ST. LOUIS (AP) — Willie McGee, Jim Edmonds, Mike Shannon and the late Marty Marion were inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The four players represent the initial group to be selected for induction by a voting process that included input from fans and a panel of baseball experts.
St. Louis opened its Hall of Fame and Museum in April, and the first 22 players to be enshrined earned automatic entry because they were in the National Baseball Hall of Fame as Cardinals or had their number retired by the club.
“I was flattered. I thought it was a really special deal,” Edmonds said. “When they told me I was getting a red jacket, I had to step back a little bit. I think this red jacket symbolizes much more than a plaque on the wall. We all are not in the Hall of Fame and our numbers aren’t retired but we get to wear the red jacket. It’s humbling.”
All Cardinals Hall of Famers are given a bright red sports coat to wear at team functions. Now, members of the Cardinals’ Hall will get the same coat.
Edmonds hit .285 and averaged 30 homers a year in eight years with the Cardinals. He won six consecutive Gold Gloves in center field and played on six postseason clubs. He ranks fourth in franchise history with 241 home runs.
A fan favorite, McGee spent 13 of his 18 seasons in St. Louis and was the 1985 NL MVP. The center fielder played a big role in the Cardinals’ winning their ninth championship in 1982.
“It means a lot,” McGee said. “After all the sacrifices you made, this is a reward for the hard work and dedication and discipline. I’m a testament that with hard work and listening, you can be the best you can be.”
Shannon is better known as a broadcaster but he was a good player, too. He helped win two World Series titles during his nine-year career with the Cardinals. He is now in his 43rd season calling Cardinals games on the radio.
“This is fantastic,” Shannon said. “Look at how many of the Hall of Famers showed up here for this. You know what that means to a guy like me? It means a lot. They take pride in this organization.”
Marion, a shortstop, played with the St. Louis Cardinals for the majority of his career. Marion was the MVP in 1944. He managed the Cardinals in 1951 and then ended his career with the St. Louis Browns as a player-manager.