The St. Louis Cardinals have a rich history of a winning tradition as players have excelled in nearly every decade. Here are the Cardinals seven nominees for their 2018 Hall of Fame class and what accomplishments they did to deserve this honor.
Vince Coleman is the first nominee. He was part of the Cardinals’ organization from 1985-1990. Coleman was a rookie in 1985 and made an impact stealing 110 bases that season, which remains a Major League Baseball record. He also won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1985. Coleman was a member of two Cardinals National League winning pennant teams in 1985 and 1987. He also ranks second in franchise history in stolen bases with 549.
Keith Hernandez is also a nominee for this year’s 2018 Hall of Fame class. Hernandez played 10 seasons for St. Louis, winning six gold gloves from 1978-1983. In 1979, he was the co-MVP for the National League as he batted .344 with 48 doubles, 11 home runs, and drove in 105 RBIs. He was a two-time All Star and a member of the 1982 world championship team. Hernandez ranks fifth all-time among Cardinals hitters that have played 10 seasons in on-base percentage with .385.
Jason Isringhausen spent seven seasons with the Cardinals. During that time, he won four National League Central divisions in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006. In 2004 and 2006, he was part of the World Series appearances with the Cardinals winning the World Series in 2006. In 2004, he registered 47 saves which tied him with Lee Smith for the most in franchise history until Trevor Rosenthal broke it in 2015. “ Izzy” still holds the franchise record for saves with 217.
Ray Lankford was part of the Cardinals organization for 13 seasons using his combination of speed and power as a hitter. While with the Cardinals, Lankford recorded four consecutive 20 home run and 20 stolen base seasons, from 1995-1998, and had five total 20-20 seasons. He ranks all-time in club history for home runs and stolen bases. He is the only Cardinals player to have at least 200 home runs and 200 steals. Lankford was elected to the All-Star team in 1997. He still ranks in the top 10 for the franchise, in runs, total bases, doubles, RBIs, walks, and gaming winning RBIs.
Scott Rolen was a member of the Cardinals for roughly five and a half seasons. Rolen won the Gold Glove award in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Rolen, in 2004, slashed a .314 batting average, 34 home runs, and 124 RBIs. In 2006, Rolen helped the Cardinals win it’s 10th world championship, closing out the postseason with a 10 game hitting streak.
Lee Smith spent four seasons with the Cardinals. In those four years, he recorded at least 43 saves in three seasons, leading the National League in 1991 and 1992 in saves. During his career with the Cardinals, Smith earned three All-Star game selections and finished in the top four of the National League Cy Young voting twice. His 160 saves stood as the club’s record until 2007. He was known as one of the most feared closers in baseball history.
John Tudor was a member of the Cardinals for five years. During his five seasons, Tudor accumulated a .705 winning percentage and a 2.52 ERA in over 125 starts, which both still stand as the all-time Cardinals records. Tudor’s finest season came in 1985 when he won 21 games as he went (20-1 after June 1st) with a minuscule 1.93 ERA, 10 complete game shutouts, and finished second in the National League Cy Young voting. He was a member of two National League pennant winning seasons in 1985 and 1987. Tudor also won at least 10 games in each of the four full seasons in St. Louis.
All seven of these players are deserving of this honor. Each of them brought something different to the game and their career in St. Louis. It is for that reason that they be forever cemented in Cardinals’ history.