HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Famed St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Jim Edmonds will be a featured guest August 27 – 28 when the Fifth Annual Hot Springs Baseball Weekend returns to the Hot Springs Convention Center.
“This is shaping up already to be the best Hot Springs Baseball Weekend ever,” said Mike Dugan, chairman of the annual event that celebrates the city’s role as The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Springs training. “We have some surprise guests under consideration.”
“We’ll also have a major announcement regarding a new feature of Baseball Weekend when we have the details ironed out,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, which sponsors the annual celebration of America’s Game.
Dugan, a member of the Society of American Baseball Researchers, led a group of five well-known experts in guiding the creation of the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail, which documents the places where more than 40 percent of the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame played or trained during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. A Hot Springs resident, Dugan also led efforts that saw the creation of the Hot Springs Baseball Weekend.
Edmonds now is a broadcaster for Fox Sports Midwest.
Well known for his defensive abilities, Edmonds also was a prolific hitter, batting .284 with 393 home runs and an on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of .903. He is affectionately known by Cardinal fans as “Jimmy Baseball” and “Jimmy Ballgame.”
Edmonds won eight Gold Gloves in his career and dazzled each season with athletic diving catches, terrific range and the ability to make people think even the deepest home run would somehow end up in his glove for an out.
He hit a career-high 42 home runs in his first season with the Cardinals and finished fourth in National League Most Valuable Player voting. Edmonds earned another top-five finish in 2004 after his second 42-homer season. While future Hall of Fame first baseman Albert Pujols drew all of the attention, Edmonds averaged a .292 average, 35 home runs, 98 RBIs, and 34 doubles in his first six seasons with the Cardinals.
Edmonds was traded to San Diego in December 2007 for future World Series hero David Freese. Edmonds lasted just 26 games with the Padres but hit 19 home runs in 85 games for the Cubs in 2008. After sitting out 2009, Edmonds split 2010 between stints with the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.
Edmonds shined in the playoffs and hit 13 home runs in 64 career postseason games. Edmonds famously hit a walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 2004 National League Championship Series. In the next game, Edmonds’ diving catch turned a sure-extra base hit into a key double play that kept the Cardinals trailing by one run. St. Louis won 5-2.
Edmonds finished his career with eight Gold Gloves and retired after the 2010 season with a .284 average, 1,949 hits, 393 home runs and a lengthy highlight reel of defensive plays
For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.