Herb Washington Stats

Herb Washington was born on Friday, November 16, 1951, in Belzoni, Mississippi. Washington was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 4, 1974, with the Oakland Athletics. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Herb Washington baseball stats page.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"I was doing sports at Channel 6 in Lansing and when I got the message, I thought it was a joke. Then, I got paged. He said, 'Herbie, I want you to play baseball and be a pinch-runner.' I said, 'Mr. Finley, I'm going to need a no-cut contract. I know sometimes you just get rid of people.' He said, 'A no-cut contract? The only players who have those are Vida Blue , Catfish Hunter and Reggie Jackson ! Are you telling me you're in the same league as those guys?' I said, 'No, but none of those guys can outrun me.'" - Herb Washington on The Official Website of Spartan Athletics (Track and Field, Herb Washington: World-Record Sprinter & Business Success , 02/19/2007)

Herb Washington

Herb Washington Autograph on a 1975 Topps Baseball Card (#407 | <a href='../baseball_cards/baseball_cards_oneset.php?s=1975top01' title='1975 Topps Baseball Card Checklist'>Checklist</a>)

Herb Washington Autograph on a 1975 Topps Baseball Card (#407 | Checklist )

Career
All-Star
Wild Card
Division
Awards
Videos
Birth Name:
Herbert Lee Washington
Nickname:
Herb - Herbie - Hurricane Herb
Born On:
11-16-1951  (Scorpio)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Belzoni, Mississippi
Year of Death Data Died On:
Still Living ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Still Living
Cemetery:
n/a
High School:
Flint Central High School (Flint, MI)
College:
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Right
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Right
Player Height Chart Height:
6-00
Player Weight Chart Weight:
170
First Game:
04-04-1974 (Age 22)
Last Game:
05-04-1975
Draft:
Undrafted Free Agent / Signing Bonus = $20,000

Herb Washington

Herb Washington Pitching Stats

- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Herb Washington

Herb Washington Hitting Stats

1974 23 Athletics 92 0 29 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
1975 24 Athletics 13 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2 Years 105 0 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Herb Washington

Herb Washington Fielding Stats

Did Not Field - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Herb Washington

Herb Washington Miscellaneous Stats

1974 Athletics 29 16 .644 0 184 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 - - -
1975 Athletics 2 1 .667 0 26 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 - - -
2 Years 31 17 .646 0 210 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 - - -

Herb Washington

Herb Washington Miscellaneous Items of Interest

$45,000.00
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$45,000.00
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baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Herbert Lee Washington was a Major League Baseball player with the Oakland Athletics ( 1974 - 1975 ). Herb, his nickname, was a former world-class sprinter who ran the 100-yard dash in 9.4 seconds in high school, won seven Big Ten track titles at Michigan State , broke the world record in 50- and 60-yard dashes multiple times, then parlayed that speed directly in the majors. Did you know that there are ten major leaguers who had more stolen bases than at-bats during their career? Here are the "I prefer stealing bases club":

Herb Washington

Herb Washington | Photo Collage by Baseball Almanac

More Stolen Bases Than At-Bats in a Career

Player Name Years Played

SB

AB

(Unknown) Leonard 1892 - 1892

1 SB

0 AB

Farmer Burns 1901 - 1901

1 SB

0 AB

Charlie Faust 1911 - 1911

2 SB

0 AB

Dutch Schirick 1914 - 1914

2 SB

0 AB

Earl Pruess 1920 - 1920

1 SB

0 AB

Hersh Lyons 1941 - 1941

1 SB

0 AB

Allan Lewis 1968 - 1973

44 SB

29 AB

Herb Washington 1974 - 1975

31 SB

0 AB

Don Hopkins 1975 - 1976

21 SB

6 AB

Mel Stocker 2007 - 2007

4 SB

3 AB

Herb Washington was NOT welcomed with open arms into the big leagues. Reggie Jackson once said, "Herb Washington has as much business playing baseball as I have running the 100-yard dash." Join Baseball Almanac as we take a closer look at Hurricane Herb's early career via this wonderfully written article that appeared in the Independent Press-Telegram (Don Merry, 06/02/1974, 'Controversy dies down in A's clubhouse', Page 52):

Herb Washington finally comfortable in role

The phone rang one afternoon in early March at an ABC affiliate station in Detroit and the caller, showing no signs of modesty, identified himself thusly:

"Hi, this is Charles O. Finley, owner of the two-time world champion Oakland A's ."

The voice on the other end of the line was equal to the moment.

