ST. LOUIS -- The walls adorning the Cardinals Hall of Fame received some added decoration on Saturday, as the Cardinals celebrated several generations of franchise history with the induction of four individuals into its Hall of Fame.
Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter and MVP Joe Torre returned to St. Louis to accept their Hall of Fame red jackets and plaques during an afternoon ceremony at Ballpark Village. The other two inductees, former owner/president Sam Breadon and center fielder Terry Moore, were represented by members of their family.
The careers of the four inductees spanned from the Cardinals' first World Championship in 1926 to its most recent five years ago.
"You sit there as a player and you don't ever think about being a red coat," Carpenter said. "It's an honor for me to stand up here. Wearing this coat brings to mind that you'll always be remembered."
Carpenter, 41, is the youngest member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame, which has now grown to include 34 members. Visits to St. Louis have been scarce for Carpenter since he retired in 2013, but he noted how excited he is to now know that he'll be invited back every year to participate in the team's Opening Day ceremony and annual Hall of Fame weekend.
At both, he'll be wearing the Cardinals' signature red suit jacket.
"When I showed up here in 2003, you see these guys come in on the trucks in red coats and you know what it means, but you don't know what it means," said Carpenter, who still has more postseason wins (10) than anyone else in franchise history. "Then full circle, however many years later, [for me to have one], it's ridiculous. I love being here. It was my home for a long, long time. It's exciting to know that I get to be able to come back."
Though Torre went into the National Baseball Hall of Fame donning a Yankees cap, he enjoyed some of his best seasons while in a Cardinals uniform. He won the MVP award in 1971, and his .308 batting average ranked eighth in club history upon his retirement. He later returned to manage from 1990-95.
As he adlibbed his speech on Saturday, Torre cited the swing changes that manager Red Schoendienst recommended and the knowledge he gleaned from long-time instructor George Kissell as helping change his career.
"It was a great place to play baseball for six years, and I thank you for that," Torre told the crowd. "I can't tell you how honored I am to be inducted into the Cardinals' Hall of Fame. They're winners. It's a special organization. It's a special city. "One you've worn a Cardinals uniform, you feel like royalty because that's how they treat you."
Saturday's ceremony opened with a video of Stan Musial playing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' on his harmonica and included addresses from principal owner Bill DeWitt III and team president Bill DeWitt Jr. The recipient speeches then began with Julie Rohrer taking the stage to talk about "Daddy Sam," as she called Breadon.
In describing how her grandfather instilled a love of baseball in their family, Rohrer noted that "when he walked in the front door, so did the St. Louis Cardinals."
Rohrer was followed by Moore's son, Ron. Ron Moore talked mostly about his father's stellar defensive career and the book his father later wrote foretelling of the evolution of defensive shifting.