Starting today, you’ll have your chance to decide which two players from eight nominees will be inducted into the new St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in August. Fan voting runs through April 22 at cardinals.com/HOF.
“Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors the team can bestow,” Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals chairman and CEO, said. “We think it is appropriate to have the best, most knowledgeable fans in the game of baseball choose the two Cardinals players who will be part of this first elected class.”
The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame was established as a way to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of the greatest players in Cardinals history. To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired as a player from Major League Baseball for at least three years. The eligible pool of players is divided into two categories, modern players and veteran players. If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.
Following is a description of each nominee’s career as a Cardinal.
.285 AVG, 241 HR, 713 RBIs
Jim Edmonds joined the Cardinals in 2000 and played eight seasons, making the postseason in six of them and playing in two World Series, winning in 2006. The three-time All-Star won six consecutive Gold Gloves from 2000-05. He ranks fourth on the Cardinals all-time home run list with 241 and hit the game-ending home run in the 11th inning of the Game Six of the 2004 NLCS.
163-127, 3.67 ERA, 1079 Ks
Bob Forsch played 15 seasons with the Cardinals, making 401 starts, ranking second all-time to franchise history. He threw two no-hitters, in 1978 and in 1983, becoming the only pitcher in Cardinals history to throw two. He played in three World Series, winning in 1982, a year in which he threw a three-hit shutout in the Cardinals first ever NLCS game. The two-time Silver Slugger Award winner won 163 games for the Cardinals, ranking third in franchise history.
.299 AVG, 265 2B, 662 R
Keith Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-1983. He was a co-MVP in 1979, batting a league leading .344 with 11 HR and 105 RBI. The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 World Championship team.
.294 AVG, 301 SB, 255 2B
Willie McGee played in 13 seasons with the Cardinals and played in in 1,661 games, ninth all-time in franchise history. He was a four-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves and was the 1985 National League MVP with league leading marks of a .353 batting average, 18 triples and 216 hits while stealing 56 bases. McGee played in three World Series, winning as a rookie in 1982 when he finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. He’s one of six players to steal more than 300 bases with the Cardinals, swiping 301.
220 HR, 473 RBIs, 1.111 OPS
Mark McGwire finished his career playing five seasons with the Cardinals. In 1998, he broke the Major League Baseball single-season home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris with 70. He blasted 220 career home runs with the Cardinals ranking 6th in franchise history, leading the National League in 1998 and 1999, the top two season totals in Cardinals history. He set the Cardinals single season walk mark with 162 in 1998. Had back-to-back seasons of 147 RBI, ranking tied for third in Cardinals history. He was a three-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1998.
101-62, 3.61 ERA, 986 Ks
Matt Morris pitched for the Cardinals from 1997-2005, finishing third in the Rookie of the Year award in 1997 and was a two-time All-Star in 2001 and 2002. He played in five postseasons and one World Series, in 2004. He led the National League with 22 wins in 2001 and won 101 games over his career with the Cardinals.
.298 AVG, 172 HR, 929 RBIs
Ted Simmons played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, making his Major League debut at age 18 old in 1968. He was a six-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1980. In 1975, Simmons set the National League record for hits by a catcher with 188. He posted six seasons of 20 or more home runs and 10 consecutive seasons from 1971-80 with 75 or more RBI. His 172 home runs rank ninth and 929 RBI are seventh all-time in Cardinals franchise history.
.308 AVG, 558 RBIs, 161 2B
Joe Torre played six seasons with the Cardinals at catcher, first base and third base from 1969-74. He was a four-time All-Star and was named National League MVP in 1971, leading the league with a .363 batting average with 137 RBI and 230 hits, while hitting 24 home runs. His 230 hits were the most since Stan Musial had 230 in 1948, the most by a Cardinal since World War II. He posted a career batting average of .308, ranking 10th in Cardinals franchise history.
Want more info on each nominee before casting your online ballot? Check out this great Cardinals Hall of Fame Voter’s Guide from Pip at Fungoes.
Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery that will be located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the team’s new museum. The plaques that will adorn the gallery are being produced by Mathews International, the company that also produces the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
In January the Cardinals announced that an inaugural class, consisting of 22 Cardinals who are either enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as Cardinals or whose number has been retired by the club, will automatically be part of the Hall of Fame upon the dedication of the museum and Hall of Fame on Opening Day in St. Louis on April 7.
The Cardinals Hall of Fame inaugural class is: Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Jack Buck, August A. “Gussie” Busch Jr., Dizzy Dean, Frank Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Tony La Russa, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth and Bruce Sutter.