ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Former St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, Lewis and Clark Community College and Southwestern High School Piasa Birds pitcher Jason Isringhausen entered a realm of baseball royalty last week by joining the Redbirds’ Hall of Fame and taking a place there alongside game legends like Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith and Bob Gibson.
“To be that a kid from Brighton, Illinois…” he said during his induction ceremony at Ballpark Village in St. Louis, interrupted by an overwhelming burst of cheers. “I grew up there and I cheered for this organization. To be standing here, and to be wearing this red jacket is the greatest moment of my baseball life. I look over at these legends that are here today, and they’re still my heroes,” addressing Smith, Willie McGee, Vince Coleman and Whitey Herzog.
“You made this kid love baseball. … For that, I am forever indebted to you.”
Growing up in Brighton, “Izzy” was a three-sport letterman at Southwestern in the late ’80s before playing a year for Lewis and Clark Community College, where he was drafted by the Mets — before suiting up for a season with Brighton’s American Legion squad.
His family has stayed tied to Brighton and has generations-long roots in Jerseyville.
Isringhausen finished his Major League career with 300 career saves, including 217 with the Cardinals over seven seasons, with a 2.98 ERA. In his time wearing the birds-on-the-bat, he notched more saves than any other reliever in franchise history.
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