Cardinals and Royals should set aside their differences to honor Whitey Herzog

Whitey Herzog epitomized success for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. The two teams should devote the 2024 I-70 series to celebrating the marks he left on the clubs.
Cardinals Whitey Herzog
Cardinals Whitey Herzog / George Gojkovich/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals haven't been true rivals since the 1980s, peaking at the Cardinals' ill-fated loss in the 1985 World Series at the hands of umpire Don Denkinger in Game 6. Many Cardinals fans remember Whitey Herzog, who managed the Cardinals from 1981 to 1990 and instituted his signature "Whiteyball" style of play, which emphasized speed, pitching and defense. But before working with the Cardinals, Herzog managed the Royals from 1975 to 1979, guiding them to division titles in 1976, 1977 and 1978.

Herzog died on April 16, 2024, at age 92, and given his contributions to both Missouri teams, the Cardinals and Royals should celebrate his legacy during the teams' series on July 9 and 10 in St. Louis and Aug. 9 and 10 in Kansas City.

The two teams have the opportunity to create a memorable event for fans on both sides of the state. The Cardinals and Royals should have players who played under Herzog attend the series, and the two teams will likely don commemorative patches throughout 2025.

The I-70 series, which could hereby be christened the Herzog series, sees fans from St. Louis making the four-hour trek to Kansas City and vice versa with Royals fans to St. Louis. As someone who has lived in both the St. Louis and Kansas City vicinities, I can say that while St. Louis residents tend to be indifferent to the Royals, those in Kansas City are not fond of the Cardinals at all.

Despite the generally one-sided vitriol from Royals fans toward the Cardinals, the celebration of Herzog's contributions to the Royals should transcend this disdain. Herzog brought success to each team, and Cardinals and Royals fans should recognize the legacies he left on not only their hometown team, but on the one across the state as well.

Fans on opposite sides don't need to join hands and sing "Kumbaya," but they should be able to agree on celebrating a manager who left an indelible imprint on both of their teams. At the very least, it's better than seething or gloating over Denkinger.