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Whiteyball is a style of playing baseball that was developed by former Major League Baseball manager Whitey Herzog. The origins of the term stem from the 1982 World Series won by the St. Louis Cardinals, which were managed by Herzog. Surprised by the team's success despite not having a typical power hitter in the lineup, members of the press started using "Whiteyball" to describe a style of play based on speed on the basepaths, excellent defense, and an emphasis on line drive base hits. This style took advantage of the Astroturf surface at Busch Memorial Stadium, which was notably fast and hard, creating large, unpredictable bounces when the ball hit it at sharp angles. In his book "White Rat", Herzog says the approach was a response to the spacious, artificial surface stadiums of the time. As he comments on the media's dismay at his teams' success:

They seemed to think there was something wrong with the way we played baseball, with speed and defense and line-drive hitters. They called it "Whitey-ball" and said it couldn't last.
Whitey Herzog[1]

Herzog continued to employ this strategy through to the remainder of his tenure with the Cardinals, which ended in 1990.


  1. ^ Herzog, Whitey and Kevin Horrigan. White Rat - A Life in Baseball. New York: Harper & Row, 1987. Page 145.


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