St. Louis Sports Day

St. Louis Stars Shine In New Hall Of Fame Book

Rogers Hornsby

Dating back to the earliest decades of the sport on the professional level, St. Louis is as original a baseball city as there is in the U.S. From the old Brown Stockings in the National Association then the National League, to the original A.L. franchise in St. Louis, to today’s Cardinals, the city has had a nearly century and half run. Along the way, dozens of players, officials and broadcasters have risen to the top honor in the game, enshrinement in Cooperstown.

In his new coffee table book The National Baseball Hall of Fame Collection: Celebrating the Game’s Greatest Players (Epic Ink, 192 pps), James Buckley introduces fans to more than 175 players, managers, owners and other contributors who have earned that honor.

While each of the 175 or so figures has a relatively equal size bio, a few players are highlighted as “Best of the Best” in the chapters sectioned off by position. Rogers Hornsby, who had a 12-year run with the Cardinals before his cantankerous personality saw him dealt three times in the next three years before returning to the Gateway to the West briefly with the Cardinals and then the Browns, earned a separate essay as the leading second baseman. Ozzie Smith gets the “best of” treatment at shortstop, his wizardry in the field earning the nod over Cal Ripken Jr, who provided a foreword to the book, recent inductee Derek Jeter and Honus Wagner, who merits just a short bio despite a wide perception of him as the best ever at the position.

The book is full of stunning photographs, and the breezy bios accentuating the highlights of each star’s career are the next best thing to a trip to Cooperstown.