Since 1967, only one National League team has won World Series championships under three different managers.
On Saturday, July 21, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will salute the three living managers who have led the Cardinals to World Series titles. A presentation at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y., will feature a special recognition of Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and Tony La Russa.
Schoendienst, inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1989, managed St. Louis to the 1967 World Series title against the Red Sox.
Herzog, inducted into the Hall of Fame as a manager in 2010, guided the Cardinals to the 1982 World Series championship against the Brewers.
La Russa, a cinch to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a manager when he is first eligible in 2013, led St. Louis to two World Series crowns _ 2006 against the Tigers and 2011 against the Rangers.
Here’s a look at how key decisions made by those Cardinals managers helped lead to World Series titles:
RED SCHOENDIENST, 1967 World Series
Key decision: During the regular season, Schoendienst had platooned Roger Maris in right field with Alex Johnson. For the World Series, Schoendienst decided to start Maris in every game, figuring his defense, baserunning and experience (Maris had played in five World Series for the Yankees) would compensate for any drop in hitting.
“Maris is steady in the field,” Schoendienst said to The Sporting News. “He rarely makes a mistake out there and he doesn’t make mistakes running the bases. And he has the advantage of having been through all that World Series pressure.”
It was the right move. Maris hit .385 (10-for-26) with seven RBI and made 15 putouts (with one error in 61 innings) during the seven-game Series.
Key fact: Schoendienst became the fourth manager _ and first in 36 years _ to start the same eight regulars in the same batting order for a World Series that went seven or more games, according to The Sporting News.
The other managers to do so were Jimmy Collins of the 1903 Red Sox, Fred Clarke of the 1909 Pirates and Connie Mack of the 1931 Athletics.
Excluding the pitcher, St. Louis’ batting order for all seven games was: Lou Brock, left field; Curt Flood, center field; Roger Maris, right field; Orlando Cepeda, first base; Tim McCarver, catcher, Mike Shannon, third base; Julian Javier, second base; and Dal Maxvill, shortstop.
Quotable: Bob Gibson was the winning pitcher for three of the Cardinals’ four victories. Asked what he told his team before Game 7, Schoendienst said to the Associated Press, “Nothing. I gave the ball to Gibson.”
WHITEY HERZOG, 1982 World Series
Key decision: After joining the Cardinals in June 1980, Herzog built the team around speed, defense and relief piching. Two of his cornerstone acquisitions were catcher Darrell Porter and closer Bruce Sutter.
Porter hit .286 with five RBI and prevented eight wild pitches, earning the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. Sutter recorded two saves, including two hitless innings in the Game 7 clincher.
Wrote Palm Beach Post columnist Steve Hummer, “This is the Whitey Herzog Signature Model World Series.”
Key fact: The Cardinals utilized speed (seven stolen bases to Milwaukee’s one) with a relentless array of singles and doubles (27 hits to 11 for Milwaukee in the final two games) to overtake the Brewers after losing three of the first five.
Said Tigers manager Sparky Anderson to The Sporting News: “That’s the one thing about a speed-versus-power World Series. Power can stop; can be stopped. Speed never stops.”
Quotable: After St. Louis won Game 7, Herzog told The Sporting News: “We ain’t the best team ever to win a World Series, but we sure as hell ain’t the worst. We played our game all the way: speed and defense, some hitting and some pitching.”
TONY LA RUSSA, 2006 World Series
Key decision: La Russa gambled by naming rookie Anthony Reyes rather than veteran Jason Marquis as the Cardinals’ Game 1 starting pitcher. Reyes was 5-8 during the regular season. He had the fewest wins of any Game 1 starter in World Series history.
“It’s not an easy call. We wrestled with this,” La Russa said to the Associated Press.
Relying almost exclusively on a fastball, Reyes delivered. He held the Tigers to four hits and two runs over eight innings and St. Louis won, 7-2. It set the tone for a Series the Cardinals clinched in five games.
Key fact: La Russa became only the second big-league manager to win a World Series championship in each league. Sparky Anderson had done it with the 1975 and ’76 Reds and with the 1984 Tigers. La Russa had won with the 1989 Athletics.
Quoteable: After earning the Series championship with a team that had 83 regular-season wins, La Russa told MLB.com, “It was really fun to be around this group. They were so determined … I actually started getting concerned because they were wanting it so much I didn’t want them to be disappointed. And they’re not.”
TONY LA RUSSA, 2011 World Series
Key decision: La Russa was concerned about starting ace Chris Carpenter in Game 7 on short rest. Starters Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson were fully rested. On the morning of Game 7, La Russa told reporters, he called pitching coach Dave Duncan, seeking advice.
“I called (Duncan) in the morning and I said, ‘How about the alternatives?’ He says, ‘Are you kidding? It’s Chris Carpenter.’ And he hung up.”
La Russa started Carpenter, who rewarded him with six solid innings (six hits, two runs) and earned the win in the Cardinals’ 6-2 victory.
Key fact: With the win, the Cardinals improved to 7-1 when Game 7 of a World Series is played at St. Louis.
Quoteable: Third baseman David Freese, winner of the 2011 World Series MVP Award, told New York Times columnist George Vecsey of La Russa, “He’s got a plan with every thought, with everything he says.”