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William Jennings Bryan “Billy” Herman

On February 3, 1975, the special Veterans Committee selects second baseman William Jennings Bryan “Billy” Herman (Cubs, Dodgers, Braves and Pirates), skipper Bucky Harris (Senators, Tigers, Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees) and outfielder Earl Averill (Indians, Tigers, and Braves) to the Hall of Fame.

An outspoken Averill had informed his family to decline the honor if he was ever to be inducted posthumously; fortunately, he was enshrined in Cooperstown eight years before his passing.

Herman became a Major League coach with the Dodgers (1952–57) and Braves (now based in Milwaukee) (1958–59)—serving on five National League pennant winners in eight seasons. Pretty extraordinary.

Herman finished his career with a .304 batting average, 1163 runs scored, 47 home runs, 839 RBI, and 428 strikeouts. He won four NL pennants (in 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1941) but no World Series championships as a player (although he was a coach on the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers). His record as a Major League manager was 189-274 (.408). Herman holds the NL records for most putouts in a season by a second baseman and led the league in putouts seven times.

He also shares the Major League record for most hits on opening day, with five, set April 14, 1936.

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