Pitchers and catchers report – hooray?

crying-heartToday is the first official day of baseball for the year, the day when pitchers and catchers report to spring training.  Some of the players, like Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams, Seung Hwan Oh, and others have reported early to Jupiter to get in more work.  I waxed more poetic about pitchers and catchers report day in a blog post last year, and you can read it here.  Today is also Valentine’s Day, and what a nice Valentine’s Day gift for the Cardinals to give their fans than to have spring training start on Valentine’s Day.  I’m not sure there is a more appropriate day for spring training to begin for lovers of baseball than Valentine’s Day.

But the unbridled joy I would normally feel on pitchers and catchers report day is tempered by the loss I feel at the passing of my mother-in-law Patricia Schultz, who died yesterday (Feb. 13).  Pat was an incredible woman – she raised seven children (of which my husband is the oldest), five boys and two girls, and also took care of her husband and her mother as well (she was an only child, like me).  At one time, she had 4 boys under the age of 7.  That would be enough to drive most folks crazy, but she soldiered on.

Two of her sons, a grandchild, and her husband preceded her in death, and those losses brought special sorrows. She loved flowers so we would give her a hanging plant every year for Mother’s Day.   This year, we’ll be bringing them to her grave.  😦

But my most special memories with Mom was watching Cardinals baseball games with her. On Sunday afternoons, we would go to Mom’s house for Sunday dinner.  We would watch the Sunday afternoon Cards games on her 52″ TV and discuss the players, the managers, and the game.  Even during the offseason, we would discuss trades and how we thought the Cardinals would play next season.  She liked to have a glass of water or Pepsi at hand to drink, and I noticed once that she would put a napkin on the top of the glass to keep the flies away.  So that year for Christmas, we bought her a Cardinals Tervis tumbler with a lid, a handle and straws to keep her drinks cold and fly-free.  She really liked that Tervis tumbler.  Maybe it should go in her casket with her.

Baseball, in every aspect, is a family affair.  The love of baseball is passed down from generation to generation, and I wrote about that in more detail here. Players work out together, play together, room together.  They develop a camaraderie and become a family.  Baseball fans grow attached to players and their teams by watching and rooting for them.  That’s why it hurts so bad when players die in an untimely manner.  It’s like losing a member of your family.

It won’t be the same watching Sunday afternoon Cardinals games without Mom, but eventually, it will get better.  Mom’s in a better place now, where she doesn’t have any more pain and she is reunited with her loved ones.  Time will soften and ease the pain we feel and someday, we will be happy when we think of Mom and not sad.

So Cardinals – please win a World Series for Mom this year.  Thanks!

Thanks as always for reading. See you next time!

Diane

The good, the very good and the ugly

eastwoodThis has been a busy week for the Cardinals.  A good thing that happened this week is that Billy Joel will be performing at Busch Stadium on Thursday, September 21 at 8:00 PM.  Tickets will go on sale at cardinals.com/billyjoel on Friday, February 10 at 10 AM. This will be Billy’s first solo stadium appearance in St. Louis.  The announcement of Billy’s concert prompted a Twitter hashtag, #BillyJoelatBusch, with Cardinals bloggers and sportswriters taking titles and lyrics of Billy Joel songs and giving them a Cardinals twist.  My contributions were “Outfield of Dreams” and “Clark Avenue State of Mind.” I know, they’re lame, but I do work for a living and  I don’t have time to do much creative stuff. Do a search on Twitter for the #BillyJoelatBusch hashtag to see all the tweets, or look at my Twitter tweets in the column on the right and click on the #BillyJoelatBusch hashtag.  You will enjoy reading them.

The very good is that the Cardinals and Carlos Martinez have avoided arbitration.  Carlos signed a new five-year contract today for $51 million dollars with a buyout option for 2022 and 2023.  Here’s to another five years of great pitching, dugout antics and sartorial splendor from Carlos.  I’m also hoping that Carlos stays out of trouble, Mike Matheny doesn’t burn out Carlos’ pitching arm, and he doesn’t get injured.  Carlos is one of the most colorful (literally and figuratively) Cardinals players. I’m looking forward to a very good season for Carlos.

And now for the ugly.  On Monday, the Cardinals finally received their punishment for the Chris Correa Hackgate scandal.  The Cardinals are to pay the Astros $2 million dollars, give the Astros their top 2 draft picks in 2017, and lose the $1.8 million dollar slot bonus pools associated with the draft picks.  This is a slap on the wrist considering the punishment that could have occurred.  The Cardinals lost their first round draft pick when they signed Dexter Fowler, so the draft picks they are giving to Houston are the 56th and the 75th  slots.  Good luck to Randy Flores trying to get draft picks signed with the leftover $2.1 million dollars.

