The KC Royals have had a few tremendous skippers throughout their 50-year history. Today we recap the top three.
After replacing Jack McKeon for the final third of the 1975 season, Whitey Herzog would win games at a 61 percent clip for the Kansas City Royals the rest of that year. He would then guide them to division titles in ’76, ’77 and ’78. Unfortunately, the franchise was never able to make it out of the American League Championship Series those three years, falling to the New York Yankees each time. Back then it was a best-of-five format and twice it came down to the deciding game.
A runner-up finish in 1979 would turn out to be the last run for Herzog in a Royals uniform. It’s hard to believe, but Herzog was let go after a second-place finish. From there Herzog went on to spend a decade producing a World Series winner and two other National League pennants for the cross-state St. Louis Cardinals.
Herzog not only managed the Royals but he was a player on the first MLB franchise in KC, the Athletics. He played for that team from 1958 to 1960. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 2000. Prior to Ned Yost, Herzog was the all-time leader in wins as a Royals manager with 410 and his winning percentage of .574 is tops for the organization.
Whitey recently had a stroke at his charity golf tournament and we wish him a speedy recovery.