St. Louis Cardinals: Former Players Who Could Go To Cooperstown

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The St. Louis Cardinals have a rich history of success.  With the upcoming vote for Cooperstown induction, there are two more players with the potential to join the organization’s history in the most illustrious way possible.

More than just two players on this year’s ballot have worn a Cardinal uniform.  These names can be found here.  As the January 18th announcement date draws closer, it is time to revise the list from earlier to take a realistic look into players that may get inducted wearing a St. Louis Cardinals hat.

Overall there are thirty-four players on the ballot.  It is expected that this year Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Trevor Hoffman will be inducted.  These were the only three last year that were relatively close to the required seventy-five percent for induction.

For Raines and Lee Smith, this year is their last shot to get in.  Per the 2014 amendment, players have only ten years of eligibility to sit on the ballot.  This is Raines’ tenth year, and Smith’s fifteenth year.  Smith is one of three players grandfathered into the rule, and the last of the three to still be eligible.

The last few ballots have been filled with questions about who should be allowed in.  Players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens had steroids be a huge part of what is remembered from their career.  While their numbers may warrant induction, many baseball writers a wary of voting for them.  This is their fifth year on the ballot and they had less than fifty percent voting last year.

Curt Schilling is still on the ballot, but many predict his 53.3 percent of the vote last year to drop this year.  The character clause in the rules for induction is working against him at this point– his recent tweets that resulted in him losing his broadcasting career and the admiration of many.  On baseball merit, he deserves induction; on character merit it is questionable.

There are plenty of other players on the ballot for the first time who are solid bets to eventually make it into Cooperstown.  One player is the best bad ball hitter to ever wear a uniform, Vladmir Guerrero.  If the ball was thrown near the plate, it was close enough to be crushed as one of his 449 career home runs or 2,590 hits.

Another player on the ballot for the first time is catcher Ivan Rodriguez.  He collected nearly 2,844 hits during his career and a .296 batting average.  He was a part of the 2003 Florida Marlins World Series team and even won an MVP award in 1999.

This year there are a total of 19 players who are new to the ballot.  Since none of them are clear first-ballot choices, they will need to secure five percent of the vote this year in order to remain on the ballot in the future.

With both former St. Louis Cardinals on this year’s ballot being first-year players, it will likely be a few years before they receive enough votes to be inducted.  If they decide to wear the St. Louis hat when they enter the hall, they will join 17 other players with Cooperstown honors.