2014 Winter Warm-Up news

Every Martin Luther King holiday weekend, the Cardinals hold the annual Winter Warm-Up, allowing fans to shake the winter blues and think about spring by visiting with their favorite players, hearing from Cardinals front office people, checking out memorabilia for sale, along with other fun stuff.  A 3 day ticket to the Winter Warm-Up would make an excellent gift for your favorite Cardinals fan.  Here’s all the details on the 2014 Winter Warm-Up from the official press release:

2014 WINTER WARM-UP TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY

Proceeds from the 18th Annual Event Continue to Benefit Kids in the Community

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (November 25, 2013) – Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced today that tickets for the 18th annual Winter Warm-Up (#WWU) will be available starting Friday, November 29, 2014 at 9 a.m. CT. One of the most popular fan events in baseball, Winter Warm-Up takes place Saturday, January 18 through Monday, January 20, 2014 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day), at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The event times are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday.

Fans can purchase admission passes for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/winterwarmup, in the official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium and at Cardinals Clubhouse stores located around St. Louis.

The prices for admission passes, which are valid for all three days of the Warm-Up, will remain the same as the last few years – $40 for fans age 16 and over, $10 for children age 5 to 15. Kids under 5 are admitted free of charge. Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult pass which must be obtained in person at the Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium or at the event.

Past popular attractions will return for the 2014 event that provides Cardinal Nation with countless unique opportunities while raising money for Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable fund, in their mission to care for kids in the Cardinals community. Fans can meet their favorite players at autograph sessions, play interactive games, share memories with Hall-of-Famers, take photos with Fredbird, find collectable memorabilia, bid on one-of-a-kind items at live and silent auctions, experience live presentations, and ask tough questions of players, owners, scouts, broadcasters and officials at Q&A sessions.

“We hope fans join us as we mark the return of baseball and celebrate our National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “The Warm-Up is a fun way to interact with our great players and, most importantly, team up with them to help kids in our community.”

Many players’ autographs are free with the admission pass, while others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation. All autograph tickets will be sold online beginning Monday, January 6, 2014 through Wednesday, January 15, 2014.  Please check the Cardinals website (cardinals.com/winterwarmup) in mid-December for details, including player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts. Any remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the Winter Warm-Up. For complete event details, schedule and frequently asked questions, visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup.

Cardinals Care (#CardsCare) was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the Cardinals organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested $19 million in helping children, including providing $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 21 youth ball fields in neighborhoods in both Missouri and Illinois. In 2013, Cardinals Care celebrates the 10th anniversary of the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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Thanks for the memories, Chris Carpenter

At this afternoon’s press conference, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak formally announced what we had all expected for a while, but was still sad to hear – the retirement of Chris Carpenter.  When I read the announcement of the press conference on Twitter today, I had the sinking feeling that it would be about Chris.  Chris was the ace of the Cardinals pitching staff. But he had only pitched 3 games in the last 2 years because of  neck and shoulder injuries.  Clearly, the time had come for Chris to retire, but it was still a sad occasion.

Chris had a stellar 10 year career with the Cardinals.  In every year he was able to pitch, he won 11 games. He won the Cy Young in 2005 and finished third in the vote the following year.  He appeared in 3 All Star Games.  He helped the Cardinals win 2 World Series championships.  He also won the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year. His final record was 144-94, with a 3.92 ERA.  In 18 postseason starts, Chris was 10-4 with a 3.00 ERA.  It was those playoff games he pitched that I’ll remember the most.  Who will ever forget Game 5 of the 2011 NLCS, the great pitching duel between Carp and good friend Doc Halliday?  That was a game for the ages.  And pitching Game 7 of the 2011 World Series on short rest and actually winning was simply incredible.

Not only was Chris a great pitching talent, but he had a dynamic personality as well.  Chris was full of piss and vinegar, and his language was often salty too.  When he wasn’t pitching, he wasn’t sitting on the bench relaxing, but he would stand at the rail and watch the game, cheering on Cardinals players at bat and in the field.  Chris was a great competitor.  His playing style was more like that of a hockey player – tough and in your face.   During the last couple of seasons, Chris was mentoring Adam Wainwright and the rookie pitchers brought up from the minor leagues.  His tutoring and presence helped the rookie pitchers get acclimated to the major leagues.

During the press conference, Mo said the team would have discussions with Chris in early 2014 about a new role for him with the team.  I believe that Carp would make an excellent assistant pitching coach.  He was doing that in an informal capacity the last two seasons anyway.  Chris could teach his style of pitching and his passion for the game to a new generation of pitchers, and then we wouldn’t have to miss him so bad if we could still see him in the dugout or the bullpen, encouraging and teaching other players.

Okay, I have to stop typing about Chris now and go on to other news or I’m going to cry.  In other news, Mike Matheny’s contract was extended for 3 years, which was also announced at the press conference today.  He will be the Cardinals manager until 2017.  The contract extension was a nice vote of confidence by Cardinals management in Matheny’s abilities as a manager.

One more thing before I close – Friday is the last day you can vote on the 2014 Cardinals Blogger Awards.  Here is the link to my last blog post, which has the ballot embedded in the post – http://womenwholovecardinalsbaseball.mlblogs.com/2013/11/08/its-2013-cardinals-blogger-awards-time/.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

It’s 2013 Cardinals Blogger Awards time!

UCB_11Now that I’m over the disappointment of the Cardinals losing the World Series (and it took me a whole week – I still haven’t worn my 2013 NLCS shirt yet – maybe tomorrow), it’s time to move on and think about the major awards hardware that will be given out next week by the Baseball Writers Association of America.  Some of our beloved Cardinals have been nominated for these awards. Yadier Molina has been nominated for Most Valuable Player, Adam Wainwright has been nominated for the Cy Young award, and Shelby Miller has been nominated for Rookie of the Year.  The only Cardinal missing from the awards discussion is Mike Matheny for manager of the year.

Since we Cardinals fans aren’t professional baseball writers, we don’t get to vote on the BBWAA awards. But now you can make your voice heard.  There is a ballot that you as a Cardinals fan can vote on.  This is the seventh year for the United Cardinals Blogger Awards.  Full disclosure:  one of my blog posts is nominated for Post of the Year.  For your convenience, I have embedded the ballot below:

Don’t forget to vote!  It will be interesting to see the results, and I’ll be sure to post the results when they are tabulated.  Feel free to share this blog post with others so they can vote too.  I hope you enjoy voting.  Thanks for reading (and voting) and I’ll see you next time!

Diane