The top 5 Cardinals stories of 2013

imageThe United Cardinals Bloggers’ December project is the top 5 stories are for the year. Here are my nominations:

1.  The death of Stan Musial. Stan was baseball’s perfect knight and an era ended with his death. It’s rare that a player spends his entire career with a team like Stan did. Much is made of the “face of the franchise” tag these days, but Stan was the epitome of the Cardinal Way. You can read my blog posts about Stan’s passing here and here.

2.  Chris Carpenter’s retirement.  Chris’ pitching led the Cards to two World Series championships.  He not only contributed with his arm, he worked with other pitchers and his larger than life personality lit up the bench.  He will hopefully accept  a position with the Cardinals’ front office.  You can read my blog post about Chris’ retirement here.

3.  Winning the National League pennant.  It was a grueling road to the pennant. It took all 5 games for the Cardinals to knock off Pittsburgh.  The Cards then took 6 out of 7 games to finish off the Dodgers.  The momentum, however, wasn’t enough to beat the Red Sox in the World Series.  But we Cards fans can still be proud of the NL pennant.

4.  Mo’s wheeling and dealing during the off season.  During the last couple of years, Cards GM John Mozeliak didn’t make many moves during the off season.  This year was an exception, however.  David Freese and Fernando Salas were traded for Angels CF’s Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.  Free agent SS Jhonny Peralta was signed to a  four year contract.  Mo finished up by picking up veteran Mark Ellis from the Dodgers to mentor and back up Kolten Wong at 2B.  And Mo did all this without having to give up any of our rookie pitchers.  Mo is a genius.

5.  The rise of Michael Wacha.  What a season it was for young Michael Wacha, one of the best of the Cards’ rookie pitchers.  After being called up, Wacha had a 4-1 record during the regular season, but he had 4 wins in the playoffs, and won the MVP award in the NLCS.  Only the loss in Game 6 of the World Series dimmed his bright rising.  It will be interesting to see how Wacha pitches next season.

The UCB mourned the loss of one of its writers last week.  Jerome “J.D.” Norton, who wrote the Bleed Cardinal Red With Me blog and later on Cards Conclave,  sadly took his own life on December 22 at the young age of 38.  Our prayers and condolences are with his wife and family.  His online obituary is here, should you wish to express your condolences. Folks, if you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or any other kind of mental illness, please get help!  The life you save may be your own.

Thanks for reading!  Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

Diane

 

Fredbird’s Winning Wonderland – How you can win 2014 Cardinals tickets

I thought that would get your attention.  🙂  The Cardinals are holding a contest to give away 2014 Cardinals ticket packs and other prices.  What a wonderful Christmas surprise!  Here’s the official press release with all the details:

CARDINALS TO TRANSFORM SOCIAL MEDIA INTO FREDBIRD’S WINNING WONDERLAND

Cardinals to give away 2014 ticket packs and prizes with contest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (December 16, 2013) – The St. Louis Cardinals are using social media to spread a little holiday cheer and give away 2014 ticket packs and prizes with “Fredbird’s Winning Wonderland” contest.

Beginning tomorrow, the Cardinals will give away one pair of tickets to a total of four ticket packs centered on popular promotional items and key matchups. One five-game ticket pack will be given away on Twitter, two packs will be given away on Facebook, and the final pack will be awarded on Instagram.

Tuesday through Friday, fans will be given a contest prompt on one of the aforementioned social sites where they have 24 hours to enter. Each day, one winner will take home a ticket pack, while additional runners-up will receive a Cardinals holiday stocking prize pack featuring the most recent issue of Cardinals Magazine, a stuffed bear and more.

“Fans can show their holiday spirit and win one of this season’s most sought-after holiday gifts – 2014 Cardinals tickets,” said Ron Watermon, Director of Public Relations and Civic Affairs for the Cardinals. “It doesn’t matter to Fredbird if you’ve been naughty or nice so long as you show your creativity and engage with us.”

The ticket pack prizes for Fredbird’s Winning Wonderland include a National League Champions Pack, 1964 World Champions Pack, an East Coast Pack and Bobblehead Pack. Both the NL Champions Pack and 1964 World Champions Pack are highlighted by five games featuring collectible championship-themed promo items. The East Coast Pack includes tickets to see the World Series rematch against the Red Sox, plus matchups against the Yankees and other Eastern rivals. The annual fan-favorite Bobblehead Pack features four great bobblehead giveaways, including one of NLCS MVP Michael Wacha.

Throughout the week, Fredbird will also be using the Cardinals’ Twitter (@Cardinals) to give away additional prizes like the 2014 Cardinals Calendar themed around the team’s 19th National League Pennant, and the 2013 Cardinals Yearbook which serves as a definitive celebration of Stan Musial’s Hall of Fame career.

