David Freese declines St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame spot

Former MLB infielder David Freese was recently voted into the St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Fame. With that said, Freese announced in a statement Saturday that he’s declining the induction, citing his personal opinion of his role on the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series team.

“This is something that I have given an extreme amount of thought to, humbly, even before the voting process began. I am aware of the impact I had helping the team bring great memories to the city I grew up in, including the 11th championship, but this honor means more to me,” Freese said.

“I look at who I was during my tenure, and that weighs heavily on me. The Cardinals and the entire city have always had my back in every way. I’m forever grateful to be part of such an amazing organization and fan base then, now and in the future. I’m especially sorry to the fans that took the time to cast their votes. Cardinal Nation is basically the reason why I’ve unfortunately waited so long for this decision and made it more of a headache for so many people. I feel strongly about my decision and understand how people might feel about this. I get it. I’ll wear it. Thank you for always being there for me, and I am excited to be around the Cardinals as we move forward.”

While “humbled” by the honor, Freese told the Cardinals that he didn’t feel “deserving” of it, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.

Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said that although the franchise is “disappointed” in Freese’s decision, they ultimately “respect” it and plan on honoring his career in other ways moving forward.

Freese spent the first five seasons of his MLB career (2009-2013) with the Cardinals. He etched his name into franchise history in the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers, specifically in Game 6.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Freese was faced with a 1-2 count, and he hit a two-run double off the right-field wall to tie the game, forcing extra innings. Freese then led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a walk-off home run to center, forcing a Game 7. St. Louis won Game 7 the next day.

Freese was named the 2011 World Series MVP. He finished the series with one home run and seven RBIs while posting a .348/.464/.696 batting line. Freese then cracked the National League All-Star Game roster in 2012.

Freese was traded to the Los Angeles Angels after the 2013 season. After two seasons in Anaheim (2014-15), he spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2016-18) before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2018 season. Freese’s final season came with the Dodgers in 2019, as he posted a remarkable .315/.403/.599 batting line across 79 regular-season games.

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