David Freese, whose heroics in the 2011 postseason led the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title, decided after “a lot of thought” to turn down an invitation to join the team’s Hall of Fame, he announced Saturday.
“This is something I’ve thought about a lot, humbly, even before the voting process began,” Freese said in a statement. “I am aware of the impact I had in helping the team bring back great memories to the city I grew up in, including the 11th championship…
“I’m very convinced of my decision and I understand how people may feel about it. I get it. I’ll wear it. Thank you for always being there for me, and I’m excited to be around the Cardinals as we move forward.”
Freese was the World Series MVP and the National League Championship Series MVP, driving in 21 runs during the 2011 postseason to set an MLB record. In the World Series, he hit .348 with seven RBIs, three doubles and an epic home run in Game 6 that kept the Cardinals alive in the series against the Texas Rangers.
Overall, he spent five of his 11 MLB seasons in St. Louis after breaking into the majors in 2009. He was an All-Star selection in 2012. Including stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and Pittsburgh Pirates, Freese was a career .277 hitter when he retired after the 2019 season. He was even better in the postseason, hitting .299.
“I look at who I was during my tenure and that weighs heavily on me,” said Freese, the top vote-getter for the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame induction in online fan voting. “The Cardinals and the entire city have always had my back in every way. I will always be grateful to be a part of such an incredible organization and fan base then, now and in the future.”
“… I’m especially sorry to the fans who took the time to cast their votes. Cardinal Nation is basically the reason I unfortunately waited so long for this decision and made it such a headache for so many people.”
The Cardinals were down to their last out against the Rangers in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. In the bottom of the ninth, with the Cardinals trailing 7-5 and facing closer Neftali Feliz, Freese hit a two-out triple and two runs to right field to send the game into extra innings.
In his next at-bat, in the 11th inning, Freese cemented his hero status with a leadoff home run off Mark Lowe to force a decisive Game 7, which St. Louis won 6-2 with the help of a two-run double. which tied the score. by Freeze.
Freese was born in Texas but grew up in suburban St. Louis and rooted for the Cardinals. He said he would continue in the Cardinals organization, participating in alumni activities and fan-related events.
“While we are disappointed that David declined to be inducted into our Hall of Fame, we respect his decision and look forward to celebrating his great career with the Cardinals in other ways in the future,” Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said. , it’s a statement. “He’s always welcome at Busch Stadium.”
José Oquendo and Max Lanier will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame on August 20.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.