St. Louis Cardinals announce Hall of Fame fan ballot candidates
The St. Louis Cardinals revealed the candidates to receive fan votes for the team's Hall of Fame.
The St. Louis Cardinals will award a red jacket to one player this year based on the fans' votes. The candidates for Cardinals Hall of Fame induction are Joaquin Andujar, Steve Carlton, David Freese, Matt Morris, and Edgar Renteria. Below are summaries of the Cardinals' careers of each candidate.
Joaquin Andujar, RHP
A fiery competitor and a player who wore his emotions on his sleeve, Joaquin Andujar signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in 1981. He was a two-time All-Star with the Houston Astros before his release, but he had his best years with St. Louis, pitching to a 3.33 ERA from 1981 through 1985 and leading the major leagues in wins in 1984, with 20. He also led the National League in innings pitched, at 261.3. Andujar played a key role in the Cardinals' championship in 1982, finishing with a 2-0 record and a 1.35 ERA in the World Series.
Steve Carlton, LHP
Although Steve Carlton found most of his success after being traded from the Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies, the man widely considered the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time started his career in St. Louis and played seven seasons for the Cardinals. He pitched on the 1967 championship team and was an All-Star three times. He had a career 3.10 ERA with the Cardinals, and they traded him to the Phillies before the 1972 season for pitcher Rick Wise in what is widely considered the worst trade in Cardinals history.
David Freese, 3B
David Freese was raised in the St. Louis vicinity and played four full seasons with the Cardinals. From 2010 through 2012, he hit .295, but his performance in the Cardinals' World Series-winning 2011 postseason engraved his legacy in St. Louis. He hit .397 in the postseason that year and capped it off with a walk-off home run in Game 6 of the World Series. He was named the World Series MVP and earned his only All-Star berth the next season.
Matt Morris, RHP
Matt Morris was named to the All-Star team twice in his eight seasons with the Cardinals. His ERA in his career with St. Louis was 3.61. Morris was second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1997 and led the majors with 22 victories in 2001. He finished third in Cy Young Award voting after returning from Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2000 season and received the Comeback Player of the Year award. Morris would pitch for the Cardinals through 2005.
Edgar Renteria, SS
A two-time Gold Glove Award recipient with the Cardinals in 2002 and 2003 and Silver Slugger Award winner those years as well, Edgar Renteria hit .290 in six years with St. Louis after the team acquired him from the Florida Marlins in 1998. He is often considered the best player to ever come from Colombia. In 2003, Renteria hit .330 and made his second of three All-Star teams with the Cardinals. He was second in offensive WAR that year. After one more season with St. Louis, he was granted free agency.
In my mind, it will be a shock if Freese is not the next player the fans induct into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. His heroics are still fresh in many fans' minds, although his career numbers don't match up to those of the other candidates. I personally hope that one of the others receives the award, but I'll still be cheering for Freese if he gets the nod.