Throwback Thursday – Diane’s Excellent Adventure at Social Media Night

Some of my long time readers may remember that I wrote for the Diamond Diaries blog for a while.  That blog is no longer in existence and I didn’t want to lose the posts I wrote there, so I thought I would post them occasionally as Throwback Thursday posts.  The post below was the first post I wrote for Diamond Diaries, although it was a guest post.  I later became a regular poster.  Wonder why the Cardinals don’t hold social media nights anymore?  Hmm.

Diane’s Excellent Adventure at Social Media Night

By Diane Schultz

Roving Reporter for DiamondDiaries.net

I work in downtown St. Louis (on Market Street about 3 blocks from Busch Stadium), so instead of going all the way home and then turning around and coming right back, I decided to stay in downtown.  I had some time to kill before I met my hubby at the Musial statue (where else?) so I walked over to the Culinaria grocery store at 9th and Olive.

After perusing the groceries at Culinaria, I decided to walk over to Kiener Plaza to kill some more time.  Kiener Plaza is the home of all pre- and post-season Cardinals pep rallies.  There were no pep rallies this night, however.  Instead, there was a group of older gentlemen guarding some Segway machines.  If you were interested (and had the money), you could learn to ride a Segway.  No thanks – my two feet work just fine.

I sat on a bench for a while.  An old guy saw my Cardinals shirt and assumed I needed game tickets.  He flashed four game tickets at me.  I told him no, I didn’t need tickets. I got up from the bench and started walking around Kiener Plaza, hoping to get away from Mr. Ticket Guy.  Mr. Ticket Guy crossed my path later on and he tried to get me to buy his tickets again.  To paraphrase Reba McEntire, what part of no didn’t he understand?

It was starting to get a little creepy, so I called my hubby to see just where he was. I figured he was about 20 minutes away from Busch Stadium.  We decided I’d go to the Hardee’s at 6th and Chestnut and pick up a couple of burgers and fries for dinner.

I walked down to the stadium. Mr. Ticket Guy couldn’t bother me at the stadium – the City of St. Louis has a law that says you can’t scalp tickets within 50 feet of the stadium.  Hubby got off the MetroLink train and met me at the Musial statue.  We ate our burgers and fries and then went to the will call window to pick up our tickets.  When we got up to the window, we discovered we were supposed to go to the group sales ticket window.  Oops!  Once that was all straightened out and we got our tickets, I stopped by the program vendor and bought a scorecard.  I have a scorecard for almost every game I’ve been to in the last 20 years.  Scorecards used to be $1.00, but are now $2.50.  It seems that everything is going up in price.

We then went to the area where the Social Media event was being held.  The event location was across from the Champions’ Club party room on the second level of Busch Stadium.  We proceeded to a table where three smiling Cardinals employees gave us our “Tweet Me in St. Louis” T-shirts – after we showed them our tickets, that is.

Our gathering place (now called Cunningham’s Corner)

The tables where we got our T-shirts

Some nice ladies in their seventies asked me to take a couple of photos of them with their new T-shirts, so I obliged.  I asked them if they were on Twitter, but they said no, they were only on Facebook.  I gave them my name and told them to look me up on Facebook.

I met Tom Knuppel, who runs the CardinalsGM.com blog.  He gave me his card.  I asked about Bill Ivie, but Tom said he’d be along later.  We ended up sitting behind Tom during the game and had some really nice conversations about baseball with him.  Hubby and I were sitting at a table near the outside wall but I started getting cold, so we moved to another table.

I made a name tag with my Twitter handle and avatar on it in case any of the Twitter #stlcards hash tag folks were there.

I saw a group of guys hanging around talking.  The back of one of their T-shirts said “Pitchers 8” and I realized it must be Pitchers Hit 8th from Twitter, who I follow (along with many others).  Seeing as this was “Social” Media Night, after all, I went over and introduced myself.  I also met Jason R. (@CardsFaninBigD) and his girlfriend; Chris Reed (@birdbrained); and a couple of other folks.  I also met Bill Ivie and yes, Erika, he did have some freebies for me.  Bill gave me a couple of can koozies, a Fox Sports MW hat, and a little book called “Tale of a Baseball Dream” by Jerry Pearlman.  Bill and the other guys told me where all you Diamond Diaries ladies live.  No wonder you all can’t get to Busch Stadium very often!  You all live too far away!