There was an even more bizarre twist on the Hackgate affair. On Tuesday morning, Chris Correa’s Twitter account posted a photo of a narrative from Chris discussing that he had asked MLB to look into the Astros possibly hacking into the Cardinals’ database.  What I found to be really creepy is that I do not follow Chris Correa on Twitter, but his tweet was on my Twitter feed.  It was later revealed that his family posted the tweet.  Did Correa tell them to find Cardinal bloggers and sportswriters and put the tweet on their timelines so it could be written about?  MLB replied to Correa’s tweet and said that Correa would not talk to MLB nor release any documents to them.  Hopefully, the Hackgate mess will be over soon.

Let’s move on to a happier topic – spring training starts in less than two weeks!  It will sure be good to see our boys on a lush green field in the warm Florida sun. Pitchers and catchers report on Valentine’s Day, appropriately enough for us baseball lovers.  I would love to go to spring training someday.  Where’s my winning Powerball ticket?  That’s the only way I’ll ever be able to afford to go to spring training.  😦

Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Winter Warm-Up 2017 Report

img_0155-2The first day of Winter Warm-Up was canceled due to Winter Storm Jupiter (how ironic, considering the Cardinals hold spring training there) throwing down freezing rain. The Cardinals refunded autograph tickets and then, on top of that, offered a voucher for all pass holders for two free tickets for a game in the 2017 season.  They didn’t have to do that, but I thought it was a really nice gesture. My friend Kim was unable to go with us to WWU this year (I missed you, Kim 😦 ), so it was just my son and me.

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On Sunday morning, we decided to stop at Starbucks in the hotel because we needed some caffeine.  I looked up and there was Jenifer Langosch, the beat writer for the Cardinals. We chatted briefly and then she had to leave.

There was a line snaking through the lobby, so we joined it. We got a program and realized that the coat check was on the 4th floor, so we decided to go up the elevators to get there. Once there, we discovered that no one was allowed into the main hall from the elevator section until 9:15. To make matters worse, there were several fans in wheelchairs and with walkers for which this entrance was the only way they were going to get to the main hall since they could not use the escalators. Even with autograph tickets, they were not allowed in. I don’t know whose bright idea this was, but it had to be against ADA regulations.  I’m unsure if this was taken care of on Monday since we got there later. Hopefully, this will be fixed next year.

Phil and I rode the elevator back downstairs and by this time, the line was not as long. In fact, it didn’t appear that there were as many people at WWU than there was last year.  I wonder if the cancellation of Saturday’s events turned some people off enough that they decided not to come at all.  We stopped at the second floor and visited the vendor booths.  Rawlings had a booth and there was a real Gold Glove trophy on display.

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We then went upstairs and dropped off our coats. It was time to go to our first presentation of the day, a history of promo items and a 2017 preview of promo items with Megan Eberhart, the manager of Promotions and Events.  Megan asked about some of our favorite promo items.  She then talked about the process about how they come up with the promo items and when they start planning for the next season, which is before Labor Day.  She showed us some of the promo items that will be given away this year, which includes a 1980’s batting practice jersey, a Bruce Sutter garden gnome, and instead of a bat giveaway for the kids, they will get a Rawlings glove instead. Here are photos of some of the 2017 promo items:

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The new slogan for this year is “There’s Only One Cardinals Baseball.” Megan took questions from the attendees and then it was time to go.

Phil and I visited the Cardinals Care store.  They were offering a 2014 Cardinals Care Broadcast Auction Wacha Fan Pack for $20.00, which included a Michael Wacha bobblehead, a replica 2013 National League Championship replica ring, and a voucher for two tickets for the 2017 season.  That was a bargain I couldn’t pass up. I also bought a  Cardinals Care bag to carry it in, since it was in a heavy cardboard box.  We then visited the Cardinals Team Store.  They had lots of merchandise half price or less.  There were lots of items from the Winter Classics and closeout Matt Holliday items.  There was also some Star Wars Cardinals items.

It was time for lunch, so Phil and I left the Hyatt and walked down to Hardee’s for lunch. After lunch, we walked back to the Hyatt.  We went to the Main Stage seating area and were lucky enough to snatch two front row seats.

I left Phil at our seats and took a couple photos of Kolten Wong. They didn’t turn out well enough to post, however. I just got an iPhone and I’m still trying to learn how to take photos with it.  I will bring my digital camera again next year.

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John Rooney had Kolten come up on stage and they had a nice discussion.  Kolten admitted that the team sucked at home last year and they were hoping to do better this year.  John and  Kolten talked about how Kolten had spent the winter in St. Louis.  Rooney asked Kolten how many coats he had and Kolten said six, but he was still cold. I guess it’s hard to get used to a cold climate like St. Louis when you grow up in a tropical paradise like Hawaii.

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After Rooney and Kolten were done, it was time for the presentation I had been waiting for all day, the 1967 team retrospective with Rooney, Mike Shannon, Orlando Cepeda, Dick Hughes and Larry Jaster.  There were some wonderful stories told about the season, Bob Gibson, and the postseason.  Shannon was the best storyteller on the stage.  Rooney’s job was to MC the presentation to keep it rolling. I only wish I would have had the funds to attend the Baseball Writers’ Association dinner that evening to hear more of those stories.

