David Freese, whose exploits propelled the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title in the 2011 postseason, has made the decision after “extreme consideration” to decline an invitation to the team’s Hall of Fame, he announced Saturday.
“It’s something I humbly gave some serious thought to even before the voting process began,” Freese said in a statement. “I’m aware of the impact I’ve had in helping the team create great memories of the city I grew up in, including the 11th championship. …
“I have a strong feeling about my decision and I understand what people might think about it. I get it. i will wear it Thank you for always being there for me and I look forward to being with the Cardinals as we move forward.”
Freese was the MVP of the World Series and the National League Championship Series, and drove 21 runs in 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. In 2012 he was selected to the All-Star selection. Freese had stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, and Pittsburgh Pirates, among others, and was a career .277 hitter when he retired after the 2019 season. He was even better in the postseason, averaging a .299.
“I look at who I was during my tenure and that weighs heavily on me,” said Freese, who was the top voter for induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in the fans’ online vote. “The Cardinals and the whole city have always had my back in every way. I am forever grateful to be a part of such an amazing organization and fanbase, then, now and in the future.”
“… I’m especially sorry for the fans who took the time to cast their vote. Cardinal Nation is basically why I’ve sadly waited so long for this decision and it’s caused so many people even more headaches. “
The Cardinals had their last game against the Rangers in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. At the end of the ninth game, with the Cardinals trailing 7-5 and taking on closer Neftali Feliz, Freese hit a two-out, two- Run triple to right field to send the game into extra innings.
On his next attack in the 11th inning, Freese cemented his hero status with a leadoff home run against Mark Lowe and forced the deciding Game 7 that St. Louis won 6-2, aided by a game-winning two-run double by Freese.
Freese was born in Texas but grew up in suburban St. Louis cheering for the Cardinals. He said he will remain associated with the Cardinals organization and will participate in alumni activities and fan events.
“While we are disappointed that David has declined induction into our Hall of Fame, we respect his decision and look forward to celebrating his great Cardinals career in other ways going forward,” said Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III in a statement. “He’s always welcome at Busch Stadium.”
Jose Oquendo and Max Lanier will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame on August 20.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.