The St. Louis Cardinals have announced their 2018 Hall of Fame class with Harry Brecheen, Vince Coleman, and Ray Lankford receiving the honors.
“Each year, we look forward to seeing who the Red Ribbon Committee and our fans elect into the Cardinals Hall of Fame,” said Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals Chairman and Chief Executive Officer via press release. “The outstanding achievements of these individuals have earned them the honor of being permanently recognized in the Cardinals Hall of Fame, along with some of the greatest names in team history. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of these remarkable players in August during Induction Weekend.”
Coleman and Lankford were the top two vote-getters in the online Cardinals Hall of Fame balloting which also included Keith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Scott Rolen, Lee Smith, and John Tudor. Brecheen was chosen by the team’s Red Ribbon Committee, which also put together the list of nominees for the online balloting.
More than 60,000 votes were cast by Cardinals fans over the six-week voting period, which is the second highest total since the inaugural fan vote of 2014.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 18th.
Ray Lankford (Modern Era Player—Fan Selection)
Years: 1990 – 2001, 2004 .273/.365/.481, 1479 H, 928 R, 228 HR, 829 RBI, 250 SB (1580 Games)
Ray Lankford was known for his combination of speed and power during his 13 seasons in St. Louis. Lankford recorded five 20-20 seasons (with four consecutive from 1995-1998) and ranks fifth all-time in club history in home runs and stolen bases. He is the only player in Cardinals history with at least 200 home runs and 200 steals, and hit more home runs in Busch Stadium II than any other player (123).
The long-time Cardinal center fielder was named to the All-Star team in 1997 and still ranks in the all-time top-10 franchise leaders in Runs (9th), Total Bases (10th), Doubles (9th), Runs Batted In (8th), Walks (5th) and Game Winning-RBI (T-2nd).
Vince Coleman (Modern Era Player—Fan Selection)
Years: 1985 – 1990 .265/.326/.339, 937 H, 549 SB, 556 R, 56 3B (878 Games)
Vince Coleman burst on to the scene in 1985 by stealing 110 bases as a rookie, an MLB record that still stands today, and winning National League Rookie of the Year honors. Coleman would continue to lead the National League in stolen bases throughout his six seasons as the Cardinals primary left fielder while being named to two All-Star teams.
A member of two National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Coleman’s 549 career stolen bases rank him second all-time in franchise history behind Lou Brock.
Harry Brecheen (Veteran Era Player—Red Ribbon Panel Selection)
Years: 1940, 1943 – 1952 128-79, 2.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 122 CG, 25 SHO, 1790.1 IP (292 Games)
Nicknamed “The Cat” for his quick, feline-like reflexes on the mound and excellent fielding, Brecheen came up through the Cardinals farm system and is best remembered for his devastating screwball-curveball combination.
He debuted with the club in 1940, but didn’t solidify his role in the starting rotation until 1943. A two-time All-Star, Brecheen saved his best performances when the stakes were highest, helping the club to World Series Championships in 1944 and 1946.
In Cardinals World Series play, Brecheen ranks first in ERA (0.83, minimum 25.0 IP), second in wins (4) and complete games (3) and fifth in innings pitched (32.2). For seven straight seasons (1944-1950) the southpaw ranked among the top eight NL pitchers allowing the fewest hits and walks (WHIP) per nine innings and the top ten for strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Brecheen still ranks in the top-10 of several of the club’s all-time pitching categories including wins (8th), earned run average (9th) and shutouts (4th).
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI