The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame fan balloting process began earlier today. Fans can select two players for the Aug.15 induction from a ballot that includes Cardinals greats Steve Carlton, Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre.
The eight modern ballot nominees were selected by a “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process in January. The Cardinals Hall of Fame Vote presented by Edward Jones will run until April 20 at cardinals.com/HOF. The two players with the most fan votes after voting concludes will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame during a formal enshrinement ceremony that will take place on Saturday, Aug. 15, as part of the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.
“Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors the team can bestow,” said Bill DeWitt Jr., Chairman and CEO of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We think it is appropriate to have some of the best, most knowledgeable fans in the game of baseball choose the Cardinals players who will be part of this 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.
In addition to nominating modern players for fan balloting, the “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts also elected a veteran player for induction using a secret ballot process. Independent of this process, the Cardinals organization may also opt to induct an individual who was an important figure in Cardinals history such as a coach, broadcaster or member of the front office. The second elected induction class will be announced in a pre-game ceremony on Thursday, April 30.
Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame is permanently enshrined in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the team’s new museum. The Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public. The plaques that adorn the gallery are produced by Matthews International, the company that also produces the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Following is a description of each nominee’s career as a Cardinal:
Steve Carlton (#CarltonHOF)
77-62, 3.10 ERA, 1.28 WHP
Steve Carlton was a three-time All-Star in seven seasons with Cardinals. He had 66 complete games as a Cardinal and was 20-game winner in 1971. Carlton was 2nd in NL with 2.17 ERA in 1969.
Bob Forsch (#ForschHOF)
163-127, 3.67 ERA, 1079 Ks
Bob Forsch played 15 seasons with the Cardinals, making 401 starts, ranking 2nd all-time to franchise history. He threw two no-hitters, coming in 1978 and again 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.
Keith Hernandez (#HernandezHOF)
.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.
Mark McGwire (#McGwireHOF)
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 3rd in Cardinals history. He was a three-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1998.
Matt Morris (#MorrisHOF)
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.
Edgar Renteria (#RenteriaHOF)
.290 AVG, 71 HR, 148 SB
Edgar Renteria was a three-time All-Star in six years with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a two-time Gold Gove shortstop, helping the Cardinals win the NL pennant in 2004. Renteria was a three-time Silver Slugger with the Cardinals.
Ted Simmons (#SimmonsHOF)
.298 AVG, 172 HR, 929 RBIs
Ted Simmons played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, making his Major League debut at 18-years 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 HR rank 9th and 929 RBI are 7th all-time in Cardinals franchise history.
Joe Torre (#TorreHOF)
.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.
The 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame “Red Ribbon” Selection Panel
Tom Ackerman, Frank Cusumano, Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker, Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst, Joe Strauss and Brian Walton.
Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum (#CardsMuseum)
The 8,000 square foot state-of-the art St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, which is on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, celebrates the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball’s most storied franchises. The Cardinals’ museum collection is the largest team-held collection in baseball and is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 16,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archival photographs. Fans can learn more about the museum, hours of operation and admission at cardinals.com/museum.