Left to right:  Bill Ivie (@poisonwilliam); Dennis Lawson (@gr33nazi); Jason Rowe  (@CardsFaninBigD); me; Dathan Brooks (@Dathan7); and Chris Reed (@birdbrained).

I told the guys I was looking for Matt Sebek because I was supposed to touch his hair.  I even printed the Tweet that said that the recipient of the DDN SMN tickets could touch Matt’s hair, but the elusive Mr. Sebek was nowhere to be found.  Perhaps he thought I would stalk him, who knows?  I tried, Erika, I really did!  I tried looking for him in the stands, but I struck out there too.

Around 6:50 p.m., hubby wanted to find our seats, so we took our leave of my new friends.  On the way out, I showed the Cardinals employees at the entrance to the event my name tag and suggested that the next time they scheduled a SMN, they should have name tags available to write our Twitter handles and our Facebook names on.  They told me that it was a good idea and thanked me for my suggestion.  Maybe they should set up some laptops too so folks could post on Twitter and Facebook right from SMN.  Hey, not all of us have smart phones.  My cell phone bill is expensive enough without adding a data plan.

 

My hubby and I in our seats

Somewhere between the gathering and our seats, I lost my ticket.  But hubby had his ticket, so we knew where our seats were.  Our tickets were in section 170, row 15, seats 2 and 3.  Or so we thought – when we got there, someone was sitting in seat 3.  (Darn squatters.)  Whoever had seat 1 didn’t show up, so hubby and I sat in seats 1 and 2.  It’s nice sitting on the end of a row; you don’t have to make people get up so you can get out to go to the bathroom.

Section 170 is near the left field foul pole.  Here are some photos of the view from our seats:

Hubby thought that no one would hit a foul ball back in Section 170, but Albert Pujols hit a foul ball to Section 169, which was the section to the right of us.

May 16th was our 19th wedding anniversary, so I went to the Cards’ website on Sunday night (the deadline is 48 hours before the game you want the greeting posted at) and entered an anniversary greeting to be shown on the scoreboard at the ball game.  You only get 24 letters and spaces, so you have to be creative.  The message appeared on the scoreboard in the 4th inning.  It read, “Happy Anniv. Mike-Diane.”

And oh, yes, I guess I need to write a little bit about the game.  Dirty Danny D did a great job on defense.  Jaime Garcia looked very sharp – he gave up some hits, but they were only singles.  And we unfortunately had to watch Albert Pujols hit into yet another double play.  Albert!  Please run a little faster.  Thank you, your fans.

We had to leave after Lance Berkman’s AB in the 6th inning.  We had to get back on the MetroLink train, ride it all the way to Scott Air Force Base and pick up our son at grandma’s house.  It was 11:20 p.m. by the time I got to bed.

Thanks again for the opportunity to attend SMN on Diamond Diaries’ behalf!  Hubby and I had a great time at the game!

==================================

I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past! Thanks as always for reading! See you soon!

Diane

Homestead Highlights – July 24-30, 2017

The Cards limp back home after a  4-6 road trip.  Too much went wrong to fit into one paragraph, but hopefully, the home field at Busch Stadium is what the Cards need to get the momentum going again.  The Cards, however, are playing Colorado and Arizona, 2 of the best teams in the NL West.  Will you be attending any of this week’s games?  Here are all the details you need to know:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Monday, July 24—Sunday, July 30)

Star Wars Night, Ozzie Smith Bud Bash & Mizzou Night Highlight Ninth Homestand at Busch

 ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 24, 2017 – The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium for the first time since the MLB All-Star break.  The seven-game homestand begins with a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies (July 24-26) and concludes with four games versus the Arizona Diamondback (July 27-30).  The ninth homestand of the year is highlighted by six theme nights, a 1919 replica Cardinals jersey giveaway and the 27th annual Christian Day at the Ballpark.

 Monday, July 24, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (7:05 p.m.)

Fox Sports Midwest

Gates open at 5:35 p.m.

Soccer Theme Night: The Cardinals invite soccer fans of all ages to join us for Soccer Night at the ballpark presented by Barrister’s in Clayton.  Fans who purchase this special theme night ticket will receive an exclusive St. Louis Cardinals soccer jersey.  Come early for pregame festivities including St. Louis FC, the St. Louis Ambush and an interactive kicking station.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme(#CardsTheme).

