Tagged: Cardinals Hall of Fame
October 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm #36105
I’m new to the forum, so thank you for letting me post.
I wanted to start a conversation on Tom Alston and if he should be elected to the Cardinals Team HOF. I know the HOF is a newer thing and it’s just catching up on electing players from the long storied history of the franchise.
That being said, I think that Alston should be given serious consideration. He was the first African-American player in franchise history. But his election would be an interesting one. While he is technically eligible by having played 3 seasons with the club, his stats are poor and he bounced back and forth between the majors and minors over his time with the club. He would be elected purely as a pioneer. If you are familiar with his life, he struggled with mental illness and lived mostly in poverty after his playing days. His election would be considered by the “Red Ribbon” committee, who elects players. I can agree that maybe there a few players the committee should elect before him, but I think he’s an important figure and eventually should get the recognition.
Here is his sabr bio: https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/3c1c76e0
I also would like to see Quincy Trouppe (First Cardinals African-American Scout) and Johnny Lewis (First Cardinals African-American Coach) also receive election down the road. Granted these selections would be made by the “Team” or ownership who selects non-players.
Thoughts?October 15, 2017 at 5:42 pm #36110
Welcome, wvutrombone. This is a very interesting subject which is close to my heart and likely a number of others here, too. So others should also weigh in if you are interested.
Starting at the end, the DeWitts make the ownership selections. The last people I lobbied for heavily were George Kissell and Helene Britton. The former got in, but the latter has not. They decided not to select anyone this year.
If they get to coaches, my first choice would be Dave Duncan, especially good to do while he is still alive to be able to appreciate the recognition. There are so many other names, Butch Yatkeman, Mike Gonzalez (MLB’s first Hispanic manager), Dave Ricketts, Bing Devine, Harry Caray, to name a few. Lewis would not be in my top group.
I have no idea when scouts might be considered. Sadly, they tend to be overlooked across baseball. I would start with Cardinals in the Professional Baseball Scouting Hall of Fame. They include current scouts Marty Keough and Joe Rigoli. I had no idea Quincy Trouppe had such a rich history in many parts of the game. Here is his bio. https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/0d89ee6bOctober 15, 2017 at 6:03 pm #36112
To your first item, Tom Alston is clearly a notable figure in team history. His selection, as you noted, would not be stats-based. Because of that, I wonder if he would better fall under the ownership category. I will have to ask about that.
Some of the veteran-era players under consideration in recent years based on on-field results who haven’t gotten in yet include Harry Brecheen, Mort Cooper, Walker Cooper, Bill White, Whitey Kurowski, Bill Doak, Ripper Collins and Ray Blades. Another three season-only Cardinal who was very impactful is Orlando Cepeda.October 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm #36117
I personally would pick Duncan as my next ownership selection. Along with him, Gonzalez, and Lewis, I’d add Buzzy Wares and Dave Ricketts to the coaches list.
It could be over a decade or more before a scout is selected once you get through Coaches, Managers (Gabby Street, Eddie Dyer, and Johnny Keane), Broadcasters (Caray, France Laux, Joe Garagiola, Jay Randolph, and dare I say it Joe Buck), GM’s (Maxvill, Jocketty, Devine, William Walsingham Jr) and Britton, Yatkeman, and the great Ernie Hayes.
Getting back to Alston. I know this is a Card’s space, but it was a travesty what the Cooperstown Hall of Fame did to Ron Santo. I agree that we should aim to elect those while they still are around to enjoy it. I’d like to see the election of Orlando Cepeda and Bill White the next few years. After that I think it appropriate to give Alston serious consideration.October 15, 2017 at 7:04 pm #36118
Interesting, since he would be elected as a “pioneer” maybe it would fall to an ownership selection. I hadn’t considered that.October 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm #36119
Great suggestion, wvutrombone. Excellent commentary, and welcome.
Honoring Tom Alston’s breaking through to become the Cardinal’s first African-American player certainly has merit. Bill White did a lot to help management recognize the double standard in the organization at the time, a few years later than Alston, and of course was an all-star player as well. I would tend to favor White’s induction before Alston, but that does not mean I would exclude Alston.
My thought is Alston deserves recognition, perhaps in a special category that might be apart from being a Cardinal HOFer. Very good subject to discuss, and thanks for bringing this to the table.October 15, 2017 at 8:07 pm #36121
I guess it comes down to what type of HOF we want to have. I think the election of McGwire was a first of it’s kind this year (I don’t mean PED’s). He was elected even though only having played 2 full seasons and 3 partial ones for the Cards, that is if you don’t give him credit for his time as a hitting coach. Those seasons were obviously awesome and he clearly deserves his election. But how do we weigh shortened Cardinals service time vs. overall impact on the franchise?
