2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame fan ballot now open!

Hello friends!  Spring training has begun!  It’s so exciting to see the minor league players showing us their stuff during spring training games.  It makes me excited for the future.

It’s time now to honor the past as the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame fan ballot is now open for voting.  I was pleased to see John Tudor, my favorite pitcher in the 1980’s, on this year’s ballot. I and my fellow bloggers have been posting on Twitter over the years that Ray Lankford deserves to be in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and he is also on this year’s ballot. There are also some carryover candidates from last year’s ballot.  Remember, you can only vote for two candidates.  Here are all the details on voting and descriptions of all the candidates’ Cardinals careers.


Fans Can Select Two Players For August Induction From A List of Seven Former Cardinals Greats

ST. LOUIS, Mo., March 1, 2018 – The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame fan balloting process is now open at cardinals.com/HOF.  Fans can select two players for election from a ballot that includes Cardinals greats Vince Coleman,  

HOFKeith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Ray Lankford, Scott Rolen, Lee Smith and John Tudor.

The seven modern ballot nominees were selected by a “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process in January.  The Cardinals Hall of Fame Fan Vote, presented by Edward Jones, will run through Thursday, April 12.  The two players with the most fan votes after the voting concludes will be announced as part of the fifth Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class on Friday, May 4, at 6:00 p.m. during a televised 30-minute Hall of Fame announcement special on FOX Sports Midwest, and also in a pregame ceremony at Busch Stadium before the Cardinals face the Chicago Cubs.

The formal enshrinement ceremony for the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Class is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, at FOX Sports Midwest Live! in Ballpark Village as part of the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend.  The induction ceremony is free to attend.

The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame was established as a way to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of the greatest players in Cardinals history.  To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired as a player from Major League Baseball for at least three years.  The eligible pool of players is divided into two categories of “modern players” and “veteran players”.  If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.

In addition to nominating modern players for fan balloting, the Red Ribbon committee of Cardinals baseball experts also elects a veteran player for induction using a secret ballot process.  Independent of this process, the Cardinals organization may also opt to induct an individual who was an important figure in Cardinals history such as a coach, broadcaster or member of the front office.

Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be permanently enshrined in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the team’s museum.  The Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public.  The plaques that adorn the gallery are produced by Mathews International, the company that also produces the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Fans can check cardinals.com/HOF for more details about the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend as they become available along with information about other events at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum that weekend.

Following is a description of each Hall of Fame nominee’s career as a Cardinal:

 Vince Coleman (#ColemanHOF)

Years: 1985 – 1990                          

.265/.326/.339, 937 H, 549 SB, 556 R, 56 3B (878 Games)

Vince Coleman burst on to the scene in 1985 by stealing 110 bases as a rookie, a MLB record that still stands today, and winning National League Rookie of the Year honors.  Coleman would continue to lead the National League in stolen bases throughout his six seasons as the Cardinals primary left-fielder while being named to two All-Star teams.  A member of two National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Coleman’s 549 career stolen bases rank him second all-time in franchise history behind Lou Brock.

Keith Hernandez (#HernandezHOF)

Years: 1974 – 1983                          

.299/.385/.448, 1217 H, 265 2B, 81 HR, 595 RBI, 662 R (1165 Games)

Keith Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-1983 at first base.  He was a National League co-MVP in 1979, batting a league leading .344 with 48 doubles, 11 home runs and 105 RBI.  The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 World Championship team and batted .299 that season with 94 RBI.  Hernandez’s .385 on-base percentage ranks fifth all-time among Cardinals hitters to have played at least 10 seasons with the club.

Jason Isringhausen (#IzzyHOF)

Years: 2002 – 2008                          

217 Saves, 2.98 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 408.0 IP (401 Games)

Jason Isringhausen spent seven seasons with the Cardinals. During his time with the team, the Cardinals won the Central Division in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 with World Series appearances in 2004 and 2006, winning the World Series in 2006.  He registered a National League-leading 47 saves in 2004, tying the franchise record which Lee Smith set, until Trevor Rosenthal broke the record in 2015.  An All-Star in 2005, “Izzy” still holds the franchise record for saves with 217, and is sixth with 401 appearances with St. Louis.

Ray Lankford (#LankfordHOF)

Years: 1990 – 2001, 2004              

.273/.365/.481, 1479 H, 928 R, 228 HR, 829 RBI, 250 SB (1580 Games)

Ray Lankford was known for his combination of speed and power during his 13 seasons in St. Louis.  Lankford recorded five 20-20 seasons (with four consecutive from 1995-1998) and ranks fifth all-time in club history in home runs and stolen bases.  He is the only player in Cardinals history with at least 200 home runs and 200 steals, and hit more home runs in Busch Stadium II than any other player (123).  The long-time Cardinal center fielder was named to the All-Star team in 1997 and still ranks in the all-time Top-10 franchise leaders in Runs (9th), Total Bases (10th), Doubles (9th), Runs Batted In (8th), Walks (5th) and Game Winning-RBI (T-2nd).

Scott Rolen (#RolenHOF)

Years: 2002 – 2007                          

.286/.370/.510, 678 H, 421 R, 173 2Bs, 111 HR, 453 RBI (661 Games)

In his five plus seasons with the Cardinals, Scott Rolen dominated the hot corner winning Gold Gloves in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, and a Silver Slugger award in 2002.  He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and named to the All-Busch Stadium team as the third baseman by vote of fans.  In 2004, Rolen slashed .314/.409/.598 with 34 home runs and 124 RBI.  His stellar 2004 campaign continued during the postseason with his pennant-clinching, two-run homer off Roger Clemens in the 6th inning of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series vs. Houston.  In 2006, Rolen helped the club to its 10th World Championship, closing out the postseason with a 10-game hitting streak.

Lee Smith (#SmithHOF)

Years: 1990 – 1993                          

160 Saves, 2.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 266.2 IP (245 Games)

Known as one of the most feared closers in baseball history, Lee Smith recorded at least 43 saves in three of his four seasons with the Cardinals, leading the league in 1991 and 1992.  During his Cardinals career, Smith earned three All-Star selections and finished in the Top-4 of National League Cy Young voting twice.  His 160 saves stood as a club record until Jason Isringhausen surpassed that total in 2007.

John Tudor (#TudorHOF)

Years: 1985 – 1988, 1990              

62-26, 2.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12 SHO, 881.2 IP (125 Games Started)

During his five seasons in a Cardinals uniform, John Tudor accumulated a .705 winning percentage and 2.52 ERA over 125 starts, both of which still stand as all-time Cardinals records (minimum 750.0 IP).  The left-hander’s finest season came in 1985 when he won 21 games (went 20-1 after June 1) with a miniscule 1.93 ERA, including 10 complete game shutouts, and finished second in National League Cy Young voting.  A member of two National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Tudor won at least 10 games in each of the four full seasons he pitched for the Redbirds.

Cardinals Hall of Fame Members

Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Sam Breadon, Lou Brock, Jack Buck, August A. “Gussie” Busch Jr., Chris Carpenter, Dizzy Dean, Jim Edmonds, Curt Flood, Bob Forsch, Frank Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, George Kissell, Tony La Russa, Marty Marion, Pepper Martin, Tim McCarver, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Terry Moore, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Mike Shannon, Ted Simmons, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth, Bruce Sutter and Joe Torre.

2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Red Ribbon Selection Committee

Tom Ackerman,  Frank Cusumano,  Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker,  Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch,  Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst and Brian Walton.

Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The 8,000-square-foot St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village celebrates the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball’s most storied franchises.  Since its creation in 2014, the Cardinals Hall of Fame, presented by Edward Jones, has inducted 37 former Cardinal players, coaches and executives.  The Cardinals’ museum collection is the largest team-held collection in baseball and is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 22,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archived photographs.  Fans can learn more about the museum at cardinals.com/museum.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!



