The St. Louis Cardinals are using today’s 37th anniversary of Whitey Herzog being named the manager of the team to launch the #CardsRatPack fan engagement campaign to honor the man that fans lovingly refer to as the White Rat.
The unique social media-based campaign, which will center on a pack of 24 illustrated baseball cards that will come to life later this season as a weekly cartoon series on the team’s digital and social media platforms, will formally commence with a special #CardsRatPack ceremony honoring the 1982 World Series Champion and Hall of Fame Manager prior to tonight’s game.
“The #CardsRatPack campaign is designed to celebrate the White Rat and his amazing pack of players that defined one of the most extraordinary eras in Cardinals history,” said Ron Watermon, Vice-President of Communications for the St. Louis Cardinals. “We hope fans will enjoy the cartoon series and will actively engage with the team to celebrate Whitey and Whiteyball.”
While the fan engagement portion of the social media campaign commences today, the #CardsRatPack animated series will debut on Wednesday July 12th, the first of a dozen #WhiteyBall Wednesdays. Each week, for twelve weeks, the team will release two episodes via social media on Wednesdays and Fridays. In addition to the animated series, the team will release a limited number of corresponding illustrated #CardsRatPack baseball cards.
Each #CardsRatPack cartoon and baseball card is designed to convey an important part of the amazing story of the New Athens, Illinois native and the extraordinary pack of players he managed. Fans will need to stay tuned to the team’s social media to learn how they can collect the #CardsRatPack cards.
The team is encouraging fans to show their affection for the White Rat all season long by sharing video memories, photographs and other messages via social media using the hashtag #CardsRatPack.
As part of the #CardsRatPack campaign, the team is sponsoring a one-of-a-kind video contest asking fans to share their favorite Whiteyball memory for a chance to have their personal video transformed into a professionally animated cartoon that would punctuate the #CardsRatPack series. As part of the campaign, the team is also raising money for the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation to help them further their work to teach kids the game of baseball.
While the #CardsRatPack campaign follows the Cardinals’ social media based fan engagement tributes to Stan Musial (Stand for Stan), Mike Shannon (#LikeMike), Red Schoendienst (#LoveRed2), and Lou Brock (#StLisLou), this effort will integrate creative storytelling along the lines of the team’s prior #NestFlix fan entertainment projects on social media, as well as their #CardsFanFlix video engagement, with the intent to not only engage fans, but also entertain, educate and connect multiple generations.
To produce the #CardsRatPack illustrations and cartoons, the Cardinals are working with Lion Forge Labs, a local creative services company that specializes in storytelling using comics, graphic novels, animation and gaming.
“Partnering on these videos with the St. Louis Cardinals to help honor Whitey Herzog has been a highlight for us,” said David Steward II, CEO of Lion Forge Labs. “It’s a fun, creative way to tell his story, and we are grateful to be part of the #CardsRatPack campaign team.”
Fans can learn more about the campaign and cartoon video contest at www.cardinals.com/ratpack
About Whitey Herzog
Baseball in St. Louis was reborn in the 1980s under Whitey Herzog. A native of New Athens, Ill., in the Metro East area of St. Louis, Herzog managed the Cardinals from 1980 to 1990. He ranks third in franchise history with 822 victories – trailing only Tony La Russa (1,408) and Red Schoendienst (1,041) – and his teams won three National League pennants and the 1982 World Series.
Hand-picked by club president August Busch Jr., Herzog took over the Redbirds on June 9, 1980. Two months later, Herzog turned over his on-field managerial duties to become general manager and have more direct involvement in player personnel. He assumed the dual role of field manager and general manager in October. At the winter meetings that December, Herzog began to transform the Cardinals with three blockbuster trades involving 21 players. He envisioned a team built on speed and defense in spacious Busch Stadium. St. Louis posted the best record in the N.L. in 1981 but finished second in the Eastern Division in both halves of the strike-interrupted season and did not make the playoffs. Herzog relinquished his general manager duties on Opening Day of the 1982 season. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series with a thrilling seven-game victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. It marked the franchise’s first championship in 15 years. Two more pennants followed in 1985 and 1987. Meanwhile, fans flocked to Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals’ entertaining style of play that became known as “Whiteyball.” In Herzog’s eight full seasons as skipper, St. Louis drew at least 2.4 million spectators annually while topping the 3-million plateau for the first two times in club annals (1987 and 1989). Herzog, who valued his sterling relationship with Busch, resigned July 5, 1990, less than a year after Busch died, and did not manage again. Before coming to St. Louis, Herzog managed the Texas Rangers (1973), California Angels (1974 on an interim basis) and Kansas City Royals (1975-79). The Royals won three straight American League Western Division titles from 1976 to 1978 but fell to the New York Yankees in the League Championship Series all three times. Herzog’s lifetime managerial record was 1,281-1,125, a .532 winning percentage. His win total ranks 37th on baseball’s all-time list through 2015. He was named the 1982 Major League Manager of the Year and 1985 N.L. Manager of the Year. The charismatic “White Rat” also spent time as a big league coach, farm system director and scout and briefly served as general manager of the Angels in 1993 and 1994.
Primarily an outfielder during an eight-year big-league playing career, Herzog batted .257 with 25 home runs and 172 RBI for the Washington Senators (1956-58), Kansas City Athletics (1958-60), Baltimore Orioles (1961- 62) and Detroit Tigers (1963). As a minor leaguer with the McAlester (Okla.) Rockets in 1949, Herzog was christened with the name “Whitey” by sportscaster Bill Speith for his light-colored hair. Herzog was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010 by the Veterans Committee. Two days before the enshrinement ceremonies July 25, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. announced that Herzog’s number 24 would be retired by the organization. Herzog wore No. 3 in 1980, but infielder Ken Oberkfell gave up No. 24 after the season and Herzog took it. Herzog was voted the manager on the All-Busch Stadium II team in 2005 and was an inaugural member of the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame in 2014.
About The Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation & Cardinals Care
Cardinals Care, the Cardinals’ charitable foundation that supports children, has established a special fund in the name of Whitey Herzog to help the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation further their work with children.
Since it was founded in 1987, the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation has helped children by providing funds to benefit youth baseball programs in both Missouri and Illinois. The foundation was established to improve ballfields and make them safer for amateur baseball. These improvements have included the construction of facilities, installation of new turf, the addition of new fencing with padding, construction of dugouts, the installation of irrigation and new lighting. The foundation has also provided funds to assist with purchasing equipment, uniforms and other expenses related to youth baseball. Over the years, thousands of dollars have been donated to various American Legions, Little League programs, and schools to fund improvements to ballfields, as well as help local children play the game of baseball. American Legion Baseball is close to Whitey’s heart, as he views it as the greatest vehicle for a young baseball player to go from high school to college to play the game. In recent years, the foundation has made substantial donations to the Belleville Parks and Recreation Department to fund the construction of their American Legion field named for Whitey. In addition, the foundation has supported projects in Jackson Missouri, Carrolton Illinois, Josephville Missouri, Columbia Illinois, St. Louis County Missouri, St Clair Missouri, Elsberry Missouri, and Waterloo Illinois. Whitey and his foundation are passionate about working tirelessly to improve the quality of baseball facilities for youth desiring to play the game that gave so much to Whitey and his #CardsRatPack.
Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed nearly $21 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations and built 22 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods. 2017 marks the 14th year of Cardinals Care’s innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year. Fans can team up with the Cardinals to help children in our community by donating to Cardinals Care at cardinals.com/donate. Fans can donate to the Cardinals Care Whitey Herzog fund directly at cardinals.com/ratpack
Source: St. Louis Cardinals