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4 first-time candidates up for Cardinals HOF

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot has a fresh look this year, as it includes four first-time modern-day candidates for fans to consider for 2018 induction.

Team president Bill DeWitt III unveiled the ballot Wednesday evening during an appearance on KMOX's "Countdown to Opening Day" show. Joining returners Keith Hernandez, Scott Rolen and Jason Isringhausen on the ballot will be Ray Lankford, Vince Coleman, Lee Smith and John Tudor.

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot has a fresh look this year, as it includes four first-time modern-day candidates for fans to consider for 2018 induction.

Team president Bill DeWitt III unveiled the ballot Wednesday evening during an appearance on KMOX's "Countdown to Opening Day" show. Joining returners Keith Hernandez, Scott Rolen and Jason Isringhausen on the ballot will be Ray Lankford, Vince Coleman, Lee Smith and John Tudor.

The nominees were chosen by a Red Ribbon committee of media members and former Cardinals managers. The voting process now goes to the fans, who will decide which players will be enshrined into the Cardinals Hall of Fame during an Aug. 18 ceremony at Ballpark Village.

Voting will open on March 1 and continue for six weeks. The top two vote-getters will be announced prior to the Cardinals' game against the Cubs on May 4. At that time, the Cardinals will also reveal which veteran player the Red Ribbon committee chose for induction through a separate balloting process.

The organization defines veteran candidates as those who have been retired for at least 40 years. To be considered for induction as either a veteran or modern-day player, an individual had to have played at least three seasons in St. Louis.

Video: DeWitt excited for 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame class

This group of modern-day candidates represents multiple eras of Cardinals history. In fact, every Cardinals team from 1974-2008 -- with the exception of the '84 club -- featured at least one of these players.

Lankford's tenure with the Cardinals was the longest, as 1990 was the first of 13 seasons he would spend with the organization. He holds the record for most home runs in Busch Stadium II and put together five 20/20 seasons. Lankford still ranks among the top 10 franchise leaders in runs scored, total bases, doubles, RBIs and walks.

Coleman and Tudor were cornerstone players with the Cardinals later in that decade. Coleman won Rookie of the Year honors in 1985 after stealing 110 bases -- still a single-season rookie record -- and finished with 549 career stolen bases in six seasons.

Tudor won at least 10 games in each of his four full seasons with St. Louis. His .705 winning percentage and 2.52 ERA in 125 starts still stand as club records.

Smith spent just four seasons in St. Louis, but his impact during that time was significant. He set a club record with 160 saves and tallied at least 43 saves three times.

During his 10 seasons with the Cardinals, Hernandez accrued six Gold Glove Awards, a National League batting title and an NL MVP Award. He was also a member of the 1982 World Series championship team.

Isringhausen joined the Cardinals in 2002 and went on to break Smith's record by collecting 217 saves over seven seasons. He was a member of one World Series team and led the NL with 47 saves in '04. That remained a single-season team record for more than a decade.

Rolen was a teammate of Isringhausen's for six of those years. He earned four Gold Glove Awards and a Silver Slugger Award during that stretch, and he was a key figure in the Cardinals' 2006 World Series championship run.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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