There were 2 booths, sponsored by Ballpark Village and Fox Sports Midwest where you could get your photo taken in front of a green screen and your photo was merged via computer with a background.  Here are my photos:

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I wish I could be an announcer on Fox Sports Midwest.  There are a lot of female Cardinals fans and I’m sure they would enjoy hearing analysis from a female.

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At 2:00 PM, we attended a presentation by Brian Finch, the head of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, entitled “Ballplayers as Musicians – The Cardinals’ Mudcats Band of 1934.”  This presentation was very informative.  I knew about Pepper Martin and the Gashouse Gang, of course, but I never knew about the Mudcats.  I learned more about Pepper Martin than I probably ever wanted to know, including the fact that he went commando under his uniforms and that he wore the same 5 suits in rotation on road trips.  I am sure if the Mudcats were around today that they would be social media stars.  Brian also mentioned (and there is a display of this in the new Women in Baseball exhibit in the Hall of Fame and Museum) that the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is about a woman who wanted to go to the ballgame on a date rather than the movies.

I was really looking forward to Brian’s presentation on Stan Musial that was supposed to occur on Saturday.  Hopefully, he will save it for next year’s WWU.  Brian’s presentations are very informative and entertaining.  They are worth the price of a WWU pass alone.  Brian even sent me an email with the sources he used for his presentation, and I am passing them on to you in case you would like to read about Pepper Martin and the Mudcats:  Pepper Martin:  A Baseball Biography by Thomas Barthel and Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” by Andy Strasberg.  Click on the titles to order them from Amazon.  I am going to see if I can find them at my local library.

After the presentation, we went back to the main stage area to see Aledmys Diaz and Stephen Piscotty.   I snapped a couple of photos:

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Adam Wainwright was also signing during this time and he was very personable as always.  For those of you who love Randal Grichuk, here is a photo of him:

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We stopped by the Cardinals Magazine table and I purchased a very nice commemorative magazine about Busch Stadium II which was published in 2005, Busch Stadium II’s last year of existence.

Phil and I were getting tired, so we decided it was time to go home.

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Tom Lawless was the only free autograph I wanted to get in the morning on the 16th, and he was signing until 11:00 AM, so we decided to head to WWU a little later in the morning. The will call in the 100 N. Broadway building was empty, as we discovered when we went there first.  We then went to the hotel lobby to get an autograph ticket.  We stopped by the vendor with all the individual baseball cards and I found one of Tom for him to sign.  I wanted to find cards for Randy Flores and Kerry Robinson, but he didn’t have one for either player.

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Mike Leake was also signing. Mike, didn’t your mama ever teach you you’re not supposed to wear your hat inside?  LOL!

We then went to the main stage area and I got Tom’s autograph.  We then went to the Cardinals Care store and the Cardinals Team Store to see if they had any new merchandise or had marked down any items. I purchased a pennant for $3.00 to use for my afternoon free autographs. The CC store had marked down some of their items but they were still not in my price range.

At 11:00 PM, we went to a presentation given by team photographer Taka Yanagimoto titled “2016 – A Year in Photos.”  Mr. Yanagimoto presented a slide show of many excellent photos, both formally posed shots and candid shots.  He showed photos of Seung Hwan Oh when he signed with the team and when he stepped out of the dugout and onto the field for the first time. Everyone was amused by the photo of Jedd Gyorko and Brandon Moss sitting in lawn chairs on the field drinking beer next to a barbecue grill.  Mr. Yanagimoto showed us one of his favorite photos, which was taken on the roof of Busch Stadium.  He told us about how he gets up on the roof of Busch Stadium.  I’m not afraid of heights, but that’s too far up (and there are no handrails) for me.  Mr. Yanagimoto stated that the Cardinals are only one of three teams in MLB to have their own photography team.  It was an entertaining and informative presentation.

Both Phil and I were getting hungry, so we went to lunch at St. Louis Bread Company. I was pleased to discover that our order would be delivered to our table. The Bread Co. locations in Illinois don’t offer that service yet.

We went back to the hotel at 1 PM and got autograph tickets for Kerry Robinson and Randy Flores.  The sign with the ticket pick up information indicated that Yadi’s flight was delayed and he would not be at WWU to sign autographs until 3 PM.

My line ticket for Randy Flores was number 269 and they were only taking line tickets 1-50.  So we went to the food area to kill some time and we ran into Sally Rains of STL Sports Page. We had a nice conversation about some of the other Cardinals bloggers (don’t worry, I didn’t say anything bad at all about you).

Here are Randy and Kerry:

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I really wanted to stay to see Yadi, but I had to get home to put some leftover lasagna in the oven for dinner.  Maybe next year I’ll get to see Yadi.

It was great seeing all the guys.  It made me realize how much I missed baseball.  Pitchers and catchers report on Valentine’s Day. What an appropriate day!