Soccer

 

Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  The 2017 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza.  Tonight’s battle features Thieves to Kings and The Volunteers.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:15 p.m. with each act given 20 minutes to perform.  Each band will be judged on a point system by Mozingo Music and 105.7 The Point.  The top four scoring bands of the summer will be invited back to play on September 26 in the Battle at Busch finals for the grand prize package.  Tickets are available for $10.57 to each Battle at Busch game by going to cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

Art of Baseball Culmination: As part of an eight-session Art of Baseball program between Cardinals Care and Springboard to Learning that integrates art, math and technology into an exploration of everything baseball, fourth and fifth-grade students from five local elementary schools in St. Louis City and Hazelwood will present infographics that display their research on a specific area of Major League Baseball data from 5:45-7:15 in the Cunningham Corner.  The presentation is open to the public.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (7:15 p.m.)

MLB Network Tuesday Night Showcase National Broadcast

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Ozzie Smith Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash theme ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Ozzie Smith mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1987 National League Championship team.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with The Wizard.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#BudBash) (#CardsTheme).

Ozzie.jpg

 

Christmas in July Theme Night: Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, the Cardinals invite all fans to join them for Christmas in July at Busch Stadium.  Fans who purchase the special theme ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals Nutcracker.  Santa Fredbird and characters from the Historic St. Charles Christmas Traditions Festival will be on hand for photos in Riverview Corner before the game.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more information, visitcardinals.com/christmas (#CardsTheme).

Nutcracker

 

Wainwright’s Winners: Adam Wainwright will host a group from Basket of Hope for tonight’s game as part of his Wainwright’s Winners player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Adam in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Code Red Dance, Granite City High School Cheer and Natural All Stars Impact Cheer will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 5:45 p.m.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game.  The auction is a great way for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  Auction tables will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Star Wars Theme Night: Join us for Star Wars Night at the ballpark where Busch Stadium will be transformed with Star Wars-themed sights and sounds.  Fans who purchase the special theme ticket will receive a one-of-a-kind Star Wars-themed Cardinals t-shirt.  Star Wars characters will be roaming throughout the ballpark for photo opportunities as well!  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/starwars(#CardsTheme).

Star Wars.jpg

 

Fowler’s Friends: Dexter Fowler will host a group from It Takes A Village for today’s game as part of his Fowler’s Friends player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Dexter in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.

Boots at Busch: 93.7 The Bull and the Cardinals are teaming up to present the first season of Boots at Busch—a series of home games featuring live country music in a “battle of the bands” format.  The 2017 schedule features 9 local country acts/bands over the course of three different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza.  Tonight’s battle features Biscuits & GravyBlacktop Boulevard and Haley Jarrells & Breaking Ground.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:35 p.m. with each act given 20 minutes to perform.  A winning act will be selected each night and will receive a prize package from 93.7 The Bull and the Cardinals.  Tickets are available for $9.37 to each Boots at Busch game by going to cardinals.com/bootsatbusch.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Thursday, July 27, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

Charlie Brown and Peanuts 50th Anniversary Theme Night: 2017 is the 50th Anniversary of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown!  Join us at the ballpark to celebrate the birthday of your favorite Peanuts character on Charlie Brown Night.  Fans who purchase the special theme ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals-themed Charlie Brown bobblehead.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.  (#CardsTheme)

Charlie Brown

Piscotty’s Pals: Stephen Piscotty will host a group from Warren County Handicapped Services, Inc. for today’s game as part of his Piscotty’s Pals player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Stephen in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.

 MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Friday, July 28, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Replica 1967 World Series Championship Trophy Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a 6.5 inch tall replica of the 1967 World Series trophy as we continue our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 World Series Champion Cardinals team.  (#CardsPromo)

WS67

 

Mizzou Theme Night: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all Missouri Tigers fans and their families to enjoy Mizzou Night at the ballpark.  Fans who purchase the special theme night ticket receive a specially designed Mizzou-themed Cardinals hat.  The Mizzou Golden Girls, Truman the Tiger, the Mizzou Band and other special guests will take part in a pre-game Pep Rally in Riverview Corner before the game as well.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/mizzou.  (#CardsTheme)

Mizzou.jpg

 

