Regular readers here already know my level of passion about the rich history of the St. Louis Cardinals.
One particular long-held concern of mine was the club’s confusing retired number policy that was finally partially and positively addressed in 2014 with the establishment of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.
Though I would like to have seen several past decisions reversed, in reality, the only practical approach was to accept that what was done is done. All 22 retired number individuals and Cooperstown inductees were the first to enter the Cardinals new Hall.
The opposite is not true, however. New Hall members do not automatically have their numbers retired. Hopefully, the latter process will be kept in deep reserve for only the most deserving cases, decided long after the fact.
In addition, the Cardinals created a thoughtful and reasonable process to gain media and fan support of new Hall members, the first elected class, of 2014.
For old-time players whose careers ended more than 40 years ago, a committee of which I was a part, discussed, debated and ultimately voted for one new inductee for 2014.
The winner was 1944 National League MVP and former Cards shortstop Marty Marion.
The committee also selected a ballot of more recent players (retired less than 40 years ago) which was put up for fan voting. Two of the eight nominees were selected by popular vote – former outfielders Jim Edmonds and Willie McGee.
The Cardinals also hold the right to add one individual annually of their own choosing and used that spot for venerable broadcaster Mike Shannon.
The four new members formally joined the initial 22 in the Cardinals Hall of Fame by way of ceremonies held the weekend of August 16. The latter three are still living, with Marion’s eldest daughter, Martinna Dill, representing her late father as the inductees donned the traditional red jackets for the first time.
Personally, I encourage you to visit and read every plaque, as Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst himself did on its opening day.
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