Last month, the UCB made recommendations for the design of the soon-to-be-completed Cardinals Hall of Fame, part of the Ballpark Village project.
The rules for this undertaking were pretty clearly laid out, anyone on the wall at Busch III is auto-magically assumed in already. Anyone in that building in Cooperstown can be assumed in. So the real question, which other players, personnel, coaches, managers, etc deserve special recognition? Choose five and run with it.
My inductees, in no particular order:
1. George Kissell
The Keeper of the Cardinal Way. A gentleman that taught scores of Redbirds how to play ball “The Cardinal Way,” George Kissell represented everything that the organization attempts to teach to its young players and everything that the ownership, fanbase, and a city prides themselves on when it comes to Saint Louis baseball.
Kissell never amounted to much as a player, but he was everything to the Cardinals as a mentor and instructor. The existence of an actual manual for players bearing a dedication to Kissell and distributed to this day, most of the content bearing some connection to Kissell’s teachings only lends credence to the impact George had on the Cardinal organization.
Hall of Famer.
2. Ted Simmons
I can’t think of a better way to lay out the case for Simba than to reference the site that bears his name, RetroSimba (written by the brilliant Mark Tomasik) and Mark’s case for Simmons.
3. Curt Flood
They all owe Curt Flood a percentage.
Curt Flood is the person who started the movement that brought down baseball’s reserve clause. Unhappy with a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies, Flood challenged his assignment to the Phillies, ultimately sitting out the 1970 season and eventually ending his career with little fanfare.
On the playing field, Flood was a seven-time Gold Glove center fielder, a three-time All-Star, and finishing as high as fourth in Most Valuable Player voting in 1968.
4. Jim Edmonds
Well, watch this:
Then, read Daniel’s bit on Jimmy.
Then watch this:
I rest my case. You know who Jim Edmonds is.
Harry “The Cat” Brecheen had a sort of Chris Carpenter -esque peak with the Cardinals of the mid-to-late 1940’s. Brecheen won rings with the Redbirds in 1944 and 1946, a pennant in 1943, and won a bunch of games with the club in ’45, ’47, ’47, and ’49. Brecheen finished fifth in Most Valuable Player voting in 1948, going 20-7 with a league-leading 2.24 ERA. From 1951 to 1971, Brecheen held the club record for career strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher, until finally being surpassed by a ho-hum lefty by the name of Steve Carlton.
These are my five initial inductees to the Cardinal Hall of Fame, who are yours?