David Freese declines induction into St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame

2011 World Series Game 6 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals
2011 World Series Game 6 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

2011 St. Louis Cardinals postseason hero David Freese has turned down his offer of a red jacket.

David Freese has held a special place in the hearts of St. Louis Cardinals fans after his performance in the 2011 postseason and his role in bringing the Cardinals their 11th World Series title. For his heroics, he was placed on the fan ballot to be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. Although the other players on the ballot — Steve Carlton, Joaquin Andujar, Edgar Renteria, and Matt Morris — had better careers than Freese, the vote was merely a formality, as everyone knew Freese would win in a landslide.

However, Freese has politely declined his opportunity to be officially enshrined in Cardinals lore. He issued a statement to the team and said that he does not feel that he is worth the red jacket that is awarded to some of the best players in Cardinals' history.

I commend Freese on this decision. Although I appreciate Freese's contributions to the team in 2011 as much as any other Cardinals fan does, I was always of the opinion that one hot streak at the right time should not be a reason to give a player a team's highest honor. I also believed that recency bias played a large part in his eventual induction and people would have a clearer idea of his legacy after a few decades had passed.

In an article I wrote in 2019, I mentioned that I didn't think Freese would want to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame, not just because he didn't measure up to the careers of other candidates, but because of the stress he was under during his time in St. Louis. While Freese has now embraced his hero status in the Gateway City, he still seems to prefer to keep a lower profile.


Freese's decision was a classy one, and I am happy that the Cardinals Hall of Fame will still, at least for now, not have an inductee who sticks out like a sore thumb. Fans who watched the 2011 postseason will always fondly remember what he did to lead the team to a title, but voting him into the Cardinals Hall of Fame always seemed unnecessary to me. I'm glad Freese agrees.

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