It's official: Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. Announced Friday that the team will retire the number worn by its newest Hall of Famer, Whitey Herzog.
Herzog wore number 24 from 1981-90 when he led the Cardinals to three National League pennants and a World Series Championship. It's the 11th number retired by the team which may soon have to add a third digit to its uniforms to make up for all of the numbers that are out of commission.
1 (Ozzie Smith), 2 (Red Schoendienst), 6 (Stan Musial), 9 (Enos Slaughter), 14 (Ken Boyer), 17 (Dizzy Dean), 20 (Lou Brock), 42 (Bruce Sutter and Jackie Robinson) , 45 (Bob Gibson) and 85 (August A. Busch Jr.) have been retired by the Cardinals. And you can bet the farm that current manager Tony La Russa's number 10 will get the same treatment barring something really spectacular and unexpected happening between now and five years after his retirement. Albert Pujols' number 5 probably stands a pretty good chance of making it left field wall, too. While they aren't officially retired, the Cardinals haven't allowed anyone to wear numbers 32 and 57 worn by pitchers Josh Hancock and Darryl Kile since they passed away as members of the club. And number 51 has been off limits since it created an international incident when the team let Bud Smith wear it for his major league debut.
The Cardinals also recognize former broadcaster Jack Buck, who obviously didn't wear a uniform and superstar second baseman Rogers Hornsby, who played most of his career at a time before uniforms even HAD numbers, on the outfield wall. (Hornsby wore number 4 during his short-lived second stint with the Redbirds in 1933.)
Herzog's number will be retired Saturday before the Cardinals game against the Pirates, which just so happens to be Whitey Herzog bobblehead night.