Looking back and looking forward

Yesterday was the last game of the regular season.  It couldn’t have been a more perfect game yesterday.  The weather was beautiful and it was the anniversary of Stan Musial’s final game with the Cardinals (on the same date too – what a coincidence),

162 games seem like a long season, until you realize that it’s over.  So here’s a few thoughts.  Jake Westbrook got to pitch yesterday, on his birthday, in what probably was his last appearance as a St. Louis Cardinal.  It was nice for the Cards to have him pitch one last time on Fan Appreciation Day, so that the fans could give him one last round of applause.  He will probably not be on the postseason roster.  Thanks for the memories, Jake, and all that you did for the Cardinals.

The fans gave Carlos Beltran a standing ovation as he left the field yesterday.  Will Carlos be a Cardinal next year?  Carlos may be 36 years old, but he plays like he’s 26.  Or will the Cards bring up wunderkind Oscar Tavares?  I’m not sure that Oscar is ready yet for the big show.  I hope the Cards will give Carlos the chance to play for one more year and get Oscar up to speed.

Will David Freese be in a Cardinals uniform next year?  He is eligible for arbitration after this season.  His play hasn’t been consistent this season, although his bat appears to be warming up, just in time for the playoffs.  Kolten Wong was brought up from Memphis to play second base, but he still has a lot to learn.

I have really enjoyed Dan McLaughlin’s announcing of the Cardinals games on Fox Sports Midwest this season.  He does great interviews, he is full of interesting information, and he’s very social media savvy.  I will miss hearing him on TV. We will now have to put up with the insipid announcers on TBS for the NLDS on Thursday.

If the Cardinals aren’t headed to the playoffs, the last game of the year makes me very melancholy.  But I haven’t had to worry about that the last 3 years.  Let’s look ahead to the playoffs.  The NLDS game times and TV stations were announced a few minutes ago.  Thursday’s game starts at 4:07 PM CST and will be broadcast on TBS, as mentioned before.  Since I get off of work at 4 PM, I will listen to the game on ESPN radio on my MP3 player on the Metrolink train.  When I get home, I will mute the audio and listen to Mike and John on KMOX.

Friday’s game will start at 12:07 PM CST and will be broadcast on MLB Network.  Since I work in downtown St. Louis just two blocks from Busch Stadium, I will walk down there for my lunch half-hour and soak up the atmosphere.  I’ll be able to stand on Clark Street and look into the stadium from there.  So close and yet so far!  I’m hoping the powers that be will let us wear our Cardinals gear to work on Friday.

I don’t envy Mike Matheny’s job trying to pick who is going to be on the playoff roster and who will start.  That’s why they pay him the big bucks and not me.  I will say, however, that I think Edward Mujica should be left off of the roster.  He is out of gas.

So those are my random thoughts for today.  I will try to tweet live during the game on Thursday afternoon, so please follow me on Twitter at @Diane1611.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!


High sock Sunday

On Sundays, Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay goes old school  and wears the old uniform socks.  He will tweet “#HighSockSunday” to announce it.  Several of the other Cardinals players will wear the high socks on Sunday as well.  But what Jon calls high socks are actually called baseball stirrups.  I wondered about when and how stirrups came into use, so I did a little research.

Back in the late 1800’s, players started wearing knickers, which are pants that end right below the knee.  Baseball teams wore solid color socks, called stockings.  The Boston Americans changed their name to the Red Sox due to the red stockings they wore.  The Cincinnati Reds were once called the Red Stockings.  In 1895, the Orioles were the first team to wear striped stockings.

Stirrups began  to be worn by players in the early 20th century.  The dyes used for the colored socks were not colorfast, and there were fears that if players got spiked that the colored dye would get into the bloodstream.  So players would wear a white sock under the colored socks, which supposedly would block any leaking dye.  These white socks became known as sanitary socks.  But it was soon discovered that the material of both pairs of socks together were too thick and caused the player’s shoes to fit improperly.  So some smart person (I couldn’t find out who) came up with the idea of the stirrup sock.

During the 1910’s and 1920’s, players began pulling the stirrup sock  higher so more of the sanitary sock showed.  By the 1940’s, the stirrup look was incorporated into the stocking itself.  Eventually, however, players’ pants got longer and longer until they came down to their ankles (and past). Stirrups eventually fell out of favor, although Jay and other players are bringing the old school look back.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the long pants, especially the way they puddle around the ankle.  The puddling makes the pants look sloppy, like lounge pants. Do these pants only come in one length?  Men’s dress pants and jeans come in different inseam lengths.  Surely they can make uniform pants the same way.  I think the stirrups add a professional touch to the baseball uniform.

Our new kitty even has high socks, and of course, his name is Sox.  Here’s a photo:


Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  I think my muse went on vacation.  I hope to be back on schedule soon, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  See you next time!



“Dressed to the Nines:  The History of the Baseball Uniform, ” Baseball Hall of Fame, http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/stockings.htm

“Hosiery History,” The Village Voice, http://www.villagevoice.com/2001-06-05/news/hosiery-history/

“Baseball stirrups,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_stirrups