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Sports Then and Now



Is “Sweet Lou” Piniella Hall of Fame Material? 1

Posted on July 21, 2010 by Dean Hybl

To many major league umpires, Lou Piniella has seemed anything but sweet.

In a week that will culminate with former major league manager Whitey Herzog receiving a plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the question is whether current Chicago Cub manager Lou Piniella, who announced this week that he will retire at the end of the season, will someday join Herzog at the Hall of Fame.

The similarities between the managerial careers of Herzog and Piniella are actually much greater than you might initially anticipate.

Both were among the best managers of their era and won multiple division titles. However, they each were able to claim the World Series title only once during their managerial tenures.

In 18 seasons as a manager (14 full seasons and four partial seasons), Herzog won six division titles (three with the Kansas City Royals and three with the St. Louis Cardinals), three pennants and the 1982 World Series title. He posted an overall record of 1281-1125(.532 winning percentage) while guiding his squads to a winning record in 10 of his 14 full seasons as a skipper.

Unless something unexpected occurs in the next few weeks, Piniella will complete his 22nd full season and 23rd overall as a manager. His teams have also won six division titles, but Piniella has managed only in one World Series. That was in 1990 when his first season with the Cincinnati Reds ended with a surprising four game sweep over the mighty Oakland A’s in the World Series. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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