"Hi," it said, "this is Herb Washington, the world's fastest human."

And so it came to pass that Herb Washington who knew as much about baseball as Charles O. Finley knew about life in the ghetto, signed a rich contract to perform his specialty with the acerbic A's —running.

Weaned in controversy and fed a rapacious diet of Finley's eccentricities, the A's reacted to Washington's signing with predictable and characteristic candor—not to mention resentment.

"It's a joke," said Gene Tenace . "This is going to cost someone who should be in the major leagues a job."

"Herb Washington has as much business playing baseball as I have running the 100-yard dash," noted Reggie Jackson who, like most of his teammates, usually shares his opinions with the world at large.

"If I stop getting hits," opined pinch-hitter Pat Bourque , "Herbie is going to be out of a job."

During the first week of the season, gifted left-fielder Joe Rudi opened an inning with a long single and manager Alvin Dark replaced him with Washington.

Rudi was incensed.

"I'm not going to stop at first base any more," he snarled.

Herb Washington, now the world's second fastest human because of the emergence of someone named Ivory Crockett, sat in the visitor's dugout at Anaheim Stadium recently and reflected upon the sudden and dramatic twist in his life which lifted him from the relative sanity of sportscasting job in Detroit and deposited him into the absurdity of living with the Oakland A's .

But Washington is not only fast. He is exceedingly human—affable, outgoing and garrulous. A genuine human.

And he has weathered his rocky and spite-filled introduction to baseball.

"A lot of the guys weren't crazy about the idea of my joining the team and some still aren't," he said. "But my attitude and character have helped, I think. I didn't try to come on like a smart alec kid who knew it all. I asked for help and asked to be part of the team."

"I feel I've reached that level now and I feel that in due time I can help this team win a few games."

Observing the clubhouse lawyers in action, it becomes blatantly evident that Washington is now regarded as a legitimate member of the fraternity.

Bill North , the taciturn outfielder, was perched on the dugout steps watching an interviewer pry comments from Washington.

"Hey, Ink Spot," he shot at Washington, "this is getting ridiculous. You're getting more ink than Reggie . I didn't know this team had two super stars."

"Why don't you go fix your bats," Washington retorted. "They're full of holes."

" Bill North and I have become good friends," Washington said. "We spend a lot of time together on the road and he has explained a lot of baseball to me. I don't know why we hit if off but I guess it might be because we both have some hot dog in us."

Washington is usually involved in the banter and the needling that is so much part of the game.

"They get on me and I get on them just as hard," he says of his outspoken teammates. "It was rough at first but now I feel comfortable."

It is a strange, oft-times solitary existence for Washington, who takes no batting practice or infield before the game. Occasionally he will shag flies in the outfield but usually he warms up by himself, taking several laps around the stadium—alone with his legs and his thoughts.

When the game begins Washington is not sure he will play and if he does he knows it will be only a brief, one-shot appearance.

"It's a final exam for me every time I get into a game," he says. "I can't go one-for-three and feel I've had a good day. I can't afford a mistake because everybody is watching this experiment and it will get blown out of proportion."

Raw speed hasn't made Washington an instant success. He was thrown out four times in his first five steal attempts—mostly because he did not get a good jump. He had trouble picking up signs and learning the moves of the various pitchers.

But he is improving.

Washington does not boast of his 9.2 speed and he takes exception to those who go out of their way to berate his limited baseball capabilities.

Recently, an Oakland writer was commenting on Washington's problems in picking up the steal sign and suggested that the A's equip third base coach Irv Noren with a message board to help Herbie.

"I felt that was uncalled for," Washington said. "As far as I'm concerned I'll never talk to that guy again. And I know as the season goes along that there will come a time when he will want to talk to me. But I told him I'm gonna be like Duane Thomas."

In some respects, it is amazing that Washington hasn't been transformed into a babbling idiot by the free-wheeling, free-speaking A's who are not wont to shield their feelings.

"My head is strong and I'm mentally tough," Washington says in explaining his refusal to fall apart. "And I'm not worried about pressure. I've handled as much pressure as can be handled and I've always been able to rise to the occasion."

Even in Oakland.

For that alone, Herb Washington deserves to be recognized. Thankfully, the world's second fastest human is more human than fast.

Herb Washington

Herb Washington | 1974 AP Wirephoto by Eric Prewitt | Photoshop by Baseball Almanac

The autographed 1975 Topps Baseball Card (top of page) was the first baseball card ever released that described a Major League Baseball player's position as pinch runner !

Last-Modified: May 5, 2020 6:10 AM EST

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