Simmons, 2015 class set for Cards' Hall induction

Catcher, along with Forsch, Flood, Kissell, to be honored Saturday at Ballpark Village

Simmons, 2015 class set for Cards' Hall induction

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' Hall of Fame will grow by four on Saturday, when the club officially inducts pitcher Bob Forsch, catcher Ted Simmons, outfielder Curt Flood and longtime instructor George Kissell during a 2 p.m. CT ceremony at Ballpark Village.

Those four Cardinals will join the 26 already recognized with plaques outside the Cardinals' Museum in Ballpark Village. The organization opened its Hall of Fame last spring and held its first induction ceremony last August.

Once again, the induction ceremony is free and open to the public. Doors open at 11 a.m. Simmons, the only living inductee of this year's class, will be on hand to accept the honor, while Forsch, Flood and Kissell will be represented by family members. Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Whitey Herzog, Red Schoendienst, Lou Brock and Bob Gibson are expected to be in attendance, along with three members -- Mike Shannon, Jim Edmonds and Willie McGee -- of the Cardinals' 2014 Hall of Fame class.

Simmons and Forsch earned election through a fan vote that drew more than 45,000 cast ballots over a six-week period. The two were on an eight-player modern ballot built by a Red Ribbon Committee. That ballot also included Steve Carlton, Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria and Joe Torre. To be eligible for consideration, players had to have played at least three seasons with the Cardinals and have been retired for at least three years but no more than 40.

Simmons was a six-time All-Star during his 13 seasons with the Cardinals. He debuted in 1968 and went on to hit .298 with 172 homers and 929 as a member of the organization. He set the National League record for hits by a catcher (188) in 1975, and he hit 20 home runs in six different seasons.

Simmons was a longtime backstop for Forsch, who played the first 15 seasons of his 16-year career in St. Louis. He broke into the Majors in 1974, and remains the only player in franchise history to throw two no-hitters. Forsch ranks third in franchise history with 163 wins, second with 401 starts and was a member of three World Series teams.

Bob Forsch in the Cards Museum

A Red Ribbon Committee of media members and three former Cardinals managers selected Flood as this year's veteran inductee, defined as someone who played at least three seasons for the organization and has been retired for more than 40 years.

Flood, a member of the Cardinals' 1964 and '67 World Series championship teams, spent 12 seasons in St. Louis. During that time he won seven consecutive Gold Glove Awards and was named an NL All-Star three times. Much of Flood's legacy came from his decision to sue Major League Baseball in 1969 over the reserve clause, which allowed owners to renew players' contracts in perpetuity. That suit jumpstarted a process that eventually led to the establishment of free agency.

The Cardinals selected Kissell as the fourth member of this class, choosing to honor someone who spent 65 years in the organization as a player, coach, scout and instructor. Never able to crack a Major League roster as a player, Kissell became a Minor League manager in 1946, and except for a scouting stint, he remained in that role through '67. From there, he became an impactful roving instructor, a position he held until his death in 2008.

Fox Sports Midwest will air the Hall of Fame induction ceremony as part of a one-hour special at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.