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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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      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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