2018 Winter Warm-Up Report Day 3

WWU2018Today was the third and last day of Winter Warm-Up.  It had snowed overnight, so it really looked like winter this morning.  Phillip and I boarded a Metrolink train at a later time this morning, since the first presentation we want to attend didn’t start until 11:00 AM.  We arrived at the Hyatt only 10 minutes after WWU opened for the day, and there were no lines snaking through the lobby.  The third day of WWU is not as well attended as the previous two days, since out-of-town people travel home and other people have to work on that day. The WWU planners seem to realize this too, as there were  no presentations in the Dugout room until 12 PM.

We checked in our coats and went down to the second floor to look at the vendor booths.  One of the vendors had a $5 bin with leftover promotional items.  I bought a Cardinals beach towel and a grey 1940’s jersey for my husband.  Some of the vendors had 50% off sales, and the Cardinals Care store had 50% off all of their items.  Even at 50% off, the jerseys still cost more than my budget allowed.

We went upstairs to the Main Stage ballroom to see what was going on.  The guys giving autographs before lunch this morning were Tyler O’Neill, Andrew Knizer, John Mabry, Brett Cecil, Whitey Herzog, Cliff Politte, Andy and Alan Benes, Mike Matheny, and Bill DeWitt II and III.  Once again, I need to apologize for the photo quality.  See the Day 1 report for details.

The first presentation we attended today was with Bill DeWitt, Jr. and III on the Main Stage.  They were interviewed by Matt Chambers of local TV station KMOV.  DeWitt, Jr. talked about the strategic way they look at players.  The issue of social media was discussed and how it stirs up interest in the club and engages players with the public.  As president of the club, DeWitt III is in charge of the Cardinals’ social media presence.  The Communications Department does the actual posting on social media.  DeWitt III said that the most popular social media posts are about the history of the Cardinals.

DeWitt III spoke about Phase II of Ballpark Village.  The west side will be a hotel, an office tower, and additional retail and some parking.  The east side will be a 29 story, 300 unit apartment complex.

DeWitt III then talked about the new Budweiser Terrace, which will be in the upper deck in the right field terrace level.  It will be a standing room only, social area for fans to kick back and socialize.

Questions were then taken from the audience.  The first question was since there was so many blown games last season, why didn’t the front office pick up Greg Holland or another closer?  DeWitt, Jr. had a long, drawn out answer, but the highlights were that there is no certainty with a closer – they can be great one year and bad the next, and if the current crop of available closers were great, they’d have been picked up already.

There were a couple of other interesting questions and thank you messages for the DeWitts for keeping baseball going in St. Louis.


The second presentation we attended today was “2017 – A Year in Photos” by Taka Yanagimoto, the head of the Cardinals’ photo department. We attended this presentation last year and really enjoyed it, so we thought we would attend it this year.  Mr. Yanagimoto started by presenting some statistics as to how many photographs the photography team shot last season – 22,000 photos.  21,000 of those photos were saved to the archives.  Photographs are used in many ways – social media, the Cardinals magazine, etc.  The best part came next – when Mr. Yanagimoto ran the slide show of the best photographs that were taken last year.  It was sad to realize that a lot of the players in the photographs were no longer with the team.

After the presentation, Phillip and I went to Subway for lunch.  The temperature was starting to drop, and the wind was very cold coming off of the river.

The afternoon autograph signers were Kerry Robinson, Ray Lankford, Tom Lawless, Matt Carpenter, Jack Flaherty, and the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Yadier Molina.  Phillip wanted to go home after lunch, but I wanted to see Yadi.  I was going to purchase an autograph ticket for Ray Lankford this morning when I got to the Hyatt, but when I went to the ticket sale area, I discovered that there were no more tickets left for Ray. Everyone was so happy to see Yadi that they broke out in a round of applause when he sat down in his seat.

We then hurried down to the second floor to see the presentation with the bald eagle.  The eagle’s name was Liberty and the handler from the World Bird Sanctuary explained how Liberty came to live at the World Bird Sanctuary.  He spoke about the work that the World Bird Sanctuary.  Since we were late, we were at the back of the room. Fredbird sneaked into the room and gave me a peck on the head.  He always does that when he sees me because I have red hair.

After the bald eagle presentation, we went to the Cardinals Authentic booth to see if I could win a lovely 2009 All-Star Game plaque by correctly answering the trivia question.  I could not answer it, although I did not cheat by Googling the answer. The question was about Yadi – who did he pass on the Cardinals’ all time hits list?  It was Jim Bottomley.

It was time to us go home.  We  had a great time but I will do some things better next year.  I will have a better phone, a better camera, and I will get more autograph tickets.  I will also pack a lunch for at least one day to save some money.

Thanks for reading my long reports!  See you next time!


2018 Winter Warm-Up Report Day 2

IMG_0001Today was the second day of the 2018 Winter Warm-Up.  We rode the same train to St. Louis this morning as we did yesterday.  However, we did stop at Starbucks in the lobby of the Hilton to get coffee this morning before getting in line.  We got in line about 10 minutes later than we did yesterday morning but we were farther up in line than we were yesterday.  I guess people were having a hard time getting up from their nice warm beds this morning.

After we dropped off our coats at the coat check booth, we headed toward the elevators. All of a sudden, we looked up and saw Tony La Russa heading our way.  I wished Tony a good morning and told him it was good to see him.  He asked how we were doing, and I told him we were trying to stay warm.  Then along came Dan McLaughlin.  I said hello and told him how much we enjoyed his presentations yesterday.  Dan and Tony were headed to the main ballroom, where Tony was scheduled to sign autographs at 9 AM.  Tony, Kyle McClellan (who I had an autograph ticket for), and Danny Cox were at Station 1, and Oscar Mercado and Alex Mejia were at Station 2.  Stubby Clapp was also supposed to sign at Station 2 today, but he cancelled.


The first presentation we attended today was from the Society of American Baseball Research and was about SABRmetrics.  I follow the Nation SABR Twitter account and it’s entertaining, but this presentation made me realize that I’m just not all that interested in the numbers.  I have never been good at math (I almost flunked out of high school algebra) so that may explain my aversion to numbers.  Here are some slides from the presentation:

That formula being pointed to by Branch Rickey just about freaked me out.  Thankfully, I’m better with words than I am with numbers.

The next presentation we attended was “Designing the Cardinals’ Official Scorecard” with illustrator Mike Right. He is the person who draws the beautiful scorecards you buy at Busch Stadium.  Mike explained the process that he goes through to come up with a new drawing every year.  He thinks up the concept, sketches it out, and then puts it on the computer and uses Adobe computer software to paint and texture the drawing.  Mike has designed the front of the scorecards for every season from 2001 on with the exception of 2007, when the front office decided they wanted to feature the 2006 World Series trophy (since the Cards hadn’t won a World Series trophy since 1982).  His work is beautiful and I always enjoy the artwork on the front of the scorecards. I always wonder what the scorecard will look like every season.  Here are some of the slides from the scorecard presentation:

After that presentation, it was time for lunch, so we went to St. Louis Bread Company (which is known as Panera Bread in other parts of the country). It cost me more at Bread Co. for lunch than it did at Jimmy John’s yesterday.  Maybe next year, we’ll pack a lunch.

When we got back to the Hyatt, we decided to listen to the presentation on the Main Stage.  John Rooney and Mike Shannon were chatting about various subjects and telling various stories.  Listening to John and Mike is always very entertaining and informative.

The second presentation we attended today was called “Creating A Keepsake” with Molly Becker of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  If you purchase a yearly membership to the Museum, you receive one or two bobbleheads, depending on whether you purchase an individual membership or a family membership.  This year’s bobbleheads are Ted Simmons and Dizzy Dean.  They are smaller than the bobbleheads that are given out at Busch Stadium.


Several of us (including myself) groaned when we were told that we would have to purchase a family membership in order to get a Ted Simmons bobblehead.

Molly told us about the process that goes into designing and making the bobbleheads.  First, the players to be honored are chosen. Only members of the Cardinals Hall of Fame are selected for bobblehead glory.  Then a decision is made as to what position the bobblehead will be in (Ted is in a catcher’s stance in the photo above).  Then photos are found and sent to the designers.  Here are a few slides from the presentation that illustrates the process.

