James Patrick Edmonds (born June 27, 1970) is an American former center fielder in Major League Baseball and a broadcaster for Fox Sports Midwest. He played for the California/Anaheim Angels, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and Cincinnati Reds from 1993 to 2010.
Edmonds batting for the Cardinals in 2007
|Born: June 27, 1970|
|September 9, 1993, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 21, 2010, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Runs batted in||1,199|
|Career highlights and awards|
Known for his defensive abilities – particularly his catches – 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 was born on June 27, 1970 in Fullerton, California. His parents divorced when he was a child and had joint custody. His father's home was within a few hundred feet of Anaheim Stadium. He attended Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, in eastern Los Angeles County.
Following the draft, he was assigned to the Bend Bucks (in Bend, Oregon), the Angels' A-Short Season affiliate in the Northwest League. In 1988, he played in 35 games for the Bucks and hit .221. The following year, he was promoted to the Quad Cities Angels, the team's Class-A affiliate in the Midwest League. He played in 31 games and hit .261.
In 1990, Edmonds advanced to the Palm Springs Angels, a "High-A" team in the California League. He played 91 games and hit .293. He remained with Palm Springs for the 1991 season as well. In 1992, he was promoted to Double-A with the Midland Angels in the Texas League. He hit .313 in 70 games for Midland. He was promoted again in 1992, moving up to Triple-A Edmonton Trappers for 50 games. The Angels changed Triple-A teams in 1993, so Edmonds played for Vancouver Canadians.
Throughout his career, Edmonds predominantly played center field. However, he played first base in stretches, usually as a result of injury to a starting first baseman, but sometimes simply to provide rest to regular position players, or to give another outfielder playing time. For instance, Edmonds made six starts at first when Albert Pujols suffered an oblique injury in June 2006. Additionally, he pitched two innings while in High-A ball in 1991.
Edmonds hit 30 or more home runs in five seasons, while maintaining a .285 career batting average, and knocked in 1,199 runs in his career. He also received eight Gold Glove Awards in his career at center field, most of them coming as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Three of Edmonds's most spectacular defensive plays came while on the Cardinals and the Angels. On June 10, 1997, while playing center field for the Anaheim Angels, Edmonds ran straight back towards the center field wall of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and dove outstretched for a fly ball over his head, making the catch on the warning track. His other memorable catch came when on the St. Louis Cardinals on July 16, 2004, while covering center field against Reds batter Jason LaRue. LaRue hit a deep shot to center field that surely would have been enough to be a home run. On a dead run, Edmonds scaled the wall, reached his entire right arm over the fence, and caught the ball. During the 2004 NLCS against the Houston Astros, Edmonds made a diving, game-saving catch.
The 2004 season was Edmonds' best season. He hit .301, had a .643 slugging percentage, 42 HRs, and 111 RBI; all but batting average were career highs. As a result, he earned a Silver Slugger Award, a Gold Glove Award, and was fifth in the voting for the Most Valuable Player Award.
A defining moment of Edmonds' career came in the 2004 National League Championship Series, in which Edmonds hit an extra-inning home run to win Game 6. In Game 7, Edmonds made a spectacular defensive play in center, helping the Cardinals win the pennant.
During a Chicago Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field on July 19, 2004, pitcher Carlos Zambrano was ejected from the game for throwing at Edmonds. Zambrano screamed at Edmonds as he rounded the bases on a home run, earning Zambrano a five-game suspension.
On Mother's Day, May 14, 2006, Edmonds was one of more than 50 hitters who brandished a pink bat to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2006, Edmonds helped the St. Louis Cardinals win their first World Series title since 1982 while contributing 4 RBI.
On December 14, 2007, Edmonds was traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for prospect David Freese. As part of the deal, the Cardinals also agreed to pay part of Edmonds' 2008 salary. Edmonds' 241 home runs with the Cardinals are the fourth-most in franchise history.
On May 9, 2008, the Padres released him after hitting only .178 with one home run in 90 at bats. On May 14, 2008, the Chicago Cubs, in need of a left-handed bat, signed Edmonds to a one-year contract of which the Cubs were only responsible for the league minimum. He started the next day against his former team, the Padres, and went 1 for 4. Edmonds was not well received initially by the fans in Chicago, but after joining the Cubs, he hit over .300 with 8 home runs in his first six weeks. On June 21, 2008, Edmonds hit two home runs in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox. He also had two other multi-homer games as a Cub: one on July 31, 2008 against the Milwaukee Brewers and one on August 8, 2008 against his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
Edmonds did not play in 2009, sitting out because he did not receive what he or his agent considered a good offer. In January 2010, he announced his intention to return to the majors. On January 28, Edmonds signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers added him to the major league roster on March 25. At that time, he said, "last year was a mistake, I should have played somewhere."
On August 9, 2010, Edmonds was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Chris Dickerson. Both Edmonds and Dickerson had to clear waivers because the non-waiver trade deadline had already passed.
On February 4, 2011, Edmonds signed a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals; however, after continuing symptoms from a strained Achilles tendon suffered during the 2010 season, Edmonds officially announced his retirement from baseball on February 18, 2011.
On March 14, 2013, Fox Sports Midwest announced the hiring of Jim Edmonds as a member of their St. Louis Cardinals broadcasting crew. Edmonds would serve as an analyst during Cardinals Live pre-game and post-game broadcasts. He replaced former Cardinal pitcher Cal Eldred, who had served in the same role for FSM since 2009 and moved on to become a special assistant in the Cardinals organization. Edmonds has expressed a desire to one day be a part of the Cardinals ownership group.
Edmonds has two daughters with his first wife, Lee Ann Horton. She died in 2015. Edmonds and second wife Allison Jayne Raski were married from 2008 to 2014; together, they share two children.
Edmonds married Meghan O'Toole King on October 24, 2014. Meghan's sister is professional soccer player Julie King. Meghan joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County in 2015. Edmonds himself also appears on the show. On Thanksgiving Day 2016, they had a daughter. On November 27, 2017, it was announced that the couple were expecting twins boys together due June 2018. The twin boys were born on June 5, 2018.
After retiring from baseball, Edmonds remained in the St. Louis area for several years, where he was involved in the restaurant business.
In September 2013, Jim Edmonds 15 Steakhouse closed in St. Louis, of which he was a 50 percent owner and it was named for his jersey number.
In December 2013, Edmonds and his business partner Mark Winfield reopened the Jim Edmonds 15 Steakhouse space as a restaurant called The Precinct. The restaurant was dubbed "the safest bar in town" and also the "home of the hottest wings". The former claim, like the name of the restaurant itself, was a bid to become the hangout of choice of city police officers once they moved into their new headquarters just around the corner. Police-themed memorabilia shared space on the walls with framed Cardinals jerseys and flat-screen TVs.
Edmonds and Winfield continued to partner in the restaurant business with the opening of Winfield's Gathering Place in Kirkwood, Missouri as a BBQ-style restaurant. It does not promote Edmonds' celebrity brand. In fact, there are no Edmonds, Cardinals or other sports memorabilia although there are televisions in both the dining room and the bar area for watching games.
On August 8, 2014, Edmonds was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. He was announced as a candidate for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on November 9, 2015, but was removed from the ballot on January 6, 2016 after only receiving 2.5% of the vote in his first year of eligibility.
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