St. Louis Cardinals: John Tudor and the Cardinal Hall of Fame

John Tudor, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals during the Major League Baseball National League West game against the San Diego Padres on 10 July 1986 at Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, California, United States. St. Louis Cardinals 3, San Diego Padres 4 (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images)
John Tudor, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals during the Major League Baseball National League West game against the San Diego Padres on 10 July 1986 at Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, California, United States. St. Louis Cardinals 3, San Diego Padres 4 (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images) /
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Former pitcher John Tudor has been nominated to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. Should the 1985 Cardinal standout be inducted into the Cardinals HOF?

John Tudor was nominated to the St. Louis Cardinals HOF last week along with six other Candidates. Scott Rolen, Keith Hernandez, Ray Lankford, Lee Smith, Jason Isringhausen, and Vince Coleman join Tudor as candidates for membership in 2018.

This will be Tudor’s first time on the ballot along with Lankford, Smith, and Coleman.  Rolen, Hernandez, and Isringhausen are returning nominees.

Redbird Rants contributors will be doing a series of articles on the pros and cons of each candidate.  This is my view on John Tudor’s candidacy.

Why John Tudor should be in the Cardinals HOF

John Tudor arrived in St. Louis prior to the 1985 season via a trade from the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Tudor then proceeded to have a remarkable season for the eventual 1985 NL champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Tudor started the 1985 season with a 1-7 record and a 3.74 ERA through May.  However, he then went on a tear that has rarely been seen by any other Cardinal pitcher in their history.  From June until the end of the season he went 20-1 with a 1.37 ERA, winning his last eleven decisions.

The left-hander finished the season with a 21-8 record and a 1.93 ERA in 275 innings. Tudor’s 1985 ERA places fourth all time among Cardinal pitchers for a single season.  His 21 wins have only been topped since 1985 by Matt Morris‘ 22 wins in 2001 and matched by Chris Carpenter in 2005.

Tudor also threw an incredible 10 shutouts and 14 complete games in 1985.  Those 10 shutouts are tied for second in Cardinal history and his 14 complete games have not been repeated since.  His 0.94 WHIP is second only to Bob Gibson‘s 0.85 in 1968 in franchise history.

Only because of Dwight Gooden‘s career best year in 1985, John Tudor finished second for the National League’s Cy Young Award.  Tudor was bested by Gooden’s 24 wins and 1.53 ERA.

John Tudor’s seasons after 1985 with the Cardinals were respectable.  In 1986, he was 13-7 with a 2.92 ERA and threw 219 innings. 1987 saw Tudor pitch only 96 innings due to an injury.  However, he went 10-2 with a 3.84 ERA.

Tudor was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 1988 season, after posting a 6-5 record with a 2.29 ERA in 145 innings.  He  returned to the Cardinals in 1990 to pitch a 12-4 record with a 2.40 ERA in 146 innings.

John Tudor retired after the 1990 season.

Why John Tudor should not be in the Cardinal HOF

John Tudor’s career was marred by injuries after the 1985 season.  He never again came close to achieving the dominance of 1985.  His innings pitched, complete games, and shutouts paled in comparison to his sensational 1985 season.

After 1985, Tudor only threw two shutouts and nine complete games.  He never came close to achieving his 0.938 WHIP or his 169 strikeout of 1985.  In 1990, John Tudor had only 63 strikeouts, one complete game, and one shutout.

More from Redbird Rants

By the end of his career, John Tudor was a good pitcher, but certainly not remarkable as he had been in 1985.  His four plus years stats with the Cardinals shows a 62-26 won/loss record, 2.52 ERA in 881 innings pitched and a WHIP of 1.08.

Finally, Tudor doesn’t have a world series championship in his resume as a St. Louis Cardinal.  Although he has two NL championships in ’85 and ’87, they did not produce a world series championship, that Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter have to their resumes.  This, I believe will hurt him with fans who will be voting on the membership into the Cardinal HOF.

My Opinion

The question for me is, should John Tudor be inducted to the Cardinals HOF based on his remarkable 1985 season?  That season is one of the best by a starting pitcher in recent years, possibly since Bob Gibson in 1968.

However, John Tudor’s seasons after 1985 were respectable and even good, but not outstanding.  Taking away his 1985 season stats, Tudor’s stats become more ordinary and probably not HOF worthy.

This is a close call for me personally.  I remember the 1985 season and John Tudor’s part in that NL Championship season.  It wasn’t his fault that the Cardinals lost to the Royals in 7 games in the 1985 World Series.  Nor was he responsible for the Don Denkinger blown call in Game 6 of that series.

Next: Plan B

In conclusion, I believe John Tudor is worthy to be a member of the St. Louis Cardinal HOF based on his sensational 1985 season.  Others are worthy and probably deserve to go in before Tudor.  Nevertheless, I hope John Tudor will one day be admitted into the Cardinal HOF.

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