The bobbleheads that will be given to museum members next year are Branch Rickey and Mike Simmons.  Molly reiterated the benefits of being a museum member and invited us to visit the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum booth to purchase memberships.

After the presentation, Phil and I went upstairs to catch what was left of General Manager Michael Girsch’s Q&A with Ricky Horton.  Horton and Girsch discussed various topics.

The schedule of autographs this afternoon starting at noon was Todd Worrell, Rick Horton and Paul DeJong at Station 1 and Adam Wainwright, Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez and Patrick Wisdom/Mike Mayers at Station 2.

Cardinals Nation got its first glimpse of Marcell Ozuna at 3:00 PM this afternoon.  His nickname “The Bear” is appropriate once you see him.  He smiled and enjoyed participating in the autograph session.  Greg Garcia, Luke Weaver and Michael Wacha also signed in the 3:00-4:00 PM slot.


After we saw Marcell, it was time to go home, since we were going to have Sunday dinner at my sister-in-law’s house.  Tomorrow is the last day of Winter Warm-Up.  The first presentation will be attending tomorrow doesn’t start until 11 AM, so we’ll get there a little later tomorrow morning.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!


2018 Winter Warm-Up Day 1 Report

WWU2018Today (1/13/18) was the first day of the 2018 Winter Warm-Up.  I want to apologize in advance for the crappy (all but a few) photos that I will be adding to this post.  I forgot my digital camera today.  I had to trade in my iPhone for an Android when I switched carriers to T-Mobile and my new phone takes crappy photos. I will be “JUMPing” back to an iPhone at the earliest opportunity. I promise to take better photos tomorrow.

My son Phillip attended WWU with me again.  We rode the Metrolink train over to St. Louis and got off the train at the Eighth & Pine station.  WWU doesn’t start until 9 AM, but we wanted to get there early so that we didn’t have to wait outside in the bitter cold.

The line to get into WWU started at the escalator that takes fans up to the second level of the hotel. When you are in line with other Cardinals fans, you always make new friends and today was no exception.  I started chatting with a couple of gentlemen standing behind me.  The older gentleman was interviewed by a FOX 2 reporter and the clip was shown on the 5:00 PM newscast.

We went to the fourth floor and dropped off our coats at the coat check booth.  I had an autograph ticket for John Tudor at 9 AM, so we went back down to the second floor.  It was announced previously that autograph seekers would be lined up in alphabetical order.  Since my last name starts with the letter S, I figured it would be awhile until it would be my turn. The Cardinals Care attendant told me to check back in 20 minutes.  We decided to check out the Cardinals Care store until it was time to enter the line.

I had an 8″ X 10″ color glossy of John that I had him sign at FanFest in 2009 during All-Star Game.  I had something special for John to sign today – I had a scorecard that I had filled out from a game on 9/6/87 in which he was the starting pitcher.  The Cards beat the Padres 6-2 that day.   He smiled when I told him that it was from a game in which he was the starting and winning pitcher.

John was my favorite pitcher in the 1980’s.  I cried when he got traded to the Dodgers for Pedro Guerrero, but it was for the best, because John got a World Series ring in 1988.

After I got the autograph, we went back downstairs and walked through the vendor area.  There was many wonderful things available to purchase, but most of them were unfortunately not in my price range.  It was still nice to look, though.

I also had an autograph ticket for Ryan Franklin for today, but he cancelled his appearance earlier this week.

We took a photo in front of a green screen at the Ballpark Village booth, which was merged with a photo of Busch Stadium.


At 11:00 AM, we went to the Clubhouse Room to hear “The Overlooked Legacy of Stan Musial,” which was presented by Brian Finch of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  Brian was going to give this presentation last year on the first day of WWU, but you may remember that the first day was cancelled due to a predicted ice storm that never materialized.

The Clubhouse Room room was smaller than the normal room that the presentations are usually held in and it was very cramped in there.  Some folks had to stand at the rear of the room because there were no more seats available.  Hopefully, this will be rectified before Brian’s next presentation tomorrow afternoon or next year at the latest.

Brian’s presentation was entertaining and well put together as always.  Stan was such a nice guy off the field that we forget what a “beast” he was on the field.  Even though Stan hasn’t played baseball in a long time, his stats still stack up with the best players ever.  These slides are just a couple of Stan’s outstanding stats.

After the presentation, it was time for lunch.  Hardee’s was our usual go-to for lunch, but sadly for my wallet, it closed last fall.  We walked down the street to Jimmy John’s, where I paid $16 for 2 sub sandwiches and drinks.  I would have loved to go to Subway, but both downtown Subways are owned by the same guy and they are not open on the weekends.  That guy lost lots of money today by being closed.  We will probably go to Subway on Monday, though.  We will probably be at St. Louis Bread Company tomorrow, in case anyone wants to stop by and say hi.

After lunch, we went back to the Hyatt and watched some of the players sign autographs. We saw Miles Mikolas, the pitcher the Cards picked up from Japan.  Carlos Martinez was signing autographs today too, and I was amazed to see that his hair was back to its normal color.  Kolten Wong was signing today too.  Kolten was upset about the false ballistic missile alert sent out by his home state of Hawaii and he posted about it on Twitter.

We found a place to sit in the second row of the main stage area for the afternoon presentations.  There was a live auction.  There was a trivia contest with the Club Fredbird girls, and I won a Cardinals Care drawstring bag for knowing that Helene Britton was the first woman team owner in baseball.

The first presentation was with Dan McLaughlin and Tim McCarver.  Tim announced that he has signed with Fox Sports Midwest for another season and he would be announcing 35 or 36 games.  We all applauded.  I always enjoy listening to the broadcasts when Tim is announcing.  He has such great stories and straight to the point analysis. Tim didn’t disappoint – he had a couple of great stories for us today that featured Roger Maris and Bob Gibson.

After McCarver left the stage, a long, brown couch was brought up on stage.  I was wondering what that was all about.  The next presentation was with McLaughlin and Jim Edmonds.  The need for the couch became evident when we saw Edmonds walk up the stairs to the stage on a pair of crutches.  He told us that he tore a ligament off of his patella (his knee bone) playing basketball with his son Landon.  Jim was asked whether he had ever thought about coaching, and he replied that he wanted to spend more time with his family.  Jim mentioned that his wife is expecting twin boys in June.

The last presentation was with McCarver and Carlos Martinez and his family, talking about Tsunami Waves, Carlos’ charitable foundation.  This was a presentation that was not on the official schedule.  This happens sometimes at WWU.  The presentation started with a video about Camille, the young girl with leukemia that Carlos and the Pujols Foundation brought to St. Louis for treatment.  Then Carlos and his family took the stage and Dan spoke to Carlos about his foundation.  Dan asked Carlos how he felt the upcoming season.  Carlos said he needed rings, and we all knew he was talking about World Series rings. Carlos was also excited about Marcell Ozuna joining the Cards.

After the presentation, it was time to go home.  It’s time to rest up for another busy day at WWU tomorrow.  Stay tuned for the report from Day 2 of WWU!


2018 Winter Warm-Up schedule and more!

WWU2018The calendar has turned to a new year, and we can see spring right around the corner.  The first event of the Cardinals New Year is Winter Warm-Up and that happens this weekend.  I’ll share the schedule with you shortly.  But first, there are two items of interest.  First, Randal Grichuk accepted the Cardinals’ arbitration offer today for $2.6 million dollars for 1 year.  Will Randal be the Cards’ fourth outfielder, or was he signed in advance of a trade? Second, tickets for the Cardinals’ spring training games go on sale on Saturday and you can purchase them here:  cardinals.com/springtraining, or you can call 561-775-1818.  Someday I hope to get to spring training.

I’ll be at Winter Warm-Up, so if you see me, stop me and say hi!  I would love to meet those who read my blog.  And now without further ado,  here is the schedule for 2018 Winter Warm-Up.


Weekend Highlighted by 2018 Winter Warm-Up, Cardinals Caravan & Writers’ Dinner

 ST. LOUIS, Mo., January 11, 2018 – The 22nd annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up (#CardsWarmUp) and the Cardinals Caravan (#CardsCaravan) highlight a busy Cardinals-themed holiday weekend that kicks off the 2018 season.

