No. 182 Billy Herman (Number 17 Second Base)

Billy Herman is another person who could everything well, so nothing stands out. He had 9 black ink points which isn’t bad but is below the average hall of famer. He hit .306 for his career, but didn’t draw a great number of walks, so his on base average while good wasn’t that great. Herman was a great fielder in his prime but average early and late according to Baseball Reference. He didn’t have a lot of power, but once led the league in doubles and once in triples. I think the triples was kind of a fluke as he was in double figures only twice and had only 82 career triples. His lack of power though is in the homerun department with a career total of 47 homeruns. Herman was always hit plenty of doubles. He was successful less then half the time on the base paths.

I chose Joe Gordon as my extra second baseman over Herman for the Hall of Fame. My formula gives Herman the edge because he played longer. However, Gordon seems to have more good years. He hit more homeruns. Overall extra base hits are about the same per year, but homeruns are better for the team then doubles. Gordon also comes out as a better fielder and was supposed to be really good on the double play. It is close but I chose Gordon.

The interesting thing is when I think of Billy Herman I think of Brooklyn, but he is actually a Cub. He spent 11 years, including his best years with the Cubs, and played in 3 World Series with them. He was only on one World Series team with Brooklyn and played four seasons with him. I guess I remember a lot from the 1941 World Series.

Speaking of World Series, Herman had one great World Series with Cubs in 1935 in which they lost in 6 games to the Tigers. That was the breaks as Herman’s team never won the World Series. However, I am not going to go in detail about the 1935 World Series, I found something more interesting in the 1932 World Series.

In the 1932 World Series Herman was on base 5 times, 4 hits and a walk, but scored 5 runs. I want to see if he scored every time he got on base or if he got on with an error or fielder choice and scored a run. Let us check the play by play.

Game 1. Herman went 2 for 5, scored 2 runs, which is right and got his only RBI in the Series. Herman led off the Series with a single and scored in the first. After the first the Cubs led 2-0. They led until the fourth when Lou Gehrig hit a two-run homer to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. By the time Herman batted in the seventh with one out the Cubs were down 8-2. Herman singled again and scored later in the inning. The Cubs had cut the lead to 8-4 by the end of the inning. However, in the bottom of the seventh the Yankees got three more runs making it 11-4. In the 8th Herman came up with Mark Koenig on third after an RBI triple. Herman drove him in with a ground out for his only RBI in the series. However, the Cubs needed baserunners at this point as they were down 11-6 after Koenig scored. They lost 12-6.

Game 2. Herman was 1 for 4 scored 1 run. Herman led off the game again with a double, his only extra base hit of the Series. He later scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. They lost the game 5-2. However, Herman’s three runs come from the three times he got on with his at bat.

Game 3. Herman was 0 for 4 with a walk. He does score a run. The Cubs battled the Yankees in this game. But Babe Ruth hit two big homeruns to give the Yankees the victory. One of those was the controversial point or no point homerun. I don’t want to get into that here as we are concentrating on Herman. Ruth first homerun was a three-run shot to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the first. Herman walked and scored on Kiki Cuyler’s double in the first. He is still scoring every time he earns his way on base. The Cubs actually tied the game in the fourth 4-4. Ruth does his homer thing followed by Gehrig who hits another homer right after him. Maybe Root should have thrown at Gehrig. He did more damage than Ruth in the Series, but both had great Series.

Game 4. Herman was 1 for 5 and scored a run. The Yankees scored in the first inning, but the Cubs answer with 4 after Herman makes an out. The Cubs now have a 4-1 lead. After 6 the score if 5 to 5. However, the Yankees scored 4 in the top of the 7th and 4 in the top of the 9th to take a 13-5 lead for the Cubs. Herman leads off the bottom of the ninth with a single. He goes to second and third on defense indifference. Woody English grounds out scoring English. So, he scores all 5 times in the series when he got on base himself. The Cubs lose 13-6.


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