There remains only a couple of days to vote for the 2016 St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.
“Yeah, I’ve been trying too but I don’t think we’re gonna make it this year,” said Jason Isringhausen in a phone conversation Friday. “Just to be on that ballot is something very special.”
Isringhausen, who recorded 217 of his 300 saves with the Cardinals, is on the ballot with former teammates Chris Carpenter, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, and Scott Rolen. And growing up across the river in Illinois, he’s pretty familiar with the other candidates Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, and Joe Torre as well.
“Watching the Cardinals all those years, just to be mentioned with some of those names and to maybe one day be able to walk out in front of everybody in that red jacket like those guys on Opening Day–that means more to me than anything else,” said Isringhausen.
“It would mean more to me than to be in this Hall of Fame than really into Cooperstown just because I’m from here and how a special a tie I have with the St. Louis Cardinals. Just to be mentioned in the name with and then be on the stage with Ozzie and Willie and Red Dog and guys like that–Jimmy. It’d be a dream come true. But you know what, it’s out of my hands so all I can do is sit back and wait and just keep going.”
Voting is open through 11:59pm CT this Wednesday, April 20th. A week ago, the Cardinals updated that Carpenter and Torre were currently on top in the balloting.
Regardless of how the vote turns out, Isringhausen will be at the Hall of Fame this Saturday as part of a new “Signings at the Museum” series offered before Saturday home games this year. Izzy will be signing from 10a-noon. Fans can receive a line ticket good for one autograph beginning at 9:30am. Full details are online at cardinals.com/museum.
The former Cardinals closer is now a Special Assistant to General Manager John Mozeliak and travels 10-12 days a month to work with the team’s minor leaguers.
“Just a little bit of everything,” explained Isringhausen of his job duties. “They ask a lot of questions. I’m an extra set of eyes to help the pitching coach.”
Providing a different voice or way of explaining the same message is another duty.
“I enjoy it. I love working with the kids–didn’t think I would as much as I do, but it’s really something I’m enjoying,” he added.
Having helped coach at the high school and collegiate levels, Isringhausen is open to the idea of becoming a full-time coach–just not in the immediate future.
“I have a daughter starting her freshman year in high school and I have a six-year old,” he explained. “I’m not going to miss any of the six-year old’s life like I did the older one being on the road all the time. When she graduates high school and I still want to do something, we’ll see what happens then but it will be awhile before I get on the road full time.”
photo credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images, Bill Greenblatt/UPI