Winter Warm-Up—the largest fundraising effort for the team’s charitable fund, Cardinals Care—returns to the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch Saturday, January 13 through Monday, January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) with appearances from over 60 players, coaches and alumni.  For the most complete schedule and up-to-date Winter Warm-Up information, visit cardinals.com/WWU.

The 2018 Cardinals Caravan, presented by Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, departs Busch Stadium on Friday morning.  Over the course of the weekend, more than 30 current and former players will visit 20 cities throughout Cardinals Nation along six different routes before returning to St. Louis on Monday night.  For complete information on all caravan stops, visit cardinals.com/caravan.

The 60th annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner takes place at the Union Station Hotel on Sunday, January 14. Fans will enjoy a night of fun and entertainment as the dinner honors the top players from the 2017 Cardinals team and commemorates six decades of Cardinals players.  The evening will be highlighted by special guests and the presentation of the Red Schoendienst Medal, J.G. Taylor Spink St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year Award and the inaugural Branch Rickey Award.

Below are complete highlights of the 2018 Winter Warm-Up weekend:

Friday, January 12, 2018

  • Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 12:00–7:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
  • Cardinals Caravan: The 2018 Caravan kicks off with stops in Champaign and Peoria, Ill., Jefferson City and Springfield, Mo. and Memphis, Tenn.
  • Adam Wainwright’s Big League Impact 2nd Annual Sing Off & Karaoke Challenge (Dave & Buster’s, 7:00 p.m.): Come watch Waino and ten of St. Louis’ best karaoke performers compete against each other for the title of 2018 Big League Impact St. Louis Sing Off Winner while raising money to help save lives in St. Louis and around the globe!  Tickets are available at bigleagueimpact.org.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

  • Winter Warm-Up: The three-day event kicks off today, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
    • Cardinals Autographs: Carson Kelly, Alex Reyes, John Brebbia, Dakota Hudson, John Mozeliak, Miles Mikolas, Matt Bowman, Carlos Martínez, Luke Voit, Rowan Wick, Austin Gomber, Sam Tuivailala, Ryan Sherriff & Kolten Wong
    • Alumni Autographs: Ray King, John Tudor, Al Hrabosky, Ted Savage, Brian Jordan & Scott Cooper
    • Main Stage: The Main Stage will feature a number of auctions, presentations and live emceed interviews throughout the day.  Scheduled events include KMOV’s Claire Kellet from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., Redbird Rookies Scholarship Presentation at 10:30 a.m., Q&A with President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak at 11:00 a.m., and broadcasters Dan McLaughlin, Tim McCarver and Jim Edmonds from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
      • Live Auctions (Main Stage): Beginning at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Fans must be present to win an auction item and all items must be paid for and picked up at the close of each auction.
    • Dugout Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. –  “A History of the St. Louis Browns’ 52 years in St. Louis” with author Ed Wheatley
      • 11:00 a.m. – “Designing the Cardinals’ Official Scorecard” with illustrator Mike Right
      • 12:00 p.m. – Learn all aspects of collecting sports memorabilia with Dave Jackson
      • 1:30 p.m. – Brian Jordan book signing (must bring a copy of his book or purchase at the signing)
      • 3:00 p.m. – Meet members of Team Fredbird
    • Clubhouse Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. – “Goodwill through Baseball: Cardinals Across the Pacific” with Cardinals Museum Curator Paula Homan
      • 11:00 a.m. – “The Overlooked Legacy of Stan Musial” with Brian Finch of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
      • 12:00 p.m. – Tips for storing and displaying personal baseball collections with Amy Berra and Danielle DiGiacomo of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
      • 1:00 p.m. – “2017 Minor League Year in Review” with Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque
      • 2:00 p.m. – Learn about Cardinals Authentics and the MLB Authentication program with Ashley Brown of Cardinals Authentics
      • 3:00 p.m. – Learn about the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) including how baseball has embraced SABRmetrics with local chapter president Brian Flaspohler
    • Silent Auctions (Fourth Floor): There are two silent auctions: 9:00–11:30 a.m. and 1:00–3:00 p.m.

o   Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.

  • Cardinals Caravan: The Cardinals Caravan makes its way through Cardinals Nation with stops in Jonesboro, Ark., Dyersburg, Tenn., Bloomington, Ill., and Joplin, Rolla, Fulton, and Columbia, Mo.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

  • Winter Warm-Up: Day two of the event is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
    • Cardinals Autographs: Oscar Mercado, Alex Mejia, Josh Lucas, Harrison Bader, Adam Wainwright, Tyler Lyons, Paul DeJong, Tommy Pham, José Martínez, Patrick Wisdom, John Gant, Mike Mayers, Greg Garcia, Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha & Luke Weaver
    • Alumni Autographs: Tony La Russa, Danny Cox, Kyle McClellan, Stubby Clapp, Scott Terry, Ricky Horton, Todd Worrell, Mike Shannon & Rick Ankiel
    • Main Stage: The Main Stage will feature a number of auctions, presentations and live emceed interviews throughout the day.  Scheduled events include KMOV’s Maurice Drummond from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., broadcasters Mike Claiborne, John Rooney and Mike Shannon from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Adam Wainwright/Big League Impact Presentation & Q&A at 1:45 p.m., Q&A with General Manager Michael Girsch at 2:30 p.m., and broadcaster Ricky Horton from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
      • Live Auctions (Main Stage): Beginning at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Fans must be present to win an auction item and all items must be paid for and picked up at the close of each auction.
    • Dugout Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. –  Learn about the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) including how baseball has embraced SABRmetrics with local chapter president Brian Flaspohler
      • 11:00 a.m. – “Designing the Cardinals’ Official Scorecard” with illustrator Mike Right
      • 12:00 p.m. – Meet members of Team Fredbird
      • 1:00 p.m. – Learn all aspects of collecting sports memorabilia with Dave Jackson
      • 2:00 p.m. –  “A History of the St. Louis Browns’ 52 years in St. Louis” with author Ed Wheatley
      • 3:00 p.m. – “Making and Decorating the Cardinals Care Cupcake” with The Cup
    • Clubhouse Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. – “Busch Stadium Security Updates for 2018” with Cardinals Security Director, Phil Melcher
      • 11:00 a.m. – Discussing the Amateur Draft with Scouting Director and former Cardinals pitcher, Randy Flores
      • 12:00 p.m. – Go behind the pages of the Cardinals’ two books “Uniforms and Logos” and “Redbird Relics” with authors Gary and Oliver Kodner and Brian Finch
      • 1:00 p.m. – Learn about Cardinals Authentics and the MLB Authentication program with Ashley Brown of Cardinals Authentics
      • 2:00 p.m. – “Creating a Keepsake”—see what goes into making Hall of Fame bobbleheads and learn about benefits of Cardinals Museum Membership with Molly Becker
      • 3:00 p.m. – Bring your camera and take a picture with an American Bald Eagle, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary
    • Silent Auctions (Fourth Floor): There are two silent auctions: 9:00–11:30 a.m. and 1:00–3:00 p.m.
    • Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
  • Cardinals Caravan: The Cardinals Caravan makes stops in Evansville, Ind., as well as Mattoon, Springfield and Mount Vernon, Ill.
  • 60th Annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner (Union Station Hotel, 5:00 p.m.): This year’s dinner honors the top players from the 2017 Cardinals team and commemorates six decades of Cardinals players. The St. Louis BBWAA will present their highest honor to Bob Gibson for his Hall of Fame career and invaluable service to baseball.  Other highlights include presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year Award, the Stockton/Broeg Award for Outstanding Achievement in Baseball, the Herman/Ostermeier Award for Cardinals Rookie of the Year Award and the inaugural Branch Rickey Award for Innovation in the Game of Baseball.  For information, or to purchase tickets, visit stlouisbbwaa.com.