I’m sorry it took me so long to post this.  I had to figure out how to get my phone photos downloaded where I could do something with them, and then I had to write everything up.   Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Baseball on the horizon!

baseball-sunThe period between the end of the playoffs and spring training always seems very long to me, even though there are major holidays during that time period – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday.  (Yes, my birthday is a major holiday – well, it is to me, anyway. I’m happy I’ve made it to another birthday.)

Now that we’ve turned the page to a new year, however, we can see baseball coming on the horizon.  January has been a busy month.  January’s first event of the month was when Winter Warm-Up autograph tickets went on sale.  The next big event takes place on Saturday, January 7, when individual tickets to spring training games go on sale.  Those tickets can be purchased at www.cardinals.com/springtraining.  If you’re looking for a complete spring training package (tickets/hotel/etc.), you can go to www.cardinals.com/vacations.   Spring training is on my Cardinals bucket list and I hope to go to a spring training game someday. I have auditioned for  the KMOX Spring Correspondent contest the last two years, but have yet to be selected.  Maybe this year?  I will be auditioning on Monday night, so keep your fingers crossed and send some prayers my way!

For those of you in far-flung locations of Cardinals Nation, the Cardinals Caravan is hitting the road again from January 13-16, 2017.  A combination of current players, future stars and former Redbirds will travel on each caravan emceed by a current team broadcaster.  Current players scheduled to attend include Stephen Piscotty, Aledmys Diaz, Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong.  Top prospects Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly and Harrison Bader are slated to appear along with Cardinals alumni Kyle McClellan, Jason Simontacchi, Kerry Robinson and Brad Thompson.  Broadcasters Dan McLaughlin, John Rooney, Ricky Horton, Mike Claiborne, Tom Ackerman and Chris Hrabe will serve as emcees.  Fredbird will also make an appearance at several caravan stops. For more details about the Cardinals Caravan schedule, you can go to www.cardinals.com/caravan.

The big event for this month, however, is Winter Warm-Up, which takes place from January 14-17, 2017. That’s next weekend already! I’ll be attending, so if you see me, stop me and say hello! I love to meet my readers.

As mentioned in the second paragraph, autograph tickets are already on sale and some tickets have already sold out.  Last year, I made a chart of who was signing when in order to determine whether I wanted to get free autographs or go to breakout sessions.  I thought I’d share this year’s chart here for your reference. I have added the price for each ticket next to each name and the names are in descending order by the price of the ticket.  Feel free to copy and paste the chart into a Word or Notepad document for your use. The tickets for the names in bold print and with no price next to them are already sold out as of this writing (1/5/17).  For updates on autograph tickets, go here:

WINTER WARM-UP AUTOGRAPH SCHEDULE

TIME Saturday, January 14 Sunday, January 15 Monday, January 16
9:00 AM Ray King $5.00

