ST. LOUIS – Baseball fans in the Gateway City don’t know if there will be a 2020 season yet but they do know there will be a St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame class to celebrate.
On Friday night, the team announced a trio of newcomers would earn their place in franchise immortality – pitcher John Tudor and second baseman Tommy Herr were elected by a fan vote, and first baseman Bill White was chosen by a select panel.
Tudor spent parts of five seasons in St. Louis and was the ace of the mid-80s Cardinals teams that went to the World Series in 1985 and 1987. He still holds the franchise record with a .705 winning percentage and 2.52 ERA. He was traded to the Dodgers in 1988 where he won his only World Series ring. He returned to the Cardinals in 1990, going 12-4 before his retirement.
Herr was part of the defense up the middle that backed Tudor and other “Whitey Ball” era hurlers. During his decade with the Cardinals, either with Garry Templeton and later Ozzie Smith, Herr was consistently part of one of the best double-play combinations in all of baseball. In 1985 he was an all-around threat, finishing in the National League’s top 10 in six offensive categories.
White broke into the majors with the New York Giants in 1956 and homered in his first big league at- bat, ironically in St. Louis. He’s the only 2020 inductee to win a World Series in a Cardinals uniform, in 1964. He may have been the best defensive first basemen in the 1960s, collecting seven Gold Gloves to prove it, with six of them in St. Louis before being traded to Philadelphia following the 1965 season. He was reacquired in 1969 and retired that season.
White went on to a long career in broadcasting, pairing with Phil Rizzuto on New York Yankees games. After playing an important role in integrating Cardinal spring training facilities early in his career, he later made baseball history as the first African-American to become a league president.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, there were plans for a summer induction ceremony, held as in past years, at Ballpark Village. With the 2020 schedule uncertain, it is unclear if or when any formal gathering might take place.
Herr and Tudor were the top two choices of fans, beating out a field that included Keith Hernandez, Matt Morris, Steve Carlton, Edgar Renteria and Lee Smith.