For all of the contest details, official rules, and a sneak peek at the four ways fans can win tickets, visit cardinals.com/winningwonderland.

Cardinals ticket packs are the best way to guarantee seats to key promotional games and highly-anticipated matchups in the 2014 season. Both five and ten-game ticket packs are on sale now at cardinals.com/holiday or by calling 314.345.9000. Five-game pack prices start as low as $79.

The official 2014 Cardinals Calendar celebrating the team’s recent National League championship is on sale now for $15 at the Busch Stadium Team Store, local retailers, and by calling 314.345.9303.

The 2013 Cardinals Yearbook is the most detailed, official tribute to Musial’s legacy featuring scores of rare photos and more than 250 pages of classic Musial moments. For more details, or to purchase the Yearbook, visit cardinals.com/yearbook.

The Cardinals have experienced dramatic growth in the team’s various social media platforms in recent years, most notably on Twitter (@cardinals) and Facebook (facebook.com/cardinals). In May of 2010, when the team used Twitter to launch Stand for Stan to celebrate Stan Musial, the team had just over 5,000 followers. Today, the Cardinals have nearly 400,000 followers on Twitter, making @Cardinals one of the largest accounts in Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have more than 1.575 million fans on Facebook, as well as a growing presence on other social media platforms such as Instagram (@cardinals – 123,000+), Vine, Tumblr, Pinterest and Google Plus. The Cardinals’ various social media efforts, such as the Stand for Stan Campaign, Facebook Fridays with Fredbird, the Like Mike Facebook campaign, #FreesePlease, #VinetheVote & #VoteSTL All-Star balloting campaigns, and the #Nestflix Instagram original video series #TheFrontOffice have been designed to take advantage of communication mediums that are transforming how fans interact with the club. Fans can learn more about the club’s social media by visiting cardinals.com/connect.

Good luck to all of you!  (And if you win a ticket pack, will you take me?  Please?) See you next time!

Diane

2014 Cardinals ticket packs and all-inclusive tickets on sale 12/6

Just in time for that special holiday present, the Cardinals announce that ticket packs and all-inclusive single game tickets go on sale this Friday, December 4.  Do you know someone with a bobblehead collection? The Bobblehead Ticket Pack would be a great Christmas gift.  All-inclusive tickets are a great value as well – you get complimentary food and drink with your ticket price.  Here’s all the details:

CARDINALS’ 2014 TICKET PACKS AND ALL-INCLUSIVES ON SALE FRIDAY

Variety of five and ten-game packs available for as low as $79

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (December 3, 2013) – Cardinals ticket sales for the 2014 season begin this Friday, December 6th at 10 a.m. CT.  Fans can purchase All-Inclusive tickets or choose from a variety of five and ten-game ticket packs centered around popular promotional items and key matchups.

In addition to returning favorites the Cardinals are introducing three new five-game ticket packs – the 2013 NL Champions Pack, the East Coast Pack, and the 1964 World Champions Pack. Both the NL Champions Pack and 1964 World Champions Pack are highlighted by five games featuring collectible championship-themed promo items. The East Coast Pack includes tickets to see the World Series rematch against the Red Sox, plus matchups against the Yankees and other Eastern rivals. Returning packs include the Bobblehead Pack, which features four great bobblehead giveaways, as well as the Weekend Pack, Sunday Pack, Friday Pack and Cubs Pack. Five-game pack prices start as low as $79.

Also returning for 2014 is the perennially popular ten-game Opening Day Pack which includes a ticket to Opening Day as well as the final game of the season; the Jersey Pack featuring all six replica jersey/pullover giveaway dates, and the Value Pack which includes 10 games for the price of a five game pack.

“Ticket packs and All-Inclusive tickets are the best way to guarantee seats to these key promotional games and highly-anticipated matchups,” said Joe Strohm, Vice President of Ticket Sales for the Cardinals. “We’re excited about what we’re able to offer this season; Fans won’t want to miss out.”

Value is the key element of All-Inclusive tickets, where complimentary food and beverages are included in the price of each ticket. Friday is the first opportunity for fans to purchase 2014 single-game tickets in the Bank of America Club, UMB Champions Club, Coca-Cola Rooftop Deck and Patio, Powerade Bridge, Commissioner’s Box, Homer’s Landing, Leftfield Landing and other inclusive areas. All-Inclusive ticket prices start at just $50 each.

For more information on the upcoming ticket sales, fans can visit cardinals.com or call 314-345-9000. Visit www.cardinals.com/holiday for more details.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

The 2013 WWLCB Holiday Gift Guide

Today is December 1, 2013 and the Christmas shopping season is well underway.  (Did you go Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving? No, me neither).  If you have Cardinals fans on your Christmas list or if you need something to put on your wish list, below are some gifts that you or your gift recipients will enjoy.  Click on the links to get to the page where you can view and order the merchandise.  The page will open in a separate window/tab.

