(BaseballStL) -- Just before Wednesday afternoon’s game at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals announced that four former players, Willie McGee, Jim Edmonds, Marty Marion and Mike Shannon, were selected as the first class of inductees to the Cardinals Hall of Fame for 2014. The four players will be joined by the former Cards who have had their numbers retired or are member of the MLB Hall of Fame.
According to the Cardinals, McGee and Edmonds received the highest amount of fan votes on the eight player ballot. Marion was chosen by a panel of Cardinal experts and Shannon was chosen by the organization.
The Cardinals reported nearly 80,000 votes were cast over a two month period to select former center fielders McGee and Edmonds.
While wearing the birds on the bat, Edmonds won 5 Gold Gloves and made 3 All-Star Game appearances. He is most notably known for his home run in Game 6 of the 2004 NL Championship Series against the Houston Astros.
When center fielder McGee made his MLB debut in 1982, no one expected him to stick around or become the enormous fan favorite. He’s popularity can be seen through campaigns to retire his number, 51, and he had a chocolate chip cookie named after him. Willie’s Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies were so big that in 1998 the St. Louis Business Journal reported 5,000 cookies were sold each day.
Over 13 seasons with the Redbirds, McGee stole 301 bases, had a career batting average of .294 and posted a .978 fielding percentage in center field. He left the Cardinals in 1990, but came back in 1996. His career ended in 1999 and just one year later, fans would see another spectacular man patrol center field – Jim Edmonds.
Marion played on three Cardinals World Series Champion teams, 1942, 1944 and 1946. He made 7 all-star teams and won the MVP in 1944. Marion finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting three times. He passed away in 2011.
Shannon, a graduate of CBC High School, began playing for the Cardinals in 1962 and would end up playing all 9 years of his career with the birds on the bat on his chest. He has added another 43 years as the Redbirds announcer, after winning two championships in 1964 and 1967.
All four inductees will join Ozzie Smith, Red Schoendienst, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Tony La Russa, Ken Boyer, Dizzy Dean, Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, Bruce Sutter and Bob Gibson in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
All members will be inducted in the Cardinals Hall of Fame during a ceremony on August 16 at Ballpark Village.