Eight former St. Louis Cardinals players have been nominated for election to the team's new Hall of Fame.
Two of the eight players -- Jim Edmonds, Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre -- will be elected by fans in balloting beginning Friday.
"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."
The players, chosen by a "Red Ribbon" panel of Cardinals baseball experts, will appear on the first Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot -- at cardinals.com/HOF -- when the fan voting begins this weekend.
Voting will continue through April 22, and the two players with the most votes will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame on Aug. 16. In addition, a "veteran player" -- who has been retired 40 years -- was chosen by the Red Ribbon panel; his identity will be revealed when the first elected induction class is announced later this spring.
"Independent of this process," team officials announced Wednesday, "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."
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, players must have been with the Cardinals for at least three seasons, and have been retired from the game for at least three years.
The inaugural class of 22 Cardinals greats -- all of them Baseball Hall of Fame members or those others who have had their numbers retired by the team -- will be honored at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony in August.
Their plaques will be housed at the Hall of Fame in part of the new Baseball Village being built north of Busch Stadium.