Cepeda will also fall in the category of a short but impactful Cardinal career, and I also think he should get in. Jesse Burkett is a Cooperstown Hall of Famer who also only played 3 seasons in a Cardinal Uniform but in those seasons his total batting average was .378 (!). Should he get in? Probably.
At some point, it will be interesting to see if postseason heroes David Freese, Pete Alexander, David Eckstein, and Darrell Porter eventually make it in. None of them had a very lengthy regular season record. I assume Freese would easily be elected by fan vote if he is one day placed on the ballot. Will someone like Darryl Kile eventually get elected?
Anyway, this is a long way of saying as we get more elections behind us, more of a precedent will be set and the overall shape of the inductees will become more clear. I think Alston is probably the most interesting case when you try to balance a shorten career vs. impactful.October 15, 2017 at 11:05 pm #36141858booyahParticipantFree
I’m thinking no due to the controversy over his acquisition. He wasn’t exactly what the Cardinals thought when they grabbed him.October 16, 2017 at 2:26 pm #36234SoonerinNCParticipantPaid - Annual
When you consider scouts we should think of Charlie Barrett who was a scout during Rickey’s early years. Barrett was so good that the rich teams like the Giants followed him to see who he was trying to sign and then they would outbid the Cardinals, sometimes sight unseen. This led Rickey to develop the Cardinal minor league system which topped out at 31 teams.
Think about picking the top 50 prospects in those days.October 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm #36243
You are absolutely right, Sooner! Here is the link to Charley Barrett’s SABR bio. He had a very significant role in the farm system’s development.October 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm #36320
As the Cardinal HOF evolves, I think we will see some specialized categories recognizing people who had significance beyond the playing field. The Cooperstown Hall has done that over the years, starting out with players only, then evolving to where managers, owners, umpires, broadcasters and others who were a big part of the game outside of direct participation are now enshrined.
The Cardinal Hall has some of that, and no doubt we will see more. Alston would fall in to that category. Another no-doubt Hall of Famer in that vein is Harry Caray. His impact as voice of the Cardinals for 25 years is hard to over-state. In sort of an odd way, the club could recognize KMOX as well, or perhaps Bob Hyland who had a huge impact on getting Cardinal baseball to the vast Midwestern territory in the post-WWII era.October 17, 2017 at 2:23 pm #36327
Agree, bikemike. There are a couple of differences though in terms of National Baseball Hall of Fame being stricter than the Cardinals may/have turned out to be.
One is that there are no coaches or scouts enshrined in Cooperstown. I bet we will see the Cardinals break this barrier long before the nationals do.
Another difference is that broadcasters and writers are not Hall of Famers. In fact, the Cooperstown folks are very careful to avoid that designation in their wording. Though media folks often call their top career honorees “Hall of Famers,” they are not. They receive their awards during the HOF weekend (the day before the HOF inductions) and are recognized in the HOF museum, but are not inducted into the Hall and do not have plaques in the Hall of Fame gallery.
From the HOF website (all of the words in the quotes below are theirs):
Writers: “Each award recipient (not to be confused with an inductee) is presented with a certificate during Hall of Fame Weekend and is recognized in the “Scribes & Mikemen” exhibit in the Library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.”
Broadcasters: “The Ford C. Frick Award is presented annually during Hall of Fame Weekend. Each award recipient (not to be confused with an inductee) is presented with a calligraphy of the award and is recognized in the “Scribes & Mikemen” exhibit in the Library of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.”
For example, in the case of the Cards HOF, Mike Shannon was actually inducted into the Hall and has a plaque alongside all the other team HOFers, whether players, managers, owners, executives or broadcasters (Jack Buck). The Frick and Spink Award winners are handled differently in Cooperstown.
P.S. If you have not yet been to the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum in Ballpark Village, you need to do it! I go at least annually as they change the lead exhibit. Like all museums, they have more artifacts that can be displayed to the public at any one time.October 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm #36355
Thanks for the clarification, Brian. I have actually not been to a game in St. Louis since 2009, so I need to get back there. Hopefully 2018 will be the time.
I knew the Cooperstown broadcasters were in the “broadcasters wing of the Hall of Fame”, or wording was usually given similar to that. But your comments make it clear that the Hall definitely keeps them separate. I would guess the Cardinals Hall will not do that as well.
