I 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.
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.
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.
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:
The next exhibit featured the lady who designed the birds for the Cardinals logo. Here is a photo of that exhibit:
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:
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:
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:
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:
The next three exhibits explain other promotions for ladies by the Cardinals over the years and how women hand sewed the Cardinals’ uniforms:
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!