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#215 Ray Herbert

08/11/2009

215 Ray Hebert215 Ray Hebert back

Unlike most of the portrait shots from the ’64 set, this is a nice card because we get to actually see Ray Herbert’s full Sox jersey. As for the awkward “I just threw a fake pitch” pose, not so much. My copy of this card is very nice other than the poor cut. The orange back is still very bright. This is a common card, with SMR listing a NM example at $8.

The trivia question asks “who holds the record for homers in a doubleheader,” with the answer being Stan Musial with 5. Musial did it in 1954, and that is still the record but it was equaled in 1972 by San Diego’s Nate Colbert. 12 different players in the AL share the record of 4 homers in a DH. Since doubleheaders are not scheduled anymore, and the common “day-night” setup that we often see for makeup games these days is not considered a DH for statistical purposes, these records are unlikely to change anytime soon.

Ray Herbert is one of those pitchers who had a couple of good years, a few not so good years, and when all was said and done was pretty much an average pitcher who was able to stick around for 14 years. He’s a guy that in the modern game would get like a four-year, $36 million deal because he’s an “innings eater.”

Herbert’s most notable year was 1962, when he went 20-9 with 3.27 ERA for the White Sox, but even then wasn’t spectacular. He didn’t strike very many people out and gave up about a hit an inning. He was pretty good at not giving up home runs, though. He ended up being the winning pitcher in the ’62 All-Star Game, his only All-Star appearance.

1963 was probably his best year. The W-L record was only 13-10, but he had a 3.24 ERA, a league-leading 7 shutouts, and a career-best 3.00 K/BB ratio.

Herbert started his career in 1950 for the Tigers, and pitched parts of four years for them. The Tigers gave up on him and sold him to Kansas City in 1955. Herbert was terrible for the A’s in 1955 and spent the next two years in the minors. It wasn’t until 1960 that he had a decent year, posting a 3.28 ERA in a career-high 252 2/3 innings with KC. In fact, his ERA+ of 122 was the highest of his career.

In the middle of the 1961 season, he was traded to the White Sox in a deal that sent him and Don Larsen to Chicago for four players, including Wes Covington and Bob Shaw.

He battled injuries in 1964, but on August 7th had a 2.75 ERA and a 5-3 record. He struggled late, though, and ended up 6-7 with a 3.47 ERA in 20 appearances. He was traded after the season to Philadelphia and spent two uneventful years with the Phillies before calling it a career.

Herbert is currently 79 years old.

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