Charles Lincoln “Buck” Herzog
Born: July 9, 1885 - Baltimore, MD
Died: September 4, 1953 - Baltimore, MD
Career BA: .259
Managerial Record: 165–226
New York Giants NL (1908–1909, 1911–1913, 1916–1917)
Boston Doves/Rustlers/Braves NL (1910–1911, 1918–1919)
Cincinnati Reds NL (player-manager: 1914–1916)
Chicago Cubs NL (1919–1920)
A talented infielder, Buck Herzog played second base, shortstop and third. He is included with the Cracker Jack second sackers because he played a few more games at that position than the other two. Herzog goes down in the annals of baseball history as one of the most colorful and controversial players of all time. Displaying a fiery temper both as a player and manager, Buck is often compared to former player and manager for the Yankees, Billy Martin.
Incredibly versatile at any infield position, Herzog was also a pretty good hitter. He batted .290 in 1911, helping the Giants to the pennant. As a Giant, Herzog and his manager, the legendary John McGraw, often tangled with each other. Their relationship was similar to that of Martin and his star, Reggie Jackson. Herzog, like Jackson, was the anchor on those great pennant-winning Giants teams of 1911, 1912, 1913 and 1917. As a matter of fact, Herzog was dealt away on two occasions only to be brought back to shore up the Giants’ infield. As player-manager of the Reds, Herzog consistently fought with the front office, but despite his fiery temper the Giants wanted him back and named him captain upon his return.
One of the greatest brawls of all time took place between Herzog and Ty Cobb when Cobb slid into third with spikes high and injured Herzog. The two battled on the field and, after the game, they continued the fight in Cobb’s hotel room. Cobb proceeded to thrash Herzog soundly. On a couple of occasions there was speculation that Herzog had been laying down on games where money was wagered. The most serious accusation was in 1920 while he was with the Cubs. Although there was no evidence of his participation, Herzog was released with several other accused teammates. Herzog went on to play and manage in the minors through 1924. He later coached at the Naval Academy and worked for the B&O Railroad for many years. In 1953 Herzog’s baseball friends found out that he was penniless, homeless, and sick with tuberculosis. Although they tried to help, it was too late. Herzog died that year at the age of 67. A sad ending to a good player.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html