 Monday, January 15, 2018

  • Winter Warm-Up: The final day of the event is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    • Cardinals Autographs: Tyler O’Neill, Andrew Knizner, Brett Cecil, Mike Matheny, Bill DeWitt Jr., Bill DeWitt III, Jack Flaherty, Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter & Randal Grichuk
    • Alumni Autographs: John Mabry, John Costello, Cliff Politte, Andy Benes, Alan Benes, Whitey Herzog, Kerry Robinson, Ray Lankford, Brad Thompson & Tom Lawless
    • Main Stage: The Main Stage will feature a number of auctions, presentations and live emceed interviews throughout the day.  Scheduled events include KMOV’s Matt Chambers from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., Q&A with Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and President Bill DeWitt III at 10:00 a.m., broadcasters Jay Randolph and Scott Warmann from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and broadcasters Tom Ackerman and Brad Thompson from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
      • Live Auctions (Main Stage): Beginning at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Fans must be present to win an auction item and all items must be paid for and picked up at the close of each auction.
    • Dugout Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 12:00 p.m. –  “A History of the St. Louis Browns’ 52 years in St. Louis” with author Ed Wheatley
      • 1:00 p.m. – Meet members of Team Fredbird
    • Clubhouse Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. – Learn about the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) including how baseball has embraced SABRmetrics with local chapter president Brian Flaspohler
      • 11:00 a.m. – “2017—A Year in Photos” with Cardinals Photography Manager Taka Yanagimoto
      • 12:00 p.m. – “Making and Decorating the Cardinals Care Cupcake” with The Cup
      • 1:00 p.m. – Bring your camera and take a picture with an American Bald Eagle, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary
    • Silent Auctions (Fourth Floor): There are two silent auctions: 9:00–11:00 a.m. and 12:00–2:00 p.m.
    • Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
  • Cardinals Caravan: The Cardinals Caravan makes its final stops in Decatur and Quincy, Ill., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Paducah, Ky.

Additional Winter Warm-Up Information

  • Stay Updated: Text CARDS to 82810 to receive the latest Winter Warm-Up news and event information via text message to your mobile device!
  • Admission Tickets: Although online ticket sales have ended, fans can still purchase three-day passes for the event in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency from January 12-15.  Ticket prices are $40 for fans 16 and older, $10 for fans ages five to 15, and free for kids under five.  Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult admission ticket which must be obtained in person at the ticket booth in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency during the times listed below.
  • Warm-Up Will Call: All Admission Tickets purchased after January 4, 2018 must be picked up at the ticket booth in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency during the times listed below.  A photo ID matching the name on the original order or a print out of the confirmation email is required to pick up your purchase:
    • Friday, January 12th from 12:00–7:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
    • Saturday, January 13th from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
    • Sunday, January 14th from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
    • Monday, January 15th from 9:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
  •  Autograph Tickets:  Although online ticket sales have ended, remaining autograph tickets may be purchased in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency for a specific donation to Cardinals Care.  Every dollar donated for autograph tickets will benefit Redbird Rookies and charitable grants to other non-profit organizations that help kids.  Donation amounts can be found at cardinals.com/WWU.  All free autograph tickets have been distributed.
  • Second Floor: On the second floor of the Hyatt, fans will be able to find collectible memorabilia, baseball cards and more from more than 50 vendors, shop at the Cardinals Publications booth and Cardinals Authentics Shop, listen to informative presentations by Cardinals executives in the Dugout and Clubhouse Presentation rooms, meet Fredbird and watch the kids enjoy free activities at the Kids Room Stage.
  • Fourth Floor: On the fourth floor fans will find the main stage, be able to meet their favorite players at autograph tables, bid on Cardinals Care silent auctions, shop the Cardinals Care Store and Official Cardinals Team Store, as well as visit booths for Adam Wainwright’s Big League Impact, Carlos Martínez’s Tsunami Waves Foundation, the Jason Motte Foundation, the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation, Ballpark Village and more.
  • Cardinals Care Store: Open throughout the weekend, the Cardinals Care Store is stocked full of Cardinals memorabilia such as discounted baseball caps, team-issued apparel, t-shirts, game-worn jerseys, autographed photos and bats, and more.  Fans can even purchase photos for collecting player autographs and baseball cases for your new autographed collectibles.  Also, any fan that purchased an autograph ticket for a pre-signed baseball from Lou Brock, Bob Gibson or Ozzie Smith may redeem their ticket at the Cardinals Care Store to receive their autographed item.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Throughout the weekend, Cardinals fans, age 18 and older, can participate in the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle.  Fans can buy tickets (priced 3 for $5, 10 for $10, or 60 for $20) from kiosks located on each level of the event, in the Cardinals Care Store, at the ticket booth in the lobby, or from roaming ticket sellers.  Each day of the Winter Warm-Up, one lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the raffle ticket donations raised and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.
  •  Cardinals Kids Club Booth: The Cardinals Kids Club will have a booth in the Kids Room on the second floor.  To learn more about Cardinals Kids Club, visit cardinals.com/kidsclub.
  • Official Cardinals Team Store: The Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium will have a large selection of Cardinals merchandise available at the Warm-Up next to the silent auctions on the fourth floor.  The Official Cardinals Team Store, open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., will have specially-priced items on sale for the weekend too.  The Majestic Store located on the north side of Ballpark Village will also be open Saturday and Sunday, sharing the same hours as the Team Store.  Stop by either location for the latest Cardinals gear!
  • Cardinals Publications: Fans visiting the Cardinals Publications booth at its new second floor location can take advantage of fantastic show specials, enroll in drawings for premium autographed items and start a subscription to Cardinals Magazine.  New subscribers will take home two free tickets to a 2018 home game, the newest edition featuring Alex Reyes on the cover and gain automatic entry into a drawing to win a 16 x 20 inch photo autographed by Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.  Fans who spend at least $25 in merchandise will receive automatic entry into a drawing for autographed magazine posters signed by Carlos Martínez and Rick Ankiel.  Additional show-only sales include: 1) the 2018 Cardinals Official Calendar—spotlighting the top images by club photographers and featuring the complete spring training and regular season schedules—for just $10 each; 2) oversized Cardinals Magazine cover posters featuring the likes of Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martínez and Yadier Molina; 3) an extensive and affordable vintage collection of Cardinals Magazines, Yearbooks and Media Guides; and 4) Official Scorecard collector sets.  Stay tuned for special announcements by Cardinals Publications via Twitter (@CardsMagazine) throughout the three-day event.
  • Busch Stadium Tours & Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum: Guided tours of Busch Stadium are available during the 2018 Winter Warm-Up each day from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  These tours will be offered at regular tour prices, but will also include a stop inside the Cardinals Clubhouse—the only time each year the Cardinals’ locker room is open to tours.  Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum entry is also included in all tour ticket purchases.  Fans who purchase Stadium Tour or Museum Admission tickets during the holiday weekend will receive a special gift while supplies last.  The Cardinals Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and includes a new exhibit titled “Goodwill through Baseball: Cardinals Across the Pacific.”  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/tours.
  • Cardinals Authentics & Personalized Bats: Cardinals Authentics—the only official source of memorabilia directly from the team—will be selling unique game-used, limited-edition, exclusive and autographed memorabilia at the Winter Warm-Up.  Cardinals Authentics is offering their lowest prices of the year (this weekend only) along with other special offers and gifts with purchases.  Also at the booth, fans can buy a personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bat.  Each bat, which comes in different sizes and color options, can feature up to three lines of custom text and two logos, including the collectible 2018 Winter Warm-Up logo.  The Cardinals Authentics Store, located on the first floor of Cardinals Nation inside Ballpark Village, will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on January 13-15 and daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Show your Winter Warm-Up admission ticket at the store in Cardinals Nation and you will receive 20% off of your purchase all weekend long.  Stay tuned for special announcements by Cardinals Authentics via Twitter (@CardsAuthentics) throughout the three-day event.
  •  Green Team: The team’s “4 A Greener Game” initiative will have a booth on the second floor where fans can learn more about the Cardinals Green Team—a group of volunteers who collect recyclables from fans throughout each game at Busch Stadium.  In exchange for volunteering, fans are able to watch the game in standing room only sections of Busch Stadium.  Visit cardinals.com/green for more information. 
  • Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar: Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar in Ballpark Village is open daily during the Winter Warm-Up, and throughout the entire year: Monday–Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  During Winter Warm-Up weekend, attendees can show their admission ticket and receive 10% off their bill.  Make reservations online at cardinalsnation.com or by phone at 314.345.9880.

