David Freese, the 2011 World Series hero for the St. Louis Cardinals, surprisingly declined the invitation to be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame.
Fans chose Freese in online voting for this year’s class. On Saturday, the Cardinals said Freese recently informed the team that he wanted to withdraw his candidacy.
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«This is something I’ve thought about a lot, humbly, even before the voting process began. I’m aware of the impact I’ve had in helping the team bring back great memories to the city I grew up in, including 11th. championship, but this honor means more to me,» Freese said in a statement.
Freese was the MVP of the 2011 World Series and the National League Championship Series. He had three home runs in the NLCS win over the Milwaukee Brewers and then had seven RBIs in the World Series against the Texas Rangers. He hit the walk-off home run in Game 6 to extend the series and went 1-for-2 with two RBIs in the deciding Game 7.
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«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 will always be grateful to be a part of such an incredible organization and fan base.» now and in the future,» he said.
«I’m especially sorry to the fans who took the time to cast their votes. Cardinal Nation is basically the reason I unfortunately waited so long for this decision and made it such a headache for so many people. I feel strongly about my decision and I understand how people might feel about this. I get it. I’ll use it. Thank you for always being there for me, and I’m excited to be around the Cardinals as we move forward.»
He spent five years in St. Louis. He hit .286 with a .783 OPS and 44 home runs. He was an All-Star for the only time in his career in 2012. He would leave the team after the 2013 season.
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«While we are disappointed that David declined to be inducted into our Hall of Fame, we respect his decision and look forward to celebrating his great career with the Cardinals in other ways in the future,» Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said. , it’s a statement. «He’s always welcome at Busch Stadium.»
Associated Press contributed to this report.