Talking ball with Ed Herrmannby Bruce Markusen
April 22, 2011
Playing for five teams over a 12-year career that spanned from 1967 to 1978, Ed Herrmann established a reputation as one of the era’s better defensive catchers. Burly with tree-trunk legs, Herrmann spent the bulk of his career with the White Sox, for whom he enjoyed a career year in 1970. Hermann batted .283 with a career-high 19 home runs as Chicago’s No. 1 receiver. Two years later, he led all American League catchers in baserunners caught stealing. In 1974, Herrmann was selected to his first and only All-Star team.
A contract dispute with the White Sox led to his eventual departure from the Windy City. As a left-handed hitter with occasional power, Herrmann had some trade value. In 1975, the Sox sent him to the Yankees for four minor league prospects; he served New York as the third-string catcher behind Thurman Munson and Rick Dempsey. After a lone season in the Bronx, the Yankees sold him to the Angels in February of 1976. He spent a half season platooning with Andy Etchebarren before being traded to the Astros. Herrmann succeeded Milt May as the Astros’ starting catcher, giving him the chance to catch Larry Dierker’s no-hitter. Herrmann then finished his career as the understudy to Gary Carter in Montreal.
Personable and outgoing, Herrmann has remained in baseball since his playing days. He worked as a scout for the Royals before becoming a manager of youth travel teams. Based in Southern California, Herrmann has led four teams of elite players 13-and-older to national titles. He also serves as a volunteer coach for the Rock Academy, a religiously based school located in San Diego.
This week, I talked to the accommodating Herrmann about his playing days, his experiences with the late Chuck Tanner, and the work he does with youth travel teams.