Miguel Socolovich $5.00

Greg Garcia $10.00

Stubby Clapp $0.00

Danny Cox $0.00

Adam Wainwright $75.00

Mike Leake $30.00

Tom Lawless $0.00

John Mabry $0.00

10:00 AM Brian Jordan

Trevor Rosenthal $25.00

David Bell $5.00

Al Hrabosky $0.00

Scott Terry $0.00

Harrison Bader

Paul DeJong

Austin Gomber

Greg Garcia $10.00

Marco Gonzales $15.00

Stubby Clapp $0.00

Adam Wainwright $75.00

Michael Wacha $50.00

Mike Leake $30.00

Mike Matheny $25.00

Luke Voit $5.00

Tom Lawless $0.00

11:00 AM Dexter Fowler

Brett Cecil $35.00

Trevor Rosenthal $25.00

Matt Bowman $15.00

John Gant $10.00

Tito Landrum $0.00

Carson Kelly

Kolten Wong $50.00

Marco Gonzales $15.00

Tommy Pham $10.00

Mitch Harris $5.00

Mike Mayers $5.00

Whitey Herzog $75.00

Michael Wacha $50.00

Mike Matheny $25.00

Alan Benes $0.00

Bill DeWitt III $0.00

Bill DeWitt, Jr. $0.00

12:00 PM Dexter Fowler

Brett Cecil $35.00

Matt Bowman $15.00

John Gant $10.00

Tito Landrum $0.00

Mike Shannon

Carson Kelly

Kolten Wong $50.00

Tommy Pham $10.00

Carlos Martinez $75.00

Rick Horton $0.00

Jhonny Peralta $35.00

Lance Lynn $20.00

Alan Benes $0.00

Kerry Robinson $0.00

Jason Simontacchi $0.00

1:00 PM Tony LaRussa $75.00

Alex Reyes $60.00

Zach Duke $20.00

Ryan Sherriff $5.00

Cliff Politte $0.00

Brad Thompson $0.00

Luke Weaver

Carlos Martinez $75.00

Randal Grichuk $35.00

Rick Horton $0.00

Yadier Molina $150.00

Matt Carpenter $75.00

Jhonny Peralta $35.00

Lance Lynn $20.00

Randy Flores $0.00

Kerry Robinson $0.00

2:00 PM Tony LaRussa $75.00

Alex Reyes $60.00

Matt Adams $25.00

Zach Duke $20.00

Cliff Politte $0.00

Brad Thompson $0.00

Aledmys Diaz

Luke Weaver

Orlando Cepeda $75.00

Stephen Piscotty $75.00

Randal Grichuk $35.00

Larry Jaster $0.00

Yadier Molina $150.00

Matt Carpenter $75.00

Randy Flores $0.00

3:00 PM Matt Adams $25.00

Tyler Lyons $5.00

Rowan Wick $5.00

Patrick Wisdom $5.00

Scott Cooper $0.00

John Costello $0.00

Aledmys Diaz

Stephen Piscotty $75.00

Sam Tuivailala $5.00

Kyle McClellan $0.00

 
4:00 PM Jack Clark $5.00

Tyler Lyons $5.00

Rowan Wick $5.00

Patrick Wisdom $5.00

Scott Cooper $0.00

John Costello $0.00

Bill Mueller $5.00

Sam Tuivailala $5.00

Kyle McClellan $0.00

 

In a change from last year, autograph tickets for the free autographs will be distributed in the lobby of the 100 North Broadway building (formerly a Bank of America office location) one hour before each player’s signing time.  This building is one block west of the Hyatt Regency. This is a much better setup than last year, when free autograph tickets were distributed in the Chestnut Street lobby of the Hyatt.  The Chestnut Street lobby is next to the valet parking/parking garage, and WWU attendees would have to worm their way through the autograph ticket lines to get to the escalators and the elevators to go upstairs to the main event.

For more helpful hints about how to optimize your Winter Warm-Up experience, you can refer back to my blog post here.

I will report from Winter Warm-Up next weekend, so see you then! Thanks for reading!

Diane

Ladies’ Night (and birthday night) at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum – A report

img_0012I spent last Friday evening  dining at Cardinals Nation and perusing the new “Women in Baseball” exhibit at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  It was a great way to spend my birthday.  How am I and/or the Cardinals going to top this next year?

Since I work in downtown St. Louis, I decided to stay downtown rather than go home and come back later.  I goofed around on my cell phone for a while after I clocked out, then I went to change my clothes and freshen up.  I had a reservation at Cardinals Nation for 5:30; however, my stomach started rumbling around 5:15, so I thought I’d head over to the restaurant and see if I could get seated early.  One of my friends was supposed to come and hang out with me; however, she begged off, stating she was in a sad mood and didn’t want to drag me down with her. What a shame – I think she would have had a great time.  But I can enjoy my own company (as long as I have my cell phone), and it was kind of nice being able to hear my own thoughts for a change.

When I arrived at Cardinals Nation, I asked the ladies at the front desk if they had any idea whether any of the activities were going to be held downstairs at the restaurant or whether all the activities were going to be upstairs at the museum.  They had no clue, unfortunately, so they guided me to a table.  I made a reservation because I thought that there would be a lot of people wanting to see the museum.  However, there were maybe 10 people there.

When I made my reservation, Cardinals Nation sent me an email with an offer for a free appetizer, since it was the first time I had made a reservation there.  Free food! How cool was that!  Haley was my waitress.  I pulled up the free appetizer email on my cell phone and once we got the code straightened out, she ordered my appetizer. Some of the waitresses came over to chat with me – I guess Haley told them I was a Cardinals blogger. I passed out my card with my blog post address and Twitter name.  I didn’t want to eat too much since I had a lot of birthday goodies at work that day, so  I ended up ordering a bowl of cheddar broccoli soup and a half salad. The pretzel bites appetizer and the soup and salad were enough.

There was a card on each table announcing the food and drink specials specially themed for the Women in Baseball exhibit.
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At 6 PM, I decided to go upstairs since the festivities were starting.  I asked Haley if I could leave my jacket and my tote bag downstairs. I really didn’t want to drag them around upstairs.  Haley assured me that she would keep an eye on my stuff.  I dashed out the side door so I could take the elevator upstairs. An older couple came through the doors with a confused look on their faces. I asked them if they were here for the Women in Baseball exhibit and they said yes.  “Well, follow me!” I said, and they rode upstairs in the elevator with me.

Here are the windows for the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees that are located outside the museum.

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I asked the older couple who rode up the elevator with me whether they’d ever been to the museum before.  They said no.  I told them that they were really going to enjoy it.  They stood at the wall with all of the quotes on it, and I left them behind and moved on since I’d read all the quotes before.

Since I have been to the museum before (see my blog post on that here), I headed to one of my favorite exhibits, the Stan Musial exhibit.   I looked at some of the artifacts and opened the drawers to see some other items.  One of the other exhibits that caught my eye was this old scorecard, in the photo below.  It appears that there are 4 boxes per at bat for each batter.  One box for each pitch, perhaps? If any of my readers can explain how this scorecard works, please comment below.

