With the development of Ballpark Village comes a return of the St. Louis Cardinals Museum and the launch of a new Hall of Fame in the 34,000-square-foot Cardinals Nation.
You may recall the old Cardinals museum in the same building with the Bowling Hall of Fame, which closed several years ago. That Cardinals collection (which included some St. Louis Browns memorabilia as well) will be part of the new Cardinals Nation, which will be joined by a new Hall of Fame (and, no surprise, presenting rights have been sold to Edward Jones).
"We are very excited to be able to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of some of the greatest names in Cardinals history," said Bill DeWitt Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the St. Louis Cardinals. "Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be one of the highest honors the team can bestow."
Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame (Twitter: #CardsHOF) will be permanently enshrined in the new Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation, just outside the entrance to the Cardinals' new museum. The gallery is free and open to the public to encourage fans of all generations to visit and celebrate the storied 122-year history of one of baseball's most iconic teams. The plaques that adorn the gallery are being produced by Matthews International, the company that also produces the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
"Just like Cooperstown, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will be a special place that baseball fans from all over will want to visit," said Brad Iversen, principal and chief marketing officer at Edward Jones. "Edward Jones is honored to sponsor the Hall of Fame and the annual induction process that gives fans a voice in honoring the team's greatest players."
The Cardinals announced the details of the annual induction process that will include the creation of a "Red Ribbon" committee of Cardinals baseball experts, a six-week fan balloting process in the spring and an induction weekend each summer highlighted by a formal enshrinement ceremony. The initial induction class will be enshrined in the Cardinals Hall of Fame on August 16 with the formal selection process to begin shortly.
The team announced the twenty-two individuals who will comprise the Inaugural Class of the Cardinals Hall of Fame. These members will be automatically enshrined when the team dedicates Cardinals Nation and the new museum this spring. Members of the inaugural class will include Cardinals figures who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, primarily as members of the Cardinals organization, or those who have had their number retired by the team.
"We felt strongly that those who had been inducted into Cooperstown and who already had their number retired by the Cardinals should be part of the Cardinals Hall of Fame on day one," said team president Bill DeWitt III. "We didn't think it made sense with this list of greats to go through a lengthy formal induction process."
The Cardinals Hall of Fame will honor the players and individuals who have had the greatest impact on the success of the franchise. Members must be voted in based on the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Election Rules. To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired from Major League Baseball for at least three years. The eligible pool of players will be divided into two categories, Modern Players and Veteran Players. If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.
Annually, the Cardinals will convene a "Red Ribbon" committee of Cardinals baseball experts to select a veteran player to be inducted that year and they will nominate a ballot of six to ten players that will be presented to fans. The ballot will be posted on cardinals.com where fans will have the opportunity to vote for a period of six weeks. The two players with the most votes after on-line balloting will be inducted. In addition, independent of the traditional ballot process, from time to time the Cardinals organization may opt to induct an individual who was an important figure in Cardinals history such as a coach, broadcaster or member of the front office. The induction class will be announced in mid-April.
The 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame Inaugural Class
Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Jack Buck, August A. "Gussie" Busch Jr., Dizzy Dean, Frank Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Tony La Russa, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Stan Musial (shown above), Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth and Bruce Sutter
The 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame "Red Ribbon" Selection Panel
Tom Ackerman, Frank Cusamano, Derrick Goold, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker, Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Red Schoendienst, Joe Strauss and Brian Walton
Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum (#CardsMuseum)
The new 8,000 square foot state-of-the art St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village will celebrate the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball's most storied franchises. The Cardinals' museum collection is the largest team-held collection in baseball and is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 16,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archival photographs. Fans can learn more about the museum at cardinals.com/museum.
Cardinals Nation (#CardsNation)
The first phase of Ballpark Village will be anchored by a first-of-its-kind 34,000 square foot venue on four levels called Cardinals Nation. Cardinals Nation is comprised of four key elements: a two-story restaurant and bar, an 8,000 square foot world-class Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, a Cardinals Authentics retail store featuring game used memorabilia on the first floor, and a 330-seat roof top deck with spectacular game views and an all-inclusive experience unlike anything in baseball today. The Cardinals Nation restaurant will feature a high-energy, memorabilia-infused space designed by the internationally acclaimed Jeffrey Beers International. There will be three separate patios, two large bars, and unparalleled sports viewing with large flat screen TVs and other multimedia features. Cardinals Nation will set a new standard for sports-inspired restaurants. The Cardinals Nation rooftop seating deck will feature ticketed seats looking into Busch Stadium and will include amenities such as all-inclusive food and beverage, a complimentary ticket to the Cardinals museum, Busch Stadium audio/visual feeds, and access to other areas within Ballpark Village.
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