Ozzie Smith (center) is an automatic member of the inaugural class in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. Jim Edmonds (left) and Willie McGee (right) are among eight candidates eligible for induction via a fan vote.
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals revealed Wednesday the eight players nominated for possible induction into the new St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame: Jim Edmonds, Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre.
The eight modern ballot nominees, selected by a "Red Ribbon" committee of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process, will appear on the first-ever Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot online at cardinals.com/HOF presented by Edward Jones (#CardsHOF). Voting begins Friday. The two players with the most fan votes after voting concludes April 22 will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this August.
"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 the best, most knowledgeable fans in the game of baseball choose the two Cardinals players who will be part of this first elected class."
To be eligible for the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and 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 first elected induction class will be announced later this spring. The formal enshrinement ceremony will take place Aug. 16 during the 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.
Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones 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 Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public.
The Cardinals announced in January 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 members of the 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame inaugural class:
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.
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Following is a description of each nominee’s career as a Cardinal:
Jim Edmonds (#EdmondsHOF)
.285 average, 241 home runs, 713 RBI
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 Game 6 of the 2004 National League Championship Series.
Bob Forsch (#ForschHOF)
163-127, 3.67 ERA, 1,079 strikeouts
Forsch played 15 seasons with the Cardinals, making 401 starts, ranking second all-time in franchise history. He threw two no-hitters (1978 and 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 average, 265 doubles, 662 runs
â¨Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-83. He was a co-MVP in 1979, batting a league-leading .344 with 11 homers and 105 RBI. The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 world championship team.
McGee played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, playing 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 NL Rookie of the Year voting. He is one of six players to steal over 300 bases (301) with the Cardinals.
Mark McGwire (#McGwireHOF)
220 home runs, 473 RBI, 1.111 on-base plus slugging percentage
â¨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 sixth in franchise history. He the National League in homers in 1998 and 1999, the top two season totals in Cardinals history. He set the Cardinals’ single-season walk mark with 162 in 1998. He 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.
Matt Morris (#MorrisHOF)
101-62, 3.61 ERA, 986 strikeouts
Morris pitched for the Cardinals from 1997-2005, finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1997 and being named an All-Star in 2001 and 2002. He played in five postseasons and one World Series (2004). He led the National League with 22 wins in 2001 and won 101 games over his career with the Cardinals.
Ted Simmons (#SimmonsHOF)
.298 average, 172 home runs, 929 RBI
Simmons played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, making his major-league debut at age 18 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 (1971-80) with 75 or more RBI. His 172 homers rank ninth and 929 RBI are seventh all-time in Cardinals franchise history.
Joe Torre (#TorreHOF)
.308 average, 558 RBI, 161 doubles
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, 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 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame "Red Ribbon" Selection Panel
Tom Ackerman, Frank Cusumano, Derrick Goold, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker, Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst, Joe Strauss and Brian Walton.