St. Louis Cardinals

Whitey’s Running Redbirds well represented on Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot

Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot is out. Who are your picks?

BND Sports Editor Todd Eschman runs through the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot and explains his picks.
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BND Sports Editor Todd Eschman runs through the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot and explains his picks.

The 15-member of the red-ribbon committee that selects finalists for the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame have this given fans a ballot stacked with members of Whitey Herzog’s Running Redbirds of the 1980s.

Vince Coleman, Keith Hernandez and John Tudor each had a significant hand in at least one of the Cardinals’ three National League pennants during the decade. Joining them on the ballot are Ray Lankford, who quietly ascended the Cardinals’ record book from 1990 through 2001; Scott Rolen, part of the team’s “MV3” in 2004 and 2005; and closers Jason Isringhausen and Lee Smith.

Fans can view the Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot at cardinals.com/HOF and cast their votes online from March 1 through April 12. The two players with the most fan votes will be inducted Aug. 18.

The 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Class — the fifth since balloting was opened to fans — will be announced May 4 with a 30-minute television special on Fox Sports Midwest and during a Busch Stadium ceremony prior to the Cardinals’ game with the Chicago Cubs.

“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.

Only players from the past 40 years are eligible for the fan vote. They must have played at least three season in St. Louis and be retired at least three years. Inductees out of the game for more than 40 years fall into a veterans category and are elected in a secret ballot by the red-ribbon committee.

The Cardinals may also, as an organization, induct important figures in team history, such as a coach, broadcaster or team executive.

A plaque for each inductee will go on permanent display at the entrance to the Cardinals Hall of Fame at Ballpark Village. And each Hall of Famer will be fitted with the familiar red blazer and invited to participate in team events.

Here’s a look at the ballot:

Vince Coleman

▪  1985 – 1990

▪  .265/.326/.339, 937 H, 549 SB, 556 R, 56 3B (878 Games)

Coleman burst on to the scene in 1985 by stealing 110 bases as a rookie, a MLB record that still stands today, and winning National League Rookie of the Year honors. He led the National League in stolen bases each of his six seasons as the Cardinals primary left fielder and was a two-time All-Star. A member of two National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Coleman’s 549 career stolen bases rank him second in franchise history behind Lou Brock.

Keith Hernandez

▪  1974 – 1983

▪  .299/.385/.448, 1217 H, 265 2B, 81 HR, 595 RBI, 662 R (1165 Games)

Hernandez
Keith Hernandez watches his single drop in, driving in two runs in the sixth inning of World Series game 7, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 1982 in St. Louis. The RBI tied the game for the Cards and set up the tie-breaking score. AP

Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-1983 at first base. He shared the National League co-MVP with Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell in 1979, when he batted a league-leading .344 with 48 doubles, 11 home runs and 105 RBI. The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 World Championship team and batted .299 that season with 94 RBI. Hernandez’s .385 on-base percentage ranks fifth all-time among Cardinals hitters to have played at least 10 seasons with the club.

Jason Isringhausen

▪  2002 – 2008

▪  217 Saves, 2.98 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 408.0 IP (401 Games)

Isringhausen
Jason Isringhausen throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, April 30, 2008, in St. Louis. Isringhausen earned his career No. 290th save with a perfect ninth inning. Jeff Roberson AP

Isringhausen, a metro-east native, spent seven seasons with the Cardinals. During his time, the team won the Central Division four times with a pair of NL pennants and a World Series championship in 2006. He registered a National League-best 47 saves in 2004, tying Lee Smith’s franchise record, which has since been broken by Trevor Rosenthal. An All-Star in 2005, “Izzy” still holds the franchise record for saves with 217, and is sixth with 401 appearances with St. Louis.

Ray Lankford

▪  1990 – 2001, 2004

▪  .273/.365/.481, 1479 H, 928 R, 228 HR, 829 RBI, 250 SB (1580 Games)

Lankford
Ray Lankford is congratulated after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday, April 10, 2004 in Phoenix. TOM HOOD AP

Over his 13 seasons in St. Louis, Lankford recorded five 20-20 seasons (four consecutive from 1995-1998) and ranks fifth in club history in home runs and stolen bases. He is the only player in Cardinals history with at least 200 home runs and 200 steals. He hit more home runs (123) in Busch Stadium II than any other player. The former center fielder was an All-Star in 1997 and still ranks in the Cardinals top 10 in runs (9th), total bases (10th), doubles (9th), RBI (8th), walks (5th) and game-winning RBI (T-2nd).

Scott Rolen

Rolen
Scott Rolen throws to first during a spring training baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Wednesday, March 21, 2007 in Jupiter, Fla. Charlie Riedel AP

▪  2002 – 2007

▪  .286/.370/.510, 678 H, 421 R, 173 2Bs, 111 HR, 453 RBI (661 Games)

In his five-plus seasons with the Cardinals, Rolen won Gold Gloves at third base in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, and a Silver Slugger award in 2002. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and named to the All-Busch Stadium team as the third baseman by vote of fans. In 2004, Rolen slashed .314/.409/.598 with 34 home runs and 124 RBI. His stellar 2004 campaign continued during the postseason with his pennant-clinching, two-run homer off Roger Clemens in the sixth inning of Game 7 in the National League Championship Series against Houston. In 2006, Rolen helped the club to its 10th World Championship, closing out the postseason with a 10-game hitting streak.

Lee Smith

▪  1990 – 1993

▪  160 Saves, 2.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 266.2 IP (245 Games)

Lee Smith
St. Louis Cardinals reliever Lee Smith pitches in St. Louis is shown in action in 1993. AP

Known as one of the most feared closers in baseball history, Lee Smith recorded at least 43 saves in three of his four seasons with the Cardinals and led the league in 1991 and 1992. During his Cardinals career, Smith earned three All-Star selections and finished in the top four of National League Cy Young voting twice. His 160 saves stood as a club record until 2007.

John Tudor

▪  1985 – 1988, 1990

▪  62-26, 2.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12 SHO, 881.2 IP (125 Games Started)

Tudor
John Tudor hurls a pitch during first inning action in the sixth game of the National League Championship series against the San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Busch Stadium, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1987. Gene Puskar ASSOCIATED PRESS

During his five-plus seasons in St. Louis, Tudor accumulated a .705 winning percentage and 2.52 ERA over 125 starts, both of which still stand as Cardinals records (minimum 750 innings pitched). The left-hander’s finest season came in 1985 when he won 21 games (20-1 after June 1) with a 1.93 ERA, including 10 complete game shutouts, and finished second in National League Cy Young voting. A member of National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Tudor won at least 10 games in each of the four full seasons he pitched for the Redbirds.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Some information and player biographies were taken from a release issued by the St. Louis Cardinals.

At a glance

Beginning in 2014, fans were allowed to cast ballots for induction to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. In addition to those picked by the team and a red-ribbon panel, here is a list of those currently enshrined:

  • Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Sam Breadon, Lou Brock, Jack Buck, August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr., Chris Carpenter, Dizzy Dean, Jim Edmonds, Curt Flood, Bob Forsch, Frank Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, George Kissell, Tony La Russa, Marty Marion, Pepper Martin, Tim McCarver, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Terry Moore, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Mike Shannon, Ted Simmons, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth, Bruce Sutter and Joe Torre

2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Red Ribbon Selection Committee:

  • Tom Ackerman, Frank Cusumano, Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker, Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst and Brian Walton
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