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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Herb Erhardt believed as long as he played, he had a chance; Saw four seasons, made high-A

Three seasons behind him and with a new organization, Herb Erhardt spoke with his hometown Fort Myers News-Press about his prospects.

He'd started his career with the Yankees, but asked for his release, feeling he'd gotten lost in the shuffle, he told The News-Press.

"I feel as long as I'm playing somewhere and people are looking at you, you got a chance," Erhardt, then with the Reds at single-A Charleston, told The News-Press.

Erhardt's chance, however, would soon end. That season proved his last as a pro. He topped out at high-A.

Erhardt started in 1988, taken by the Yankees in the 16th round of the draft out of the University of Texas Pan American. He also played at Southwestern Louisiana.

At Southwestern Louisiana in May 1986, Erhardt recounted to The News-Press the odd intersection between his name, Herb, and a Burger King ad campaign. As a result, in one particular game, he became the focus of crowd support.

"I made a routine play on a ground ball and they and they started changing my name," Erhardt told The News-Press. "I walked and later scored on a hit-and-run play. When I came across the plate they gave me a standing ovation and I bowed. When I got to the dugout they called me back for a curtain-call. I'll never forget that."

Erhardt started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta. He hit .203 in 72 games. He then moved to single-A Fort Lauderdale and single-A Prince William. He hit .254 over 103 games there.

He got to play with some former major leaguers that December in the Senior Professional Baseball League as a bullpen catcher with the Fort Myers Sun Sox, The News-Press wrote

"This is great," Erhardt told The News-Press of his bullpen job. "I love it. It's a lot of fun. Everybody's been helpful to me."

Erhardt returned to Fort Lauderdale and Prince William at high-A for 1990. He hit .231 in 79 games. He then moved to Charleston and the Reds for 1991. His season proved limited to 30 games. He hit .281 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,077
Made the Majors:1,351-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,726-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:549
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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