Social Media

Throughout the Cardinals Caravan and Winter Warm-Up, fans can stay connected by following the Cardinals on Twitter (@Cardinals), Facebook (@Cardinals), Instagram (@Cardinals) and Snapchat (Cardinals) for the latest news, event updates and behind-the-scenes content.  Fans can join the conversation and share their own photos and experiences by using hashtags #CardsWarmUp, #CardsCaravan and #CardsCare.

Traffic & Parking

For the most up-to-date alerts regarding construction and winter road conditions this weekend, fans can visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s website at modot.org.  Winter Warm-Up event parking can be found just two blocks south of the Hyatt Regency at the Stadium East Parking Garage, with entrances located on South Broadway and South 4th Street.

 That’s all for now!  Thanks for reading and see you next time!


The top 5 Cardinals stories of 2017

Top 5Tomorrow is the last day of 2017! Where does the time go?  (Probably the same place that missing socks from the dryer go.)  One of the United Cardinals Bloggers projects every year is to post what we believe were the top 5 Cardinals stories of the year.  There was a lot happening with the Cardinals this year, so it was hard to select just 5 top stories.  Like the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve, I will count down from 5 to 1.

5.   The Matt Adams left field experiment. Left fielders have been moved to first base before (see Albert Pujols), but I do not remember the reverse ever happening – until it did.  Bloggers and Cardinals fans alike scratched their heads at Mike Matheny’s bizarre experiment.  Thankfully, the Adams experiment ended and Matt was traded to the Braves.  Matt was later released by the Braves and picked up by the Nationals.

4.   MLB’s punishment on the Cardinals for Hackergate. MLB finally laid the smackdown on the Cardinals for Chris Correa’s hacking of the Astros’ computer system.  All things considered, the punishment was pretty lenient – a $2 million fine and the loss of the Cards’ top two draft picks to the Astros.  It could have been worse.

3.   Bullpen meltdown. Seung Hwan Oh did not repeat his stellar 2016 season, leading to his release.  Trevor Rosenthal was injured and had to have Tommy John surgery. The Cards released Trevor at the end of the season.  The big signing of Brett Cecil was a bust.  Juan Nicasio was picked up off of waivers from the Phillies in September, too late to qualify for the playoffs, but he pitched very well and I, along with a lot of other fans, were hoping that the Cardinals would sign him.  Unfortunately, the Mariners signed Juan for a lot more money than I’d be willing to pay him.

2.   The signing of Marcell Ozuna. The Cardinals lost out on Giancarlo Stanton, but that didn’t stop John Mozeliak from signing Ozuna.  I think the Ozuna signing was a good one.  Ozuna is friends with some of the Cardinals players, so he will fit in well with the team. It touched my heart when I read that Ozuna wants to make Cardinals fans smile.  Ozuna’s signing, however, led to Stephen Piscotty being traded to the A’s so he can be closer to his mother, who suffers from MLS.  And what will happen to Randal Grichuk?  Stay tuned for As the Outfield Turns.

1.    The emergence of Tommy Pham. Tommy has been in the Cardinals system for a long time.  He has battled through injury and an eye disease, but this season, Tommy upped his game and became the best player on the team. His emergence led the team to move Dexter Fowler to left field so that Tommy could play center field exclusively.

This off-season has seemed incredibly long, hasn’t it?  Mo has made a few deals (Ozuna, Mikolas) and changed up the coaching staff (welcome back, Jose and Willie – we really missed you), but there are other additions that need to be made so that this club can compete in 2018.  Hopefully after the first of the year, Mo will get out there and get it done.  The hot stove is losing its heat – and I’m not talking about the current frigid weather in the St. Louis area.

Winter Warm-Up is in 3 weeks and I can’t wait.  John Tudor, my favorite pitcher from the 1980s, will be signing autographs and I have my autograph ticket already.  You can order the free autograph tickets online to get them in advance so you don’t have to wait in long lines at Winter Warm-Up.  A lot of the free autograph tickets are already sold out, so don’t wait!  If you’re going to be at Winter Warm-Up, follow me on Twitter (check out the Twitter feed over in the right hand column) and maybe we can meet up!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, and may the Cardinals finally win the World Series again in 2018! Thanks as always for reading, and see you next time!


A follow up heartfelt letter to the Modern Baseball Era Committee re: Ted Simmons

Diane Schultz, Founder

November 30, 2017

Modern Baseball Era Committee
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY

Re:    Ted Lyle SimmonsSimba1
Position:  Catcher
Teams:    St. Louis Cardinals, 1968-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
Atlanta Braves, 1986-1988

Dear Committee Members:

This letter is a follow up to my November 4, 2017 letter which discussed the above referenced former baseball player, along with my request that he be added to the Modern Baseball Era Hall of Fame ballot.  I was overjoyed when I heard the news that the committee did indeed select Mr. Simmons as a candidate on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.  I am very grateful that you responded favorably to my request.

Now that Mr. Simmons is on the Modern Baseball Era ballot, I would like to again remind the committee of Mr. Simmons’ stellar statistics that should ensure him a place with the Hall of Fame immortals.  From Wikipedia’s entry on Mr. Simmons:

Career Statistics

In a twenty-one-year major league career, Simmons played in 2,456 games, accumulating 2,472 hits in 8,680 at bats for a .285 career batting average along with 248 home runs, 1,389 runs batted in and a .348 on-base percentage. He ended his career with a .986 fielding percentage.  An eight-time All-Star, he batted above .300 seven times, reached 20 home runs six times, and eight times exceeded 90 runs batted in. He switch-hit home runs in a game three times and established a since-broken National League career record for home runs by a switch-hitter (182). Simmons held major league records for catchers with 2,472 career hits and 483 doubles, since broken by Iván Rodriguez.  He ranks second all-time among catchers with 1,389 runs batted in and 10th with 248 home runs. He caught 122 shutouts in his career, ranking him eighth all-time among major league catchers. In his book The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, baseball historian Bill James ranked Simmons 10th all-time among major league catchers.


  • 8-time All-Star (1972–74, 1977–79, 1981, 1983)
  • Silver Slugger Award (1980)
  • 7-times hit .300 or more (1971–73, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983)
  • Caught two no-hitters as a Cardinal: Bob Gibson in 1971, and the first of Bob Forsch’s two career no-hitters, in 1978.
  • Twice led the National League in intentional walks (1976–77). He ranks 15th in the All-Time list with 188.

As mentioned in my last correspondence, numbers and statistics do not lie. In the postscript below, I have posted links to two articles that further explain why Mr. Simmons should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, should my arguments be insufficient.

I would also like to bring to the Committee’s attention that at age 68, Mr. Simmons is one of the oldest candidates on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.  The next Modern Baseball Era ballot will not be compiled until 2022, if my calculations are correct.  Please elect Mr. Simmons to the Hall of Fame while he is still alive to enjoy the induction ceremony.  The air will be electric with the chants of “Simba! Simba!” as he steps up to the podium for his acceptance speech, which will be heartfelt and entertaining, if Mr. Simmons’ speech at his Cardinals Hall of Fame induction is any indication.

