Helsley named to all-MLB second team

Cherokee citizen Ryan Helsley, the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, allowed just nine earned runs in more than 60 innings, averaged 13.1 strikeouts per inning, and had a fastball clocked at 104 mph. 

ST. LOUIS – After avoiding injury and demonstrating his overwhelming pitch velocity, St. Louis Cardinals right-handed closer Ryan Helsley, a Cherokee Nation citizen, has received a post-season honor.

The Sequoyah High School alumnus was named to the All-Major League Baseball team – which doesn’t confine itself to either league - as a second team relief pitcher.

After two seasons of being hampered by injuries to the elbow and knee, Helsley emerged as the Cardinals closer. He posted a 1.25 ERA while going 9-1 and recording 19 saves. He allowed just nine earned runs during 64 2/3 innings pitched, averaged 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings and batters hit just .128 against him. His fastball was clocked at speeds as high as 104.2 mph.

Helsley made the MLB All-Star Game in 2022, and on Sept. 16 recorded just the third “immaculate inning” in franchise history. He recorded three strikeouts on nine pitches against Kyle Farmer, Jake Fraley and Donovan Solano. Only Bob Gibson and Jason Isringhausen have accomplished the same feat for the Cardinals, in 1969 and 2002, respectively.

No Cardinals had been named to the All-MLB Team since 2019. Helsley’s teammate Paul Goldshmidt was named to the first team as first baseman. Third baseman Nolan Arenado joined Helsley on the second team.

The All-MLB Team recognizes the best players at each position across the American and National leagues. Fans accounted for 50% of voting for the team, with the other 50% coming from a panel of experts. Voters were asked to consider only the regular season and not the playoffs.