The length of a baseball season – from mid-February to October – is truly daunting for anyone involved. You mix that much testosterone in an area and weird things are bound to happen.
And, because of this, there are some weird stories that come from it.
Some of those tend to get released into the mainstream, like the one about Chris Berman. Or the one (while not 100% accurate in the following link, but damn close) about Pedro Guerrero. We hit up “The Goog” for some others we heard during our time as a baseball beat writer, but apparently those haven’t hit the mainstream just yet. Too bad, because we have heard some good Tommy Lasorda ones. And the one about the writer who slept in the streets after a long night of drinking. (Buy us a drink and we’ll tell you some tales.)
While we couldn’t write a book, we could certainly fill up more than a pamphlet about famous Jewish sports legends.
Then there’s the one about Tommy Herr.
According to legend, Tommy Herr showed up to his wife’s side at the hospital as she was about to give birth and when the baby came out, the blue-eyed and brown-haired Herr was in for quite a shock. See, the rumor is that the very Caucasian Mr. and Mrs. Herr had a very tan baby. Mrs. Herr, as the story goes, was messing around with Tito Landrum and the baby came out looking more like the defensive replacement of an outfielder than the light-hitting, but 100-RBI second baseman.
Just start typing Tommy Herr’s name into a search engine and one of the predictor’s is either “Tommy Herr wife” or “Tommy Herr Tito Landrum.”
Yet, in this day and age of constant information, you’d think the little bastard (yes, that’s a legitimate term in this usage, we’re not being mean) would have surfaced somewhere.
Regardless, we felt that Tommy Herr should get some love as our Random Pro this week because the Cardinals are back in the playoffs. In the 1980’s when the speed of the Cardinals was a little different than, say, the speed the rest of baseball was used to (yes, we’re referring to cocaine) Tommy Herr was a damn-near slugger.
He played on three different World Series teams and in 1985 he finished fifth in MVP voting. That was the year he became the first player in history to knock in 100 runs without hitting at least 10 homers. Vince Coleman, Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith were so fast they probably scored from first on single hit by Herr, the No. 3 hitter.
Only 49 of his 180 hits went for extra bases that year, yet he had 110 RBI. That’s like hitting Maicer Izturis third. Oh, wait. Mike Scioscia does that from time to time.
What was so disconcerting about Herr, though, was when you played as the Cardinals in RBI Baseball. You’d choose the Cardinals in that game because of the team speed (which Earl Weaver is not a fan of, by the way) in the hopes of reaching first on an infield hit, then stealing second and third.
Having Herr bat third in RBI Baseball was a near death sentence, so how in the wide world of sports did the Cardinals make three World Series in a six-year span? He was an above-average second baseman, but he was not a No. 3 hitter.
If Herr were playing now, he would be batting eighth because a majority of second baseman are
using steroids working out, using steroids taking supplements, using steroids being fit and hitting in the middle of the order because they are using steroids.
Maybe somewhere the Herr-Landrum love child is hitting massive amounts of home runs but is banned from playing in America. Kind of like a modern day Kenny Powers. Or, perhaps it is just a dumb thing that gives us something to talk about.
Kind of like having Herr hit third.