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When I saw the banner pictured above, I knew I had finally found the Women in Baseball exhibit. And the first person I saw was Jenifer Langosch, the beat writer for the Cardinals.  I went up and introduced myself using my Twitter name (@Diane1611).  We had a lovely conversation about blogging and the UCB.  I did want to give other folks the opportunity to talk with her, so I decided it was time to look at the exhibit.

The first exhibit I viewed was about Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the woman owner of the Cardinals from 1911-1918.  I have written a blog post about her before, and you can read it here if you’re interested. Here’s a photo of the exhibit:

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The next exhibit featured the lady who designed the birds for the Cardinals logo.  Here is a photo of that exhibit:

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The next exhibit featured the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, the subject of the movie “A League of Their Own.”  The photos of the players you see below are from ladies who played on those teams who live in the St. Louis metro area. Some of these players signed autographs at FanFest for the 2009 All-Star Game.  I overhead the curator tell someone that Barbara Hoffman, one of the players, has a booth at the St. Clair County Flea Market every month.  I think I’m going have to go the flea market next month and search for her.  Here’s a photo of the AAGPBL exhibit:

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There was a secondary exhibit on the AAGBPL, which was a map that showed where all the teams were located.  This exhibit also showed how the baseballs that the teams used shrunk in size over the years.  Here’s a photo:

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The next exhibit is based on the ballpark favorite, “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” We normally just sing the refrain during the 7th inning stretch, but the verses are about a lady named Katie Casey who wants her date to take her to the ballgame.  Here’s a photo of this exhibit:

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The next exhibit reviews what was once known as Ladies’ Day at the ballpark.  The Cardinals were one of the first teams to institute Ladies’ Day.  This exhibit also shows a couple of the promotional items for the ladies.  Here’s a photo:

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The next three exhibits explain other promotions for ladies by the Cardinals over the years and how women hand sewed the Cardinals’ uniforms:

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After I was done looking at the Women in Baseball exhibit, I decided to explore the rest of the museum.  I love my hubby and son, but when we go somewhere, they’re always in a hurry to look at things and then leave.  I sat down in the Busch Stadium II section and watched a film clip of Ozzie Smith hitting his HR against the Dodgers in the 1985 playoffs.  I told the ladies sitting in front of me about my memory of that HR.  I was driving up Hwy. 55, going home from my job at Shattinger Music Company on South Broadway.  I was taking the exit to the Poplar Street Bridge eastbound off of 55.  It was a warm day, so I had the car window open. Ozzie hit the HR just as I was getting on the bridge, so I heard it on the radio and heard the loud crowd noise. It was magic.

As I wandered around the museum and looked at all the memorabilia, I realized how much I missed baseball.  I wondered to myself if they would let me live at the museum.  There’s a bench that I could sleep on and plenty of places to get a meal.  I work just a few blocks away.  But then I realized they probably wouldn’t let me live there, so I decided it was time to go downstairs and get a beer since it was my birthday after all.

I sat at my table and Haley came over to see if I  needed anything.  Since one of the drink specials was $1.00 off of a bottle of craft beer, I decided to get a bottle of Blue Moon and not the local product for a change.  I looked up to see two older ladies sitting in a booth next to my table.  The one lady asked me if I’d like to come and join them.  Of course! When you’re a Cardinals fan, another Cardinals fan is always a fast friend.  We spoke about the museum exhibit.  I asked if they had ever been to any of the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and they said they had not.  One of the ladies offered me half of her hamburger and the other shared some of her fries with me.  I couldn’t say no. If you’re reading this, ladies, I’m sorry that I have forgotten your names, or I would have put them in this post.

There was a DJ playing tunes in the restaurant.  Jenifer came down and talked with the DJ about the new exhibit and the DJ dropped the fact that Jenifer is the only female beat writer in MLB.  How amazing!  The female curator of the museum came down and also talked with the DJ about the museum.  There were giveaways of bobbleheads and the new book about the evolution of the Cardinals logos and uniforms.  I took the forms up to drop in the box at the DJ booth and mentioned to the DJ that it was my birthday.  “Then you deserve a present!” he said and gave me a Cardinals Nation aluminum water bottle.  My tablemates won bobbleheads, but I didn’t win anything.  I guess the water bottle was my reward.  I would have really liked a copy of that new book.  I mentioned to Haley that it was my birthday and she said, “Oh! You get a free birthday brownie!”  More free food!   The brownie arrived with a side of ice cream.  I ate the ice cream but took the brownie home to eat later.

I left about 8 PM to walk down to the Metrolink station to go home.  I had a wonderful evening.  If you haven’t been to the Cardinals Museum, I highly recommend that you visit.  It truly is a magical place for all of us who love Cardinals baseball.