Books

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a new book called St. Louis Cardinals:  The Championship Seasons – Covering the 11 World Series Wins.  This book should have some wonderful photos and great articles from the P-D sportswriters.

In my post on Stan Musial’s passing, I recommended the book Stan Musial:  An American Life by George Vecsey.  It would make a great gift for the Stan Musial fan or a Cardinals fan in general.

100 Things a Cardinals Fan Should Know and Do Before They Die, written by St. Louis Post-Dispatch sportswriter Derrick Goold, is an entertaining book filled with information and trivia all Cardinals fans should know about.  It features a foreword written by Stan Musial.

Apparel

If you liked the jersey that the Cardinals wore on Memorial Day with the birds on the bat in the USMC digital camo pattern, you can purchase one here.  If you know a Marine who’s a Cards fan, this would be the perfect present.  This jersey is also available in youth sizes.  If T-shirts are more the gift recipient’s style, the camo birds on the bat is also available on a T-shirt, and you can purchase one here.  The T-shirts are available in youth sizes as well.

The Stan Musial fan (well, aren’t we all?) would love the commemorative T-shirt available here.  This shirt is not available in youth sizes, unfortunately.  A combination of this T-shirt and the Stan Musial biography referenced above would make a great gift set.

If you or anyone else on your gift list still doesn’t have their 2013 National League Champions apparel, you can go here to purchase them.  I have also had good luck purchasing playoff apparel at JC Penneys, and the closer it gets to Christmas, the bigger the discount.

For those who have an unlimited gift budget, you can purchase 2013 World Series Cardinals and regular seasons jerseys here.  If you want to purchase a jersey with a certain player’s name and number on the back, it costs more.

Bling

Cardinals watches in casual or dressy styles make a great present.  I found a dressy ladies’ Cardinals watch here.  A more casual Cardinals watch for ladies can be found here.  There are all kinds of men’s watches at the link here.  Even the kids can have Cardinals watches, and you can purchase them here and here.

Is there a lady gift recipient on your list that has a Pandora charm bracelet?  You can purchase Cardinals Pandora charms here, and if she doesn’t have a Pandora bracelet, you can buy her one there too.  If you click here and go through the pages, you can also find necklaces, earrings and other Cardinals jewelry for your favorite lady Cardinals fan.

Home and Office

Everyone needs a calendar, and a Cardinals calendar will help the year pass faster.  You can find a box desk calendar (one square page per day) with facts and trivia on each page here.  A wall calendar with full color photos can be found here.  And if you’re looking for an assortment of Cardinals office gear, click here.  For those attached to their smart phones, you can find Cardinals cell phone covers here.

Did you or a gift recipient attend a NLCS or World Series game this year?  You can purchase a really nice photo frame with a place for a photo and your ticket stub.  The NLCS frame is available here and the World Series frame is available here.  Was there a special game, like for a birthday or anniversary, that you attended this year?  You can find a stand up frame for your ticket stub here.  If you have a whole bunch of ticket stubs you’d like to keep in one place, you can get a ticket holder here.

Every house needs a clock so you can see whether it’s time for the Cardinals game.  You can find nice clocks herehere and here.  If these ideas aren’t enough, you can go here and click through all the pages for gift ideas.

Miscellaneous

As mentioned in my last blog post here, tickets for the 2014 Winter Warm-Up are now on sale.  You can purchase those here.  Autographs tickets, unfortunately, will not be available until next month.

The Cardinals’ print magazine has all kinds of gorgeous photos and great articles on the team.  You can order a gift subscription in either print or digital format here. On that same page, you can also purchase the 2013 Cardinals Yearbook, with a tribute to Stan Musial, in either digital or print format.

For those with an unlimited budget, season tickets would be a gift that would be very much appreciated by a Cardinals fan.  You can put a deposit on 2014 season tickets here.

Notes on web ordering:  Most of the links above are from MLB.com.  MLB.com is offering a 30% discount on all orders from $50.00 – $99.00, 25% discount for all orders from $25.00-$50.00. and 20% on all orders less than $50. 00.  This offer, however, is only good until 11:59 PM EST (that’s 10:59 PM St. Louis time) tonight (12/1/13).  For the links to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Store, the P-D is offering free shipping on any order of $20.00 or more with USPS standard shipping.  This deal is only good until December 3, 2013, however.

If you want to get a lot of shopping done at one time, the Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium or the Cardinals Clubhouse stores are the places to do this.  If you’re looking for Cardinals stocking stuffers, these would be the places to go.

I hope my list has given you some good ideas for holiday shopping for your favorite Cardinals fan(s).  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane