(KMOV.com) — It’s time for another crop of Cardinals greats to get fitted for their red jackets—and this year's class should definitely please the 'Whitey Ball' crowd.
The team announced the newest class of inductees into the Cardinals Hall of Fame Friday, with Tom Herr and John Tudor earning the honors at the conclusion of the fan vote. Herr and Tudor beat out Keith Hernandez, Edgar Renteria, Steve Carlton, Lee Smith and Matt Morris in this year’s vote. Bill White was selected to the Cardinals Hall of Fame by the Red Ribbon Panel from the veteran player category.
Tom Herr is a household name for any fan who supported the Cardinals in the 1980s. Herr spent virtually the entire decade in St. Louis, playing for the Cardinals from 1979 to 1988. The primary second baseman was a member of the Cardinals during the World Championship season in 1982, as well as the NL pennant-winning clubs of 1985 and 1987.
“I grew up here in Pennsylvania listening to the Cardinals in the World Series in 1967 and ‘68 and became a Cardinal fan at a very young age,” Herr said during the Cardinals Hall of Fame reveal broadcast on Fox Sports Midwest Friday. “So it’s really just surreal for me.”
Herr posted a career .274/.349/.354 batting line in his Cardinals career, exemplifying the speed-and-defense brand of ‘Whitey Ball’ as well as anyone on those 1980s clubs. To that point, Herr is the last NL player to achieve a 100 RBI season with fewer than 10 home runs, which he did with 110 RBIs and only eight homers in his All-Star 1985 season.
“I was not a real flashy type guy but I was a grinder,” Herr said on the broadcast. “I was out there every day and I always prided myself in playing the game to win. Whatever it took to win the game… Just kind of do whatever my part was to help win. And I think this kind of validates that. This getting elected into the Hall of Fame validates that the fans appreciated that I played that way and the contributions I made during that great era in Cardinal history."
John Tudor spent five impactful years with the Cardinals, finishing out his career in St. Louis with a remarkable 2.52 ERA in 881.2 innings. The left-handed Tudor pitched for the Redbirds from 1985 to 1988, with his most impressive campaign resulting in a second-place finish in the Cy Young Award voting in 1985. During that NL pennant-winning campaign for the Cardinals, Tudor went 21-8 with a league-leading 10 shutouts. He also led the league with a 0.938 WHIP, shouldering the load for the pitching staff with a career-high 275 innings pitched. Most remarkable was Tudor's dominant stretch to shake off a slow 1-7 start to that season; beginning in June, Tudor went 20-1 over his final 21 decisions to contribute his own chapter to Cardinals lore.
"It's a great honor, one that I'm proud of and grateful for," Tudor said of his induction on the FSM broadcast Friday.
The Cardinals traded Tudor to the Dodgers during LA’s 1988 championship run, allowing Tudor to win a ring that year. An elbow injury in that postseason, however, forced Tudor to miss most of the 1989 season. He re-signed with the Cardinals for one last ride in 1990, during which he pitched quite well (12-4, 2.42 ERA) before retiring from baseball after his age 36 season. To this day, he boasts the highest winning percentage in Cardinals franchise history at a .705 clip.
The veteran player selection, Bill White, played for the Cardinals during the 1950s and 1960s. Known for a sturdy bat and quality glove, White earned All-Star appearances in five seasons to go along with six consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1960 to 1965 as a primary first baseman. For his Cardinals career, White compiled a batting line of .298/.357/.472, hitting 140 home runs and driving in 631.
Since the inaugural Cardinals Hall of Fame class was enshrined in 2014, fans have had the opportunity each year to vote for the figures in Cardinals history they believe are most deserving of inclusion in the organization’s Hall of Fame. The fan vote takes place annually from a list of “modern player” candidates compiled by the Red Ribbon Panel, which consists of former Cardinals managers Tony La Russa and Whitey Herzog, as well as local reporters. The top two vote-getters from the fan vote are inducted each year, alongside one “veteran player” selection made by the Red Ribbon Panel.
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