That’s all for now! Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

 

 

Exciting new exhibit “Women in Baseball” at Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is debuting a new exhibit this Friday night. It’s called “Women in Baseball: How They Made History,” and we lady Cardinals fans are sure to enjoy it. The photo of the left is of Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the first woman team owner.  If you missed my blog post about Helene, you can read it here.  There will be a special event this Friday night at the Cardinals Nation restaurant to kick off the new exhibit called (of course) “Ladies’ Night” from 6 PM to 9 PM. How did the Cardinals know that Friday is my birthday? How lovely of them to not only open a new exhibit about women in baseball but throw a party on my birthday as well. 🙂 I will be at Cardinals Nation Friday evening at Ladies’ Night, of course, and I hope some of my readers will be there too. I’d love to meet you, so if you see me, stop by and say hello. Here are more details about the new exhibit and Ladies’ Night:

CARDINALS MUSEUM TO DEBUT SPECIAL EXHIBIT CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BASEBALL
“Women in Baseball: How They Made History” Opens on November 18 and Runs through the 2017 Season
Cardinals Nation Restaurant to Host Ladies Night Event with Free After-Hours Admission & Special Guests

ST. LOUIS, Mo., November 15, 2016 – The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will open its new special exhibit entitled “Women in Baseball: How They Made History” on Friday, November 18. The exhibit, which replaces last year’s special exhibition “Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball”, examines women’s involvement and contributions to St. Louis baseball and the game at large.

“The artifacts we have gathered for this special exhibit are some of the most unique and oldest items from our own collection, but also include important artifacts and images on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Missouri Historical Society and various individuals,” said Paula Homan, Cardinals Museum Curator. “It really enables us to tell the stories of the barrier-breaking women who have influenced this organization, and all of baseball, in a fitting way.”

“Women in Baseball” features over 100 artifacts which tell stories about Major League Baseball’s first female owner, the origins of the iconic birds on the bat logo, local women from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and more. Exhibit highlights include a “Ladies’ Gala Day” giveaway from 1885, the oldest stadium giveaway in the Cardinals Museum collection; Allie May Schmidt’s original hand-painted cardinal birds, which were the inspiration behind the club’s logo; the ladies’ day entrance sign from 1950 used to welcome patrons of Ladies’ Day through a dedicated gate at Sportsman’s Park; and a hands-on interactive that shows the changing circumference of the baseballs used by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players from 1943-1954.

Additionally, Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar will host “Ladies Night at Cardinals Nation” to celebrate the opening of the new exhibit from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 18. Open to all fans, the event will feature free after-hours museum admission, food and drink specials, a live DJ and appearances by Homan and MLB.com Cardinals beat writer, Jenifer Langosch.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the offseason. The special exhibit is open to the public through the conclusion of the 2017 baseball season and is included with admission to the museum. To purchase Cardinals Museum tickets or learn more about museum membership, visit cardinals.com/museum.

As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

The 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards – my votes

voteI’ve had a while to get over the fact that the Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs, and that those pesky Cubs won the World Series instead of Cleveland.  However, I walk across the street from Busch Stadium on my way to the Metrolink station every day, and seeing all the flags at the stadium put away for the winter makes me sad.  But life goes on, and on this Election Eve, it’s now time for the 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards.  You are invited to vote for the 2016 Blogger Awards until November 18, 2016 (that’s my birthday, BTW), and here’s the link for you to cast your ballot:  2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot. My selections in each of these categories are listed below, but don’t let that affect your vote. 🙂

1) Player of the Year
–Matt Carpenter
X Aledmys Diaz
–Yadier Molina
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: _______________

Jhonny Peralta got hurt (what’s new?).  Aledmys took over and took off like a rocket. If Aledmys hadn’t gotten hit by an Andrew Cashner pitch, he may have been one of the candidates for the NL Rookie of the Year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Aledmys can do in seasons to come.

2) Pitcher of the Year
X Carlos Martinez
–Seung-hwan Oh
–Alex Reyes
–Write-in: _______________

As Adam Wainwright faltered early in the season and had a rough stretch in August, Carlos took over the position of ace on the staff.  He had a 16-9 record, the best record of the staff.  His pitches and the speed of his pitches were wicked.  I can’t wait to see how he pitches next season.

3) Game of the Year
April 8 at Braves (three PH HR)
April 14 at Brewers (Garcia 1 hit, 13 K)
 X  July 16 vs. Marlins (Adam Wainwright shutout)
July 22 vs. Dodgers (Matt Adams home run in 16th)
July 27 at Mets (snapping Famila’s save streak)
August 5 vs. Braves (Jaime Garcia 8 scoreless, 11 K)
August 8 vs. Reds (5 run 9th)
August 14 at Cubs (Piscotty tiebreaking homer)
September 9 at Pittsburgh (three HR in 9th)
October 1 vs. Pittsburgh (rally plus Gyorko winning homer)
–Write-in: ____________

The July 16 game was a magical game in a season that was less than magical. Adam Wainwright pitched one of the games of his career in front of his teammates from the 2006 World Series who had come to town to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cards’ World Series win.  Waino showed he could still pitch like a master.

4) Surprise Player of the Year
–Matt Bowman
_ Aledmys Diaz
X  Jedd Gyorko
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: ______________

I’m sure we all thought “Jedd who?” when we heard that Mo had traded Jon Jay to the Padres.  Jedd showed his grit and his moxie as he hit home runs when it counted.  The Cards got the best end of that deal, especially when Jay got injured and was out most of the season.