Thank you once again for your consideration of Mr. Simmons’ Hall of Fame candidacy. I look forward to hearing the most excellent news of Mr. Simmons’ election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It would be a wonderful early Christmas present. (And if Mr. Simmons is elected, I will be trying to figure out how to pay for my trip to the induction ceremony, for I wouldn’t want to miss seeing it in person.) Please accept my best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

Very truly yours,

Diane M. Schultz

Wikipedia, “Ted Simmons,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Simmons

Why Simmons belongs in the Hall of Fame,” Benjamin Hochman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/benjamin-hochman/why-ted-simmons-belongs-in-the-hall-of-fame/collection_a7e7c0c2-e55c-5355-9a84-24674f6dc189.html

Cardinals great Ted Simmons is on the Hall of Fame ballot,” Craig Edwards, Viva El Birdos, https://www.vivaelbirdos.com/st-louis-cardinals-sabermetrics-analysis/2017/11/18/16671776/cardinals-ted-simmons-hall-of-fame-ballot-candidacy

A heartfelt letter to the Modern Baseball Era Committee re: Ted Simmons

Diane Schultz, Founder

November 4, 2017

Modern Baseball Era Committee
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY

 Re:    Ted Lyle SimmonsSimba1
Position:   Catcher
Teams:    St. Louis Cardinals, 1968-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
Atlanta Braves, 1986-1988

Dear Committee Members:

I am writing to you in reference to Ted Simmons, one of the best catchers ever.  It is my understanding that you are going to announce the 10 person Modern Baseball Era ballot on Monday, November 6.  I hope and pray that I am not too late to argue my case that Ted Simmons belongs on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.

My fellow blogger Mark Tomasek of Retrosimba.org has assembled the statistics that show that Mr. Simmons deserves to become an immortal in the Baseball Hall of Fame and I quote them here:

Simmons ranks second all-time among players whose primary position was catcher in each of three significant hitting categories: hits (2,472), RBI (1,389) and doubles (483). He trails only Yogi Berra (1,430) in RBI. Ivan Rodriguez leads in hits (2,844) and doubles (572).

He was named to the all-star team eight times, six as a Cardinal.

Simmons had 90 or more RBI in a season eight times, six as a Cardinal.

A durable, tough athlete who toiled most of his summers in St. Louis’ searing heat, Simmons played in 150 or more games in seven consecutive seasons (1972-78).

Simmons had a slugging percentage of .500 or better three seasons in a row (1977-80). That is remarkably consistent high-level production. Neither Johnny Bench nor Yogi Berra nor Carlton Fisk, for example, achieved .500 or better slugging percentages three straight years.

He ranks third in career total bases (3,793) by a player whose primary position was catcher. Only Ivan Rodriguez (4,451) and Carlton Fisk (3,999) have more.

In 1975, Simmons established the National League single-season record for most hits by a catcher. He hit .332 that year and 188 of his 193 hits came while in the lineup as a catcher.

He holds most of the Cardinals career and single-season hitting records for a catcher. In a franchise rich with success (11 World Series titles) and notable catchers (Roger Bresnahan, Walker Cooper, Tim McCarver, Darrell Porter, Tony Pena and Yadier Molina), Simmons is the best hitter of the bunch.

While he wasn’t a great defensive catcher, he was much better than generally recognized. He twice (1972 and ’78) led NL catchers in assists, and twice (1976 and ’78) led NL catchers in number of runners caught attempting to steal.

Numbers and statistics do not lie.  Mr. Simmons has the bona fides to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Indeed, Mr. Simmons’ election to the Hall of Fame is long overdue.

Mr. Simmons was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2015, and I was in attendance to see my childhood favorite ballplayer be inducted. (And being the emotional woman that I am, I cried like a baby.)  Simba’s mane has grown silver over the years (and cut shorter), but he was as well-spoken as ever.  On behalf of myself and Cardinals/Brewers/Braves fans everywhere, my request is that you place Mr. Simmons on the Modern Baseball Era 2017 ballot.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I look forward to the news of Mr. Simmons’ addition to the Modern Baseball Era ballot, and Mr. Simmons’ subsequent election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Very truly yours,

Diane M. Schultz


Bibliography:  “10 reasons why Ted Simmons is a Hall of Famer,” https://retrosimba.com/2010/11/15/10-reasons-why-simmons-is-a-hall-of-famer/ 

United Cardinals Bloggers 2017 Roundtable Day 1

Now that the Cardinals’ season is over, it’s time for the fall version of the United Cardinals Bloggers Roundtable.  The bloggers who are interested in participating in the roundtable pose a question to the other bloggers who are participating, and they then respond.  After all of the answers are obtained, we are to take our question and the responses and put them in a blog post.  There were supposed to be two bloggers ahead of me, but neither one of them posted their questions, so I got to be the first blogger to post a question.  In a way, that was good, because I was worried that someone would take my question and I would have to think of another one!

So here is the question I asked:

Good morning and happy Friday! This Friday is even happier due to the fact that the Cubs will not be going to the World Series this year (thank you, Dodgers!).  Welcome to the 2017 UCB Roundtable! Without further ado, here is my roundtable question.

The subject of our discussion today is Lance Lynn.  I have a 3 part question.

1.  Will the Cardinals make a qualifying offer to Lance?  If not, why?

2.  Will Lance accept the qualifying offer, if one is made?  If not, why?  If your answer to question number 1 is no, you can skip this question.

3.  If Lance doesn’t resign with the Cardinals, who fills his spot in the rotation?  Will it be someone from the minor leagues, a trade, or a free agent signing? If you have thoughts about who the Cards should select, please share.

Thanks as always for your input! I’m looking forward to your responses.

The first response was from Mark Tomasek, who writes the excellent historical Retrosimba blog.  Here is his response:


Yes, I believe Cardinals will make a qualifying offer to Lance Lynn in order to receive a compensatory draft pick.

The Cardinals and Lynn seem ready for a divorce, so I believe the Cardinals will make the offer with no expectation Lynn will accept. He will receive some eye-popping offers from other teams.

My guess is the Cardinals will try to replace Lynn’s rotation spot from within the organization – Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes are the obvious options – and will acquire a veteran, low-cost starting pitcher (like they did in past years with Kyle Lohse, Joel Pineiro, etc.) as a safety valve.

Right now, it seems a Cardinals rotation would be Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright. Alex Reyes likely would begin the season in a bullpen role.

Cardinals will need to pick up a veteran starting pitcher (or two) to hedge against the inevitable injuries and setbacks to one or more of the projected starting five, but I don’t get the sense it will be a star pitcher.

The next response was from Allen Medlock of the Redbird Daily:

Good morning, everyone.   Excited to talk some Cardinal baseball. I believe the Cardinals will extend them qualifying offer.

That allows the organization to receive compensation in the case that Lynn will move on and the small chance of a fairly reasonable one year contract if Lynn were to accept. The free agent starting pitching market will be interesting this off-season. I expect teams to completely overspend on Lynn and Arrieta.

Carlos Martinez, Micheal Wacha, Adam Wainwright, and Luke Weaver are the rotation definite’s as things stand right now. The fifth spot may be fluid for most of the season with the expectation that Alex Reyes has taken control of the spot by June. I think they like the idea of Reyes being a bullpen weapon but have heard that they were so impressed with him during this season of rehab that he may actually take starter innings during Spring.

If they miss out on the level of offensive player that we expect them to pursue, it wouldn’t surprise me top see hem kick the tires on front-line starters via trade.

The next response was from Adam Butler, also from the Redbird Daily:

Hello, I believe the Cardinals will definitely make a qualifying offer to Lance Lynn. Worst case scenario is that he accepts it and they have their mid rotation innings eating stopgap for next season. It would push the need in their rotation back a season and give some young guys an opportunity to step up.

With that being said, I don’t see any way he accepts the qualifying offer. Even if the market collapses on him I would imagine he can get at least 3 years with an AAV similar to the $17.4 million qualifying offer.

The best guess at the current rotation would be

Carlos Martinez
Michael Wacha
Luke Weaver
Adam Wainwright
Jack Flaherty

I don’t know about you but I don’t think that’s going to cut it. They can go one of two ways here. Either add a #2 starting pitcher and push Flaherty out or sign a swing man type of pitcher to hopefully bridge the gap until Alex Reyes is ready (Trevor Cahill is the guy that keeps coming to my mind). I expect this to hinge on a couple of things.

#1. What they’re able to do with the lineup. Like Allen said, if they whiff on bringing in a true middle of the order hitter I believe they might see the rotation as a way to make up for that.

