Jim Edmonds went through all of the developmental stages as a player, rising to the level of four-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winning outfielder in the major leagues.
His journey required years of listening, learning and honing his skills.
Now, he’s doing it again, this time in a booth high above the playing surface as an analyst for St. Louis Cardinals telecasts on Fox Sports Midwest.
“It’s the same as playing. It takes a long time to develop,” Edmonds said last week prior to the Normal CornBelters’ Legends Game at the Corn Crib in Normal. “I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started to be honest with you.”
Edmonds joined Fox Sports Midwest in 2013 doing studio work on the Cardinals pregame and postgame shows. He made his debut in the booth in 2016.
A member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame, Edmonds brought a wealth of baseball experience and knowledge to the job. He also knew what he liked — or as importantly — what he didn’t care for when watching baseball telecasts.
“One thing I do is try not to talk too much because sometimes what I hear on TV, I don’t like,” he said. “I try to get to the point and tell you what I see. I’m not going to make up some nonsense.
“Hopefully people like it. It’s a cool gig. I never thought I’d do it, but I’m enjoying it and it’s a perfect schedule right now because it’s like 40, 50 games.”
Lankford crafting speech: Former Cardinals outfielder Ray Lankford swatted five home runs during the Legends slowpitch softball game. Yet, he’s had a pen in his left hand as much as a bat lately.
Lankford will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame on Aug. 18 at Ballpark Village in St. Louis. Asked if he had his speech prepared, he smiled and said, “I’m still working on it. I have the first phase done and I’m trying to practice it a little bit, then get the second phase going.”
This much is certain. He will have familiar faces in the audience.
“I have a lot of family coming in … about 50 people,” Lankford said. “We’ll make a whole weekend out of it. It will be a lot of fun.”
Farnsworth on mend: Former Chicago Cubs reliever Kyle Farnsworth also swung a powerful bat in the Legends Game despite still working his way back from knee surgery.
Since retiring from the big leagues in 2014, Farnsworth, 42, has played baseball in the summers in Mexico/Florida and football in the winter for the Orlando Phantoms, an amateur adult team. However, he said he “blew out” his knee in a non-contact football workout in December and needed surgery in January.
So are his football days over?
“I haven’t given it up yet,” said Farnsworth, a defensive end. “I’m going to try it one more time.”
Father(s) time: Former Cubs stars Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez shared a lot of special moments as teammates. Now, they share something else: baseball has become a family affair for them.
Lee, who lives in California, said of his connection to the game: “It’s just with my son. I coach my son’s team. I end up watching the (MLB) playoffs, but during the season I don’t really watch too much.”
Ramirez, who lives in the Dominican Republic, said: “My son plays. I’m mostly hanging out with my family and the only baseball stuff I do is with my son.”