
Well, I got to be very tight with Casey when I went to the Yankees spring training camp, and then when Casey came over to the Mets and he quit managing and he was kind of just an ambassador for us, every day, every night, we would be in the press room talking. Every day he would come over and he would keep me from working, really.
Casey would be there and I couldn't do a damn thing because he wanted to talk baseball all the time. Casey loved me, and for some reason, and I told Rick this last week, I never could figure out when I went to spring training and to the Yankees rookie school in 1955, 1956 and so forth, why he took so much interest in me.
He talked with me and worked with me more than Roger Maris or Mantle or Bobby Richardson, and he's always working with me. Well, after I got to know this and I spent a lot of time with him, he came up to Anaheim to see me three or four weeks before he passed away. I said, Now, why in the world did Casey take that liking to me? He said, I've got a picture of him at home, a great leader -- I mean, my teachers would die if they saw that picture.
But anyway, I finally figured out that Casey played for John McGraw, and on his team was Buck Herzog, the third baseman. Casey, I know damn well he didn't know who I was. He thought I was his grandson, and that's why he was nice to me. (Laughter.)
But Casey and I were tight. If I got to say one guy that maybe helped me be a manager better than anybody, and the way he would teach and things I used, was mostly because of what Stengel taught me. He was a wonderful teacher of fundamentals, and Gene Mauch said to me one time, I was in Kansas City and he said, How come your teams can get from third to home faster than anybody else?
And I said, Because we work on it. Casey was the reason. He taught baserunning to the Yankees. When he won 10 times in 12 years, the Yankees, everybody looked at their home run and everybody looked at this and that. Let me tell you something. It was the best baserunning team in baseball. They took the extra base better. They did the fundamentals better than anybody in baseball. Casey knew what he was doing, believe me.

Q. Along those lines, Jim Riggleman yesterday talked about working for you, and said that he was so happy that you were now in the Hall of Fame, and that he would never have had the opportunity to manage if not be for you. Can you talk about your relationship with him?
WHITEY HERZOG: Well, I take pride in one fact. When I went to the Cardinals and Casey told me this, he said, Always hire the best people you can hire.
What I tried to do when I needed a coaching staff was hire from within so I could give the Minor League people that were working so hard and weren't making much money a chance to get on a Major League list.
The first one, I made my first choice after coming there in '80 and '81. I brought up Hal Lanier, and then when I lost Hal, I brought up Rich Hacker from the rookie league, he had three World Series with our ballclub in Toronto, and then I brought up Nick Leyva who later managed the Phillies.
I thought that was very important, because it would give your Minor League people who were working hard a chance to get to the Big Leagues. I thought the pension plan was very important.
So I've had three guys that I promoted from the Minor Leagues that got up to become Big League managers, and I'm very happy about that. I know Jim Riggleman, who I consider a very good manager and very capable, I was so happy this year that when he got an opportunity to manage again next year, because he's taken over a few places as intern manager, and then at the end of the year they want to hire a name guy and he gets left out. When you take over bad clubs in June, they might play good for two weeks, but then they will go back to playing the way they should. That's happened to him a few times.
This year, his Washington team played very well, and I thought when they made him the general manager or permanent general manager instead of interim, I thought Jim should be hired, but he didn't get hired. I did talk to him. I love him as a person, and I'm happy for his opportunity. I hope that he can help turn that club around.
You never know. Today you can get lucky with a couple young arms. You might be able to do something, and that can happen, because they can score runs.

Q. Kansas City came into prominence when you were managing. Just wondering what your favorite memories are of the Royals days and George Brett might be?
WHITEY HERZOG: Well, I had a lot of fun when I was in Kansas City. We won three times, and there was a five-game playoff. You know, we lost three to the Yankees, and two of them in the 9th inning in the fifth game.
But I was very, very happy in Kansas City. I got a wonderful opportunity there after being fired in Texas, but I was lucky because Joe Burke was the general manager of Texas and just left the day before I got fired and went to Kansas City.
I didn't know whether I would ever get another opportunity to manage again in the Big Leagues. It was on my son's 16th birthday, September 8, 1973. Well, when I was fired, nobody called me and nobody talked to me, and finally I said, Mary Lou, I don't know what to do, so we just threw a party, invited all our friends, and broke the ice. And, hell, the second time you get fired, you don't even worry about it.
But my fondest memory of Kansas City was getting hired in Kansas City because I came in there at an opportune time. George Brett was a rookie. John Mayberry, Hal McRae. I had two guys sitting on the bench that became All-Stars, and Frank White and I had a great team. Dennis Leonard was able to get a career from the Yankees, and we played the Yankees tough and I enjoyed our playoffs.
But I'm happy to see that baseball now is thinking about a seven-game playoff in the first round. It's not right to play 162 games and have a five-game series to decide if you go on. We don't maybe need all the off-days. I think we can get there because of the strength and depth of our pitching staffs. So if we could go to the seventh game, first round, maybe just one off-day, I think it would be better and more fair to all of the teams.
I think getting hired in Kansas City was great. The first time we won -- because I went through the Yankee shuttle bus when I was a player, and, you know, two bad weeks in New York; you would be in Kansas City; two good weeks in Kansas City; you would be in New York. So they had their own farm club in the American League, and all of a sudden we were playing them in the playoffs.
So I was pretty proud of that, and I enjoyed it there till my players screwed it up. (Laughter.)
CRAIG MULDER: Thank you for attending today.

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