On a bit of a side note, and I have mentioned this before, another old timer who I believe should be inducted to the Cardinal hall is Harry Brecheen. The two Harry’s, Brecheen and Caray, are both richly deserving of the honor and I hope they get in over the next few years. If not, I may start a personal campaign on their behalf; maybe I will call it the “Harry-Harry, lets get the vote to carry” (them to the Cardinal Hall, campaign). (only halfway joking on that).October 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm #36364
No lobbying needed with me, at least. We get three votes for veterans each year and Brecheen has consistently been on my ballot.October 23, 2017 at 5:46 pm #36695
Joe Buck, Bob Costas and Dizzy Dean are among eight finalists for the 2018 Frick Award for baseball broadcasting. Announced by the Hall of Fame.October 26, 2017 at 10:15 am #36896
I like all three of those broadcasters, and of course all three have strong St. Louis connections. As a kid in the ’60s, we grew up with Diz and Pee Wee Reese on the “Game Of The Week” Saturday broadcasts. He broke the mold of the polished broadcaster by being himself and talking the same way while describing a game as he did in real life.
Costas is a historian as much as he is a broadcaster. In a way, I do not think of him so much as a Hall of Fame broadcaster as simply a passionate baseball guy who is nationally known, and is very articulate. Some of us here are probably about equal with Costas as far as knowledge of the game’s history and place in American life, but we do not have the high profile profession. Still, the guy is well known as a media person who despite broadcasting all sports, is largely associated with baseball.
Joe Buck is similar, in that he is articulate and has been a terrific baseball broadcaster, although he might be more associated with NFL broadcasts. Still he made his mark doing baseball, and was a polished broadcaster from day one.
I think Dean is a slam dunk for the Hall’s broadcasters section, and have no issues with Costas nor Joe Buck being enshrined.December 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm #39511
Costas has won the Frick Award. A great honor for him. However, he is already being called a Hall of Famer, which is not quite so, as explained above.January 30, 2018 at 7:40 pm #42856
The 2018 fan ballot for the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be announced during the KMOX Cardinals Countdown to Opening Day Show, which starts at 7pm Wednesday. The new ballot is going to have a different look that I think many will like. No, I cannot tell you more than that!January 31, 2018 at 8:23 pm #42916
The St. Louis Cardinals have announced the seven Modern Era players appearing on their Hall of Fame ballot – including four new choices for 2018. Fan voting will open on March 1.February 2, 2018 at 6:40 pm #43045
FWIW, my take on the four new guys.
Vince Coleman –
Vince is a bit of an enigma, as the new metrics do not value him all that high, yet his impact on a game was significant. It’s tough to value the characteristics that Vince brought to a game; the extra bases accumulated from steals, with low caught-stealing numbers. Just the threat of him on base would change an inning. I probably do not consider him of team Hall of Fame recognition, because he did not play long enough with the Cardinals. But I have always valued him much higher than the stats show. He won games in ways that are not quantifiable.
– Tudor threw 10 shutouts in 1985, and had only 6 over the rest of his career. He was a major benefactor of our ballpark and the construction of our club at the time. The difference between pitching in Busch II and Fenway, where you had Ozzie Smith and Terry Pendleton gobbling up most everything on the right side, might have benefited him more than any other pitcher in recent memory. His line shows 20 WAR (BR) in only 5 seasons with us, which is quite impressive. By comparison Steve Carlton had 20.9 WAR in seven seasons with us. Tudor and the prior candidate, Vince Coleman, were guys whose value to our club at that time, with the speed-and-defense game, was greater than had they been with most any other team. A classic example of the word “synergy” in a baseball application.
Oops, we gotta run. I’ll comment on Lee Smith and Ray Lankford next.February 2, 2018 at 8:11 pm #43046
Lee Smith – Big Lee always strolled in from the bullpen looking like he hurt everywhere. He had what looked like a pained expression on his face, and he walked slowly and lumbered as if it was a chore to make it from the bullpen to the mound. Then he would throw darts for warm up pitches and look fluid and effortless doing it. His 160 saves as a Cardinal are second all-time to Jason Isringhausen’s 217. Smith pitched for mediocre teams in the early ’90s, when the brewery still owned the club but did not put much effort into the product.
Ray Lankford – Probably under-rated a bit as he played in an era when the Cardinals were not very good. He came up after the good ’80s teams, and left before the good 2000s teams. He did return for 92 games with the great 2004 club, and that was his last season. Finished 5th all-time on the Cardinal home run list, although he is also second all-time on the strikeout list, 20 behind Hall of Famer Lou Brock. Had an OPS+ of 124 as a Cardinal, meaning he was 24% better than the average player. Again comparing to Brock, Lou was +112 with us. But then Lou played longer, and was best when the light shined brightest. Ray played in a couple of post seasons, 1996 and 2000, hitting .189.February 6, 2018 at 8:45 am #43245
bikemike goes deeper on the four returnees to the fan ballot.February 14, 2018 at 8:37 am #43832February 28, 2018 at 9:36 am #44763March 1, 2018 at 10:01 am #44826
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