The St. Louis Cardinals announced the Cardinals Hall of Fame and induction process. The St. Louis Cardinals greats will be immortalized in a Hall of Fame Gallery Presented by Edward Jones. In addition, there will be a “Red Ribbon” panel of baseball experts that will annually select a veteran player while fans will elect two players from a ballot of Modern Players.
“We are very excited to be able to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of some of the greatest names in Cardinals history,” said Bill DeWitt Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Cardinals, in a team release. “Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be one of the highest honors the team can bestow.”
The new Hall of Fame Gallery will be located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation outside the entrance to the new museum. It will be free and open to the public as it celebrates the 1220year history of the franchise. Matthews International will produce the plaques, just as they do for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
“Just like Cooperstown, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will be a special place that baseball fans from all over will want to visit,” said Brad Iversen, principal and chief marketing officer at Edward Jones. “Edward Jones is honored to sponsor the Hall of Fame and the annual induction process that gives fans a voice in honoring the team’s greatest players.”
Fans will be able to vote for modern players over a six-week balloting process each spring, culminating in an induction weekend each summer. The inaugural class will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 16th.
There are 22 individuals that are in the Inaugural Class of the Cardinals Hall of Fame. They include those Cardinals already inducted by the National Baseball Hall of Fame as Cardinals or those who have had their numbers retired by the franchise.
“We felt strongly that those who had been inducted into Cooperstown and who already had their number retired by the Cardinals should be part of the Cardinals Hall of Fame on day one,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the Cardinals. “We didn’t think it made sense with this list of greats to go through a lengthy formal induction process.”
Just like with Cooperstown, there are rules. To be eligible for the Hall, a player must have played for the Cardinals for three seasons or more and have been retired for three seasons. Veterans are classified as having been retired for more than 40 years prior to the induction year.
The fan balloting process will come after the Red Ribbon panel nominates a ballot of 6-10 players to be presented to the fans. The two players with the highest votes will be inducted with the results announced in mid-April.
The Cardinals also reserve the option to induct an important figure in team history such as a coach, broadcaster, or member of the front office. This option bodes well for guys like George Kissell and Dave Ricketts.
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
The 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame “Red Ribbon” Selection Panel:
Tom Ackerman, Frank Cusamano, Derrick Goold, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker, Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Red Schoendienst, Joe Strauss, and Brian Walton.