#2. What the market is like for starting pitchers. I’m sure we’ll start hearing the word “opportunistic” a whole lot as the offseason rolls on when the front office is asked about the rotation. If somebody falls into their range, they’ll be ready to pounce. Unfortunately, with the way free agency has gone in the recent past, I don’t expect a pitcher to fall into their lap.

As far as getting a high end pitcher, if we look at the available free agents it’s currently Yu Darvish or bust for me. If Masahiro Tanaka were to opt out of his contract with he could be another option as well. Those are the only two available that I would really want them to give any significant amount of money to.

The trade market for starting pitching is a whole other can of worms. I think that’s where they’d be more likely to get a high end starter if it happens. The possibilities there are almost endless though.

In the end, I expect them to sign or trade for some sort of stopgap starter. Someone to help cover some innings and give the rotation some reliability because right now I don’t feel comfortable relying on any of those guys beyond Carlos Martinez.

The next response was from Daniel Shoptaw, the head of the UCB.  You can read Daniel’s blog posts at The Cards Conclave.
Well, I’m late to the party and I figure everyone’s answered this better than me, but I’ll go ahead and go for completeness sake if nothing else!

Extending the qualifying offer to Lance Lynn is really a no-brainer.  The Cardinals would love to have Lance Lynn for another year.  If he’d do a two-year deal, they’d probably consider that as well.  Unfortunately, the market is likely to go 4-5 years for Mr. Lynn and that’s just not in the Cardinals’ plans.  So extend the QO because it’s a win-win situation.

2) As others have said, there seems no chance that Lynn would take the offer, though.  It was just two years ago that the first qualifying offers were taken and it’s still a rare thing to see a player give up the chance at free agency, especially if they are coming off a solid year.  Players tend to crave stability and long-term deals, not one-year deals requiring another good season before getting back in the FA pool.  As Adam said, he can get similar money (at worst) and more guaranteed years from someone this winter.

3) Without Lance Lynn, you have Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, and a big question mark.  And that’s if you don’t think the Cards will move Wacha to the bullpen, which would seem like a reasonable thing to entertain even though the club probably won’t do it.  John Mozeliak told us that Alex Reyes would have started the 2017 season in the bullpen and it would seem unlikely that would not be the case after a year missed with Tommy John surgery (assuming he’s even ready to go by Opening Day, which is always a question), but you wonder if the thinness of the rotation might force their hand.  Jack Flaherty has proven that he needs more time in Memphis, in my opinion, and there’s nobody else ready to step in and take that fifth starter spot.

The club will probably go out and get a veteran “innings eater” that can go in the fifth spot to begin the year and move to the bullpen once Reyes looks ready, probably the All-Star Break.  It would be nice to see them go after a more established starter, someone that fits more to the front of the rotation, given all the question marks, but the front office seems focused on getting an impact bat (which is reasonable) and a high value closer (which is less so).

The final response was from Josh Gilliam of Pitchers Hit 8th:

Lynn will get a QO and promptly decline it in hopes that everyone ignored how quickly starting pitchers were yanked this month.

The last question is really the most important of the Winter in my opinion as other moves will dictate the answer. Cards have starting pitching depth today but have already stated will be looking for innings. Factor in Waino and Wacha for different reasons as well as no 180+ from Leake.

If one or two young starters are traded, the free agents from top to bottom will all be eyed under the Arch. It actually would not surprise me at all to see one FA signing as well as a controllable starter brought into the mix.

I have linked to the blogs of each person who responded to my question, so check out their blogs.  You might find a new favorite blog!  What are your thoughts about the Lance Lynn situation?  Post them in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!


The Cards-Cubs rivalry exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Museum – very interesting!

Our family has wanted to visit the Cubs vs. Cardinals – The Rivalry exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum all season but we finally found the time this weekend.  We had planned our trip for yesterday, but a lady we went to church with passed away last week and her funeral was yesterday.  The irony of visiting this exhibit on the last day of the Cardinals’ 2017 season with the Cubs going on to the playoffs and the Cardinals going home was not lost on me.

This was not our first trip to the ALPM, but we hadn’t been to the museum in several years.  We went to the desk to purchase our tickets and paid the extra $3/ticket so we could visit the “Lincoln: From History to Hollywood” exhibit with props, costumes, and sets from the Steven Spielberg Lincoln movie.

The Cubs-Cards exhibit room was the second room on the left as we entered the museum.  There were two boxes on either side of the doorway to the room, one for Cardinals fans and one for Cubs fans.  You were to put money in the boxes to vote for your favorite team.  The money will go to the museum to continue its preservation work.  Here’s a photo of the Cards version of Abe, which appeared to have more money in the box that the Cubs’ box:  

We got to the museum around 9:30 AM, so we were the only ones in the exhibit.  There was a docent sitting by the door and we chatted for a moment.  I told her about this blog and that I was visiting today for the express purpose for writing about the exhibit.  I gave her one of my cards with the URL of this blog on it.  We then started looking at all of the exhibits.

The first thing you was as you walked into the exhibit is shown above. All around the room was a timeline from when each team was founded to the present day.  There were various trivia tidbits about both teams on the timeline, marked by a green home plate.  Did you know the Cubs once tried to use live bear cubs as a mascot?  It didn’t work out very well.

I will post photos and descriptions of some of the exhibits.  (If I posted photos and descriptions, you wouldn’t have to go see it in person!) The above photo is an interesting exhibit. in 1908, Mordecai Brown (a/k/a “Three Fingers”) had a watch fob made of his World Series and LCS pendants.

This is Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 1926 World Series ring, on loan from the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.

There were 4 small trivia screens located throughout the exhibit where you could test your knowledge of Cardinals and/or Cubs trivia.  I am proud to report that I only got one Cardinals trivia question wrong.

This is a lovely quilt with the names of the players of the 1928 Cardinals embroidered on it.  That’s my hubby on the right.

There was an exhibit of the women who once were in the front office of the Cardinals and the Cubs.   The Cardinals’ representative on this exhibit was Helene Robison Britton, who I covered in a blog post here.

Here is the ball from Stan Musial’s 3000th hit, on loan from the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.

Here is Marty Marion’s 1948 National League Most Valuable Player plaque.

And here is Bob Gibson’s 1968 Cy Young Award.

Cardinals fans who were alive in the 1970s should remember this well:  it’s the stolen base from when Lou Brock broke the stolen base record in 1974.

There was an exhibit where you could write your favorite baseball memories on a Post-It note and stick it on the exhibit.

Here is an exhibit about Cardinals broadcasters.

No Cards-Cubs exhibit would be complete without an exhibit on the home run chase that took place in 1998.

Here’s Yadier Molina’s catcher’s mask from 2006.

How many of these players/coaches do you remember from the 2011 World Series Champions?  How many are still with the team?

This was the last exhibit you saw before you exited the exhibit room.  We’re awfully glad you’re a Cardinal too, Mr. Schoendiest.

I wrote a blog post about the history of the Cards-Cubs rivalry and you can read it here.  We were eating lunch at the Subway inside the museum and the docent from the exhibit approached us.  She asked how we liked the exhibit and we told her we enjoyed it very much.  She encouraged me to put the business card with this blog’s URL on the baseball memories board, so I did that before we left.  If you’re here because you saw that card, welcome to the blog. I’m glad you’re here!

This wonderful exhibit (which ends on December 31, 2017), however, is not the only reason you should visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.  This museum is well worth the price of admission.  There are detailed exhibits and artifacts about Lincoln’s life and his time in the Oval Office.  The wax figures are extremely lifelike.  There are two great movies to watch as well.  There is a Subway restaurant inside the museum, so you won’t even have to leave to eat lunch, although, with the wristbands, you can and come back later.

You could even make a weekend of visiting the many Lincoln exhibits in around Springfield.  For more details on all of the Lincoln exhibits, visit the Springfield tourism website.  Fron St. Louis, cross into Illinois on the Poplar Street Bridge or the Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge and take Highway 55 north towards Chicago. You will exit Hwy. 55 at Sixth Street.  Just follow the signs to the Museum.  There is a pay parking garage cattycorner from the museum.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!