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McGwire highlights Cards' 2017 HOF class

McCarver, Martin also chosen for induction, set for Aug. 26
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- One of the franchise's all-time great sluggers and two of its most accomplished World Series performers will be inducted into the Cardinals' Hall of Fame this year, the organization announced Friday.

Mark McGwire and Tim McCarver were chosen for induction by fans from a ballot of seven modern-day candidates who played at least three years for the Cardinals and have been retired for fewer than 40 years. Joining them as part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class will be Pepper Martin, selected by a Red Ribbon Committee as the veteran inductee.

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ST. LOUIS -- One of the franchise's all-time great sluggers and two of its most accomplished World Series performers will be inducted into the Cardinals' Hall of Fame this year, the organization announced Friday.

Mark McGwire and Tim McCarver were chosen for induction by fans from a ballot of seven modern-day candidates who played at least three years for the Cardinals and have been retired for fewer than 40 years. Joining them as part of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class will be Pepper Martin, selected by a Red Ribbon Committee as the veteran inductee.

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The Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will take place on the afternoon of Aug. 26 at Ballpark Village.

Tweet from @Cardinals: Join us in congratulating Mark McGwire, Tim McCarver & Pepper Martin on their election into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. #CardsHOF pic.twitter.com/WaPytHkSKQ

More than 40,000 votes were cast over a six-week period before McGwire and McCarver emerged as the leading vote-getters. McGwire spent the final five years of his career in St. Louis, where he electrified the nation while breaking Roger Maris' single-season home run record in 1998.

Video: WS1964 Gm5: McCarver homers to break tie in 10th

Owner Bill DeWitt Jr. called the living inductees earlier this week to let them know of their place in the 2017 Hall of Fame class.

"I still am speechless," McGwire said Friday. "The people I got to know back there during the years I played, the history of that franchise, to be in a class with them, that group, to wear that red jacket, it just makes me speechless. Being a California kid growing up ... when I got there, there's no other place in this country that supports a baseball team like that. It's unbelievable."

McGwire hit 70 homers that season, 65 the following year and ranks sixth in franchise history with 220 as a Cardinal. A three-time All-Star with the Cardinals, McGwire drove in 147 runs in two different seasons, a total eclipsed just twice in Cardinals history.

McGwire returned as the Cardinals' hitting coach in 2010 and remained in that post for three seasons. He currently serves as the Padres' bench coach.

Video: CHC@STL: McGwire hits record-breaking 62nd home run

McCarver spent 12 of his 21 seasons with the Cardinals and served as the catcher on three World Series teams, two of which won championships. He finished second in the voting for National League MVP honors in 1967 after posting a .295/.369/.452 slash line and leading all catchers in fielding percentage.

In Cardinals World Series play, McCarver ranks among the franchise's best in several offensive categories, including hits (23, 2nd), RBIs (11, 3rd), walks (10, 3rd) and batting average (.311, 5th). He remains the only catcher in baseball history to catch two title-winning World Series Game 7s.

McCarver has served as an analyst in the Cardinals' broadcast booth since 2014.

Martin, an outfielder and third baseman, played his entire 13-year career with the Cardinals. He debuted in 1928 and helped the Cardinals capture World Series titles in 1931 and 1934. And like McCarver, Martin ranks among the best offensive performers in Cardinals World Series history.

In three World Series appearances, Martin had a .418 batting average (1st), seven doubles (1st), 23 hits (2nd), 14 runs scored (2nd), seven stolen bases (2nd) and 35 total bases (4th).

Martin, a four-time All-Star, led the National League in stolen bases three times and topped the league with 122 runs scored in 1933. He was an iconic member of the Gashouse Gang and played the guitar in the team's "Mudcat Band." Martin died in 1965 at the age of 61.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

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