The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame was established as a way to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of the greatest players in Cardinals history, as well as those who have made exceptional contributions to the organization. To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired as a player from Major League Baseball for at least three years. The eligible pool of players is divided into two categories, 'modern players' and 'veteran players.' If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.
Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame is permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones that is located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the team's new museum. The Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public.
"We want to thank our fans and the Red Ribbon Panel for choosing such an outstanding induction class," said Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III.
Chosen by the fans, Simmons and Forsch were the top two vote-getters in the online Cardinals Hall of Fame balloting presented by Edward Jones. The ballot, which also included Cardinals legends Steve Carlton, Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, and Joe Torre was selected by a Red Ribbon Panel of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process. More than 45,000 votes were cast by Cardinals fans over the six-week voting period.
In addition to nominating modern players for fan balloting, the Red Ribbon Panel of Cardinals baseball experts also elected legendary outfielder Curt Flood, a veteran player, for induction using a secret ballot process. Flood was a standout defensive center fielder who helped the Cardinals to three World Series appearances and two World Series Championships in his twelve seasons with the club. In addition to his amazing career on the field, Flood's refusal to accept a trade following the 1969 season played a historic role in paving the way toward modern player free agency.
Independent of the Red Ribbon Panel selection process, the Cardinals organization retains the right to annually induct an individual who has been an important figure in Cardinals history. This year's selection is George Kissell, a lifetime Cardinal, who spent 65 years in the organization as a player, coach, scout and instructor. Kissell's techniques and methods made an impact at every level of the organization and defined what is now known as "The Cardinal Way." The 2015 Cardinals Induction Class will be formally enshrined at a ceremony on Saturday, August 15th during the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.
Following is a description of each Inductee's career as a Cardinal:
Ted Simmons (Modern Era Player - Fan Selection)
Years: 1968 - 1980, .298 AVG, 172 HR, 929 RBIs
Ted Simmons played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, making his Major League debut at 18-years old in 1968. He was a six-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1980. In 1975, Simmons set the National League record for hits by a catcher with 188. He posted six seasons of 20 or more home runs and 10 consecutive seasons from 1971-80 with 75 or more RBI. His 172 HR rank 9th and 929 RBI are 7th all-time in Cardinals franchise history.
Bob Forsch (Modern Era Player - Fan Selection)
Years: 1974 - 1988, 163-127, 3.67 ERA, 1079 K's
Bob Forsch played 15 seasons with the Cardinals, making 401 starts, ranking 2nd all-time to franchise history. He threw two no-hitters, coming in 1978 and again in 1983, becoming the only pitcher in Cardinals history to throw two. He played in three World Series (1982, 1985 & 1987), winning in 1982, a year in which he threw a three-hit shutout in the Cardinals first ever NLCS game. The two-time Silver Slugger Award winner won 163 games for the Cardinals, ranking third in franchise history.
Curt Flood (Veteran Era Player - Red Ribbon Panel Selection)
Years: 1958 - 1969, .293 AVG, 85 HR, 636 RBIs
Curt Flood was a standout defensive center fielder who helped the Cardinals to three World Series appearances (1964, 1967 & 1968) and two World Championships (1964 & 1967) during his 12 season in St. Louis. Flood won seven consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove awards and was named to the NL All-Star team three times. Flood's refusal to accept a trade following the 1969 season led to a lawsuit against MLB challenging the reserve clause, which allowed owners to renew players' contracts in perpetuity. While Flood's case was unsuccessful, it paved the way for other players to unify and ultimately defeat the reserve clause, leading to free agency.
George Kissell (Team Selection)
Years: 1940 - 1942, 1946 - 2008
A lifetime Cardinal, Kissell spent 65 years in the organization as a player, coach, scout and instructor. Kissell's only time away from the team was when he served in the United States Navy. Kissell's techniques and methods made an impact at every level of the organization and defined what is now known as "the Cardinal Way." Kissell's knowledge of the game's fundamentals, innovative drills to reinforce skills and techniques, and his down-to-earth demeanor transformed the careers of many players.
The Cardinals Hall of Fame Members
Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Jack Buck, August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr., Dizzy Dean, Jim Edmonds, Frank Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Tony La Russa, Marty Marion, Willie McGee, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Mike Shannon, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth and Bruce Sutter.
The 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame "Red Ribbon" Selection Panel
Tom Ackerman, Frank Cusumano, Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker, Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst, Joe Strauss and Brian Walton.
Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum (#CardsMuseum)
The 8,000 square foot state-of-the art St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, which is on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, celebrates the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball's most storied franchises. The Cardinals' museum collection is the largest team-held collection in baseball and is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 20,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archival photographs. Fans can learn more about the museum, hours of operation and admission at cardinals.com/museum.