5) Disappointing Player of the Year
–Trevor Rosenthal
–Adam Wainwright
_ Michael Wacha
–Kolten Wong
 X Write-in: Mike Leake

I was going to select Kolten Wong, but he didn’t play enough to give a good sample size.  Mike Leake got my only write in vote instead.  There was a great deal of hoopla when he was signed, and it was hoped he would help with the team since Lance Lynn was out after Tommy John surgery, but he only had a 9-12 record and a 4.69 ERA.  Hopefully, Leake will pitch better next year.

6) Rookie of the Year
–Aledmys Diaz
–Seung-hwan Oh
X Alex Reyes
–Luke Weaver
–Write-in: ______________

Brought up mid-season, Reyes quickly impressed and ended up with a 1.54 ERA, which was the best ERA on the pitching staff.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Reyes will pitch during a full season.

7) Acquisition of the Year
–Zach Duke
–Jedd Gyorko
–Mike Leake
X Seung-hwan Oh
–Write-in: ______________

Oh was the best player that Mo picked up last winter.  Oh was originally signed for eighth inning relief, but he flourished in the closer role when Trevor Rosenthal got hurt.  “Stone Buddha” is one of Oh’s nicknames and if you watch him pitch, you see why.  There is no emotion on Oh’s face when he pitches.

8) Most Anticipated Cardinal
–Harrison Bader
–Austin Gomber
–Delvin Perez
–Rowan Wick
–Write-in: _______________

I don’t follow the minors all that much, so I don’t feel qualified to answer this question.

9) Best Individual Cardinal Blog
–Write-in: _____________

I love all the UCB blogs equally, so I don’t want to play favorites.  I respectfully decline to vote in this category.

10) Best Team Cardinal Blog
X Write-in: Cards Conclave

CC was founded by UCB head honcho Daniel Shoptaw, and he and several other writers share their thoughts about the Cardinals there.  Many different voices in one location – you can’t beat it.

11) Best Media Coverage
X Derrick Goold

–Benjamin Hochman
–Jenifer Langosch
–Bernie Miklasz
–Jose de Jesus Ortiz
X Rob Rains
–Write-in: ______________

A tie here, but I selected them for different reasons.  Derrick is great on Twitter and very responsive to followers who tweet at him.  His columns are informative and well written. Rob does a great job covering the Cardinals on his (and wife Sally’s) website STLSportsPage.com.  Rob has great analysis.

12) Post of the Year
–”Cardinals Find Perfect Timing as Playoff Hopes Crash”–Bill, I70 Baseball
XThe Kolten Wong Situation”–Daniel, C70 At The Bat
–”Lou Brock, the Lucrative Acquisition Fleet Footed All-Star Societal Difference Maker”–Josey, The Redbird Retreat
–”Not Our Year”–Diane, Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball
X Worrying What the Flash Means: How We Talk About Race in Baseball”–Chase, Double Birds
–Write-in: _______________

I will take Proverbs 27:2 to heart (Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth, A stranger, and not your own lips.), and not vote for my own post.  I found myself liking two of the other posts equally well.  Daniel’s post took Rob Rains’ interview with Kolten Wong and expanded upon it.  Chase’s post covers the race problems in today’s game and is very well written.

13) Best UCB Podcast
X Bird Seeds (video)

–Conversations With C70
–The Double Birds Podcast
–Gateway To Baseball Heaven
–Meet Me At Musial
–STL CardGals
–Talking About Birds
–UCB Radio Hour
–Write-in: _________________

Okay, I admit, I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I have watched Bird Seeds and it’s very enjoyable.  Video podcasts are the future of podcasts and Tara does a very good job with Bird Seeds.

14) Best Non-UCB Podcast
–Best Podcast in Baseball
–Cards on Cards
–Cubs Cards Cast
–St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com)
–Two Birds on a Bat
–Viva El Birdos
–Write-in: _________________

As mentioned above, I don’t have much time to listen to podcasts, so I have no vote for this category.  Sorry about that.

15) Best Podcaster
–Write-in: _________________

Another category in which I don’t feel qualified to vote.

16) Best UCB Twitterer
X Write-in: @CardinalsTales

Bob Netherton (a/k/a Big Green Bob) is my favorite UCB Twitter guy.  He doesn’t write many blog posts, but that’s okay because short-form writing is his best game.  He tells it like it is and doesn’t mince words or characters when it comes to the Cards.  If he’s in the mood, he will post what he calls Twitter Tales, where he takes a classic Cards game and posts it on Twitter, 140 characters/letters at a time.  When he’s not expounding on the Cards, he posts Twitter posts with photos of yummy food cooked on his Big Green Egg barbecue grill.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Election Day, so go out there and do your civic duty.  And don’t forget to vote for the 2016 UCB Blogger Awards!  Here’s the link again for that, so you don’t have to scroll back up to the top – 2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot.  Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane