St. Louis Cardinals: The Case for Edgar Renteria for the Cards HOF

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 19: Shortstop Edgar Renteria #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals waits for the pitch during the MLB game against the Colorado Rockies on September 19, 2002, at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Cardinals won 12-6. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - SEPTEMBER 19: Shortstop Edgar Renteria #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals waits for the pitch during the MLB game against the Colorado Rockies on September 19, 2002, at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Cardinals won 12-6. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Seven former players have been nominated for possible induction into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Class of 2020. All are deserving, but one of my two votes will go to Edgar Renteria.

Starting on March 1st, it will be time for fans to vote on the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Class of 2020. There are seven nominees and a case can be made for all of them to be inducted into the Cardinal Hall of Fame, However, by the rules, we can only vote for two.

The seven nominees this year are Steve Carlton, Keith Hernandez, Tom Herr, John Tudor, Lee Smith, Matt Morris, and Edgar Renteria. The nominees are selected by a Red Ribbon committee of former managers and media members. To qualify, the nominees must have played for the Cardinals at least three seasons and be retired from Major League Baseball for three years.

After the Red Ribbon committee selects their nominees, the process goes to the fans who can vote for two. The voting this year runs from March 1st to April 17th at cardinals.com/HOF.

Earlier I wrote a piece in which said I would use one of my votes for Keith Hernandez and why. Trying to determine who my second vote would go to was a close one for me. But after some back and forth, I decided to cast it for Edgar Renteria.

Here is my case for why Edgar Renteria should be admitted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

The Case for Edgar Renteria

By the time Edgar Renteria arrived in St. Louis via trade from the then Florida Marlins on December 14th, 1998, he was already a one-time All-Star and a World Series champion. However, he proceeded to have the best years of this career after he first stepped foot on the turf in Busch Stadium.

From 1999 to 2004, he won two Gold Gloves, three Silver Slugger Awards, and made three All-Star appearances. While wearing the Birds on a Bat, he was a member of three Division Championship teams and an NL Pennant Championship team.

Renteria’s best year as a Cardinal was in 2003 when he had a slash line of .330/.394/.480 with 13 homers, 100 RBIs and an OPS+ of 130. His 47 doubles set a single-season franchise record by a shortstop, besting Dick Groat‘s 43 in 1963. The right-handed Renteria was also the first and only Cardinal shortstop to win Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger Awards in back to back years.

During his six years as a Cardinal, the Columbian native hit a slash line of .290/.347/.420 and never played fewer than 141 games in a season. He was also the last Cardinal shortstop to win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award.

Edgar Renteria left St. Louis via free agency after the 2004 season and played out his career in Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, and Cincinnati. Renteria formally retired in 2013.

The last word on Renteria and the other nominees

My final decision to vote for Edgar Renteria rested with his Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger Awards. There hasn’t been a shortstop since who has been defensively and offensively as solid, and who made such an impact on the St. Louis Cardinals during his career.

More from St Louis Cardinals History

Yes, some of you would bring up David Eckstein and he was a good shortstop during his three years in St. Louis. Eckstein never won a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger Award though.

Some of you may prefer voting for one of the other nominees and I know a case could be made for all them. I remember Tom Herr’s 1985 season and his years as part of the double play combo with Ozzie Smith. John Tudor had a great Cy Young worthy 1985 season, and Matt Morris won 22 games in 2001. Lee Smith is already a Baseball Hall of Famer, and Steve Carlton actually had some great years in St. Louis before being traded to Philadelphia.

Next. The very unlikely path for Carlson to start with Cards. dark

Nevertheless, I believe Edgar Renteria had a bigger impact on the Cardinals while he was in St. Louis. Of course, this is just my opinion, you might feel differently.

facebooktwitterreddit