Billy Herman (July 7, 1909 – September 5, 1992) played second base during the 1930s and 1940s for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also managed the Pirates and the Red Sox.
Herman broke into the majors in 1931 with the Chicago Cubs and asserted himself as a star the following season, 1932 by having 206 hits, 102 runs and a .314 batting average. A fixture in the Chicago lineup over the next decade, Herman was a consistent hitter and solid producer. He regular hit .300 or higher (and as high as .341 in 1935) and drove in a high of 93 runs in 1936.
Herman missed the 1944 and 1945 seasons to serve in World War II, but returned to play in 1946 with the Dodgers and Boston Braves (after being traded mid-season). He was traded again prior to the 1947 season to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he assumed managerial duties, but only played 15 games. His final record as a major league manager was 189-274 (.408).
Herman finished his career with a .304 batting average, 1163 runs, 47 home runs, 839 RBI and a minuscule 428 strikeouts. He won four National League pennants (in 1932, 1935, 1938 and 1941) but no World Series championships, and was 189-274 as a manager.
Herman holds the National League records for most putouts in a season by a second baseman and led the league in putouts seven times. He also shares the major league record for most hits on opening day, with five, set April 14, 1936.
Herman was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
This episode originally aired October 5, 1987.
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