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Manager Herzog, ump Harvey voted into Hall

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP)

Whitey Herzog spent a good, long time stewing about a blown call in the 1985 World Series. So in a strange way, perhaps this fits: He's going into the Hall of Fame, standing next to an umpire. Herzog and prominent crew chief Doug Harvey got the call Monday, elected to the Hall by the Veterans Committee. Herzog was a single vote short in his previous try, and might've made it sooner with another crown on his resume. But he was forever linked to Don Denkinger after the ump's infamous miss in Game 6 so long ago cost the St. Louis Cardinals a chance to clinch. "No, I'm not bitter at Denkinger," Herzog said at Busch Stadium. "He's a good guy, he knows he made a mistake, and he's a human being. It happened at an inopportune time but I do think they ought to have instant replay in the playoffs and World Series." Herzog and Denkinger made their peace over the years. "We didn't always see eye-to-eye. That's pretty obvious. Enough has been printed about what happened," Denkinger told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It didn't deter from how I feel about Whitey. He deserves to be in the Hall. I have the utmost respect for him," he said. The long-ago play that rankled Herzog came leading off the bottom of the ninth with St. Louis leading the Royals 1-0. Pinch-hitter Jorge Orta was called safe at first, even though replays showed first baseman Jack Clark's toss to pitcher Todd Worrell was in time. A missed popup helped Kansas City rally for two runs to win Game 6. "How could he miss that call?" Herzog shouted that night, mixing in an expletive as he stormed down a runway tunnel. The next night, the Royals romped 11-0 in Game 7. As for Harvey, Herzog joshed: "I don't know why he should get in. Doug kicked me out of more games than any other umpire." Like Herzog, Harvey fell one vote shy in the last election. This time, they both easily drew enough support to reach Cooperstown. "I don't think I would've had my heart broken if I'd missed by another vote or two. But I'm damn happy it's over," Herzog said. "It was just in the last few years when I was only missing by a few votes that I thought, maybe I do deserve it." Among those who came close this year was former players' union head Marvin Miller. He was on a separate slate for executives and officials, and fell two votes short. "Very few individuals have had as significant or as positive an impact upon the history of baseball as Marvin," union head Michael Weiner said in a statement. "The Hall remains incomplete without Marvin's plaque." Herzog was a fixture in major league dugouts for two decades. He won the 1982 World Series and three NL pennants with the Cardinals and three division titles with Kansas City. He became the 19th manager to make the Hall. "I think he was one of the guys who started managers looking at doing more creative things," said Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, one of Herzog's star players. "You'd see him take a relief pitcher and put him in right field."
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Smith was a late addition to the 16-member panel that considered managers and umpires. Candidates needed 12 votes (75 percent) to make it, and Herzog got 14 in voting Sunday at the baseball winter meetings. Results were announced Monday, and the 78-year-old Herzog was told he was in. Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog drew his nickname because of his light blonde hair while playing minor league ball. He wasn't much of a major league outfielder, but made his mark with the Runnin' Redbirds. "He's the best baseball man I've ever been around," said Washington manager Jim Riggleman, a former member of Herzog's staff. "If you worked under Whitey, you had a chance to manage in the major leagues." Herzog started managing in 1973 with Texas and compiled a .532 career winning percentage. "He gave his entire life to the game," said Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, another Veterans panel member. "When he didn't make it last year, I was very, very down. This year, everyone understood he belonged there." Herzog and Harvey came close in 2007. They will be enshrined at the induction ceremonies on July 25. Harvey umpired in the National League for 31 seasons before retiring in 1992. He worked five World Series and six All-Star games, and handled more than 4,600 games overall. The 79-year-old Harvey was picked on 15 of 16 ballots this time, becoming the ninth umpire in the Hall. "Ten years into my career, my late father said to me that one day I would realize what I have achieved. When I woke up this morning and I received the call from Cooperstown, I realized for the first time exactly what that means," Harvey said in a statement. "I accept this election ... on behalf of all umpires from the minor leagues to the major leagues and for those who umpire at every level," he said. Harvey has been in frail health since being diagnosed with oral cancer in 1997. He often chewed a wad of tobacco while on the field. "What were they waiting for to put him in?" said Denkinger, a longtime AL umpire. "We all thought he should've been elected five or six years ago." Harvey was distinguished by his shock of silver hair, and players often called him "God" in tribute to his work. He helped bring a new style to umpiring, too. Rather than make emphatic, instant calls, as was the norm when he began in 1962, he would take a split-second to get a snapshot of the play in his mind. "He had the players' respect. He had the pitchers' respect — most of the time," Lasorda said. "Sometime you see umpires and you say that guy's not giving his best, he's getting lackadaisical. Not him," he said. Danny Murtaugh, who guided Pittsburgh to a pair of World Series titles, and umpire Hank O'Day each received eight votes, four shy of election. A separate 12-person committee that reviewed 10 executives didn't elect anyone. John Fetzer, who owned the Detroit Tigers from 1956-83, got eight votes and fell one short. Miller, who became head of the players' association in 1966 and built the union into a powerful force, drew seven votes. Jacob Ruppert, who owned the Yankees when they acquired Babe Ruth, also had seven. Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez and Barry Larkin are eligible for the first time in Hall voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Results will be announced Jan. 6. The next Veterans Committee vote for players is in 2010.

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