The Cardinals announced their hall of fame candidates for 2019, Keith Hernandez, John Tudor, Matt Morris, Jason Isringhausen, Edgar Renteria and Scott Rolen. Each player is deserving of the nomination as well as eventual inclusion. St. Louis fans will have their opinions on each, but I see three of them as the obvious choices.
The imposing presence of Matt Morris was dominant force in the Cardinals rotation from 1997-2005. Racking up wins during a time period where the team had great success. Most notably during the 2001 season where Morris accumulated 22 wins and a 3.16 ERA. Morris was a top of the rotation starter with a dominant secondary pitch. His curveball was one of the best Cardinals fans had seen until Adam Wainwright showed up on the scene and froze Carlos Beltran taking the mantle of best curve thrower of my generation.
Morris wasn’t just a short-term answer accumulating over 101 wins in his Cardinals career while winning 62% of his games, Tommy John surgery took a year away from the Cardinal hurler right as he was beginning is accent to the top of the rotation. Morris had two All -Star appearances as a Cardinals starter, Morris is by far a deserving inductee to the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
Scott Rolen was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002, making an immediate impact on the organization. Over his six years with the team Rolen was a human highlight reel at third base winning three gold gloves during his tenure with the organization. Rolen also added depth to the Cardinals lineup that made them trued contenders for world championships. His protection of Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols was an undervalued asset during his time with the Cardinals.
Rolen, whom doesn’t get the consideration for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame that he should was a complete player and quiet leader on a very good team. If he hadn’t played with Albert Pujols he would most likely be given more credit than he already gets during his legacy with the Cardinals.
Izzy should be the easy choice for all voters. The Cardinals franchise record holder with 207 saves during his tenure was the definition of stability for the organization. Those save numbers alone along with pitching in over 400 games for the organization. From 2002- 2006 Isringhausen established himself in Cardinal greatness.
Look at the state of Cardinals closer since his departure. Outside of a few years with Trevor Rosenthal, there has been no consistency in that position. Izzy is still active in the St. Louis community, that should be taken into account when determining a true Cardinals Hall of Famer.