Academy Sports + Outdoors Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Two current Cardinals players (TBD) will sign 100 autographs inside Ford Plaza for fans ages 15 and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Kids must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and are distributed in the Ford Plaza.  Former Cardinals Scott Cooper and Kyle McClellan will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  *Players subject to change*

Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum.  Today’s featured items relate to Stan Musial and the U.S. Navy.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum.  (#CardsMuseum)

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game.  The auction is a great way for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  Auction tables will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Saturday, July 29, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

Adult Replica 1919 Jersey Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will take home their own replica 1919 Cardinals throwback jersey, courtesy of Fabick Cat. (#CardsPromo)

1919.png

 

Fireworks Night: Stay in your set after the game to watch a dazzling fireworks display with the St. Louis Arch as the backdrop.  Presented by Fabick Cat.  (#CardsPromo)

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals second baseman Bo Hart will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  In addition to having a valid admission to the museum, fans must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and will be distributed beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Busch II Infield outside Cardinals Nation.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.  Presented by Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  (#CardsMuseum)

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Kids Pocket T-Shirt Promotional Giveaway: All kids, ages 15 and younger entering with a ticket, will take home a Cardinals pocket t-shirt, presented by Pasta House Co.  Size exchanges can be made at the Cunningham Corner (located behind the UMB Champions Club) until 2:45 p.m.  (#CardsPromo)

Kids.png

 

Christian Day at the Ballpark: All fans are invited to participate in the 27th annual Christian Day at the Ballpark.  Following the game, fans can relocate to seats behind the Cardinals dugout to watch a special postgame program featuring former Cardinals All-Star outfielder and 2011 World Series Champion Lance Berkman, Mike Matheny and current Cardinals players.  Berkman will also throw a ceremonial first pitch before the start of the game.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, fans can visit cardinals.com/christianday.  Presented by Thrivent Financial.

Lance

 

Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star frozen treats (while supplies last).

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.

It’s time for me to post this so I can watch the ballgame!  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

Mid-season musings

It’s Thursday evening and we’re usually watching a Cards game.  However, since this is the All-Star break, there is no baseball tonight. There will be baseball again tomorrow night but until then, I’ll just put my thoughts down here and see if you agree with me or not.

At mid-season, the Cards are tied for second place with the Cubs in the NL Central with a 43-45 record.  It could be worse – the Cards could be in last place. The Cincinnati Reds are presently in last place.  The Brewers are in first place – who’d a thunk it? The NL Central is a weak division this year. Given the quality of the Cards’ play this year, it’s amazing the Cards are tied for second place.  Like last season, the Cards have been consistently inconsistent.

Some of the players we saw at the beginning of the season have departed or have been shuttled off to Memphis.  Jhonny Peralta and Jonathon Broxton were designated for assignment. Matt Adams was traded to Atlanta, where he has been hitting well. Aledmys Diaz was sent down to Memphis, and Randal Grichuk has been sent down to Memphis and brought back up.  Luke Voit and Paul DeJong have been brought up from Memphis and played well.  Tommy Pham was called up from Memphis when Dexter Fowler was injured and has played and hit very well.

There have been changes at the managerial level as well, as outlined here. And John Mozeliak has been bumped up to a new position created for him, that of President of Baseball Operations.   Mo’s assistant GM, Michael Girsch, was promoted to general manager.

The second half of the season starts tomorrow.  The trade deadline is fast approaching.  The Cubs made a major move today – they traded 3 prospects for White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana.  Will the Cards be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?

There are traffic jams in the outfield and in the infield.  There are four outfielders but only 3 positions.  Tommy Pham came up from Memphis and made a big splash playing center field filling in for Dexter Fowler in his two stints on the disabled list.  Tommy grew so comfortable in center field that he has stated publicly he wants to play there all the time.  However, Dexter is not going away anytime soon.  Tommy, if you had played better in that position last season, the sight problems notwithstanding, perhaps the team wouldn’t have had to sign Dexter.  I felt so bad for Jose Martinez.  He toiled in the minor leagues for years to get the chance to play in the major leagues only to be sent back down.  So do any of the outfielders go away by the trade deadline? I think the best thing that could happen is that Pham gets moved to left field and Dexter stays in center.  Grichuk should ride the bench in case of injury or if a pinch hitter is needed.  Grichuk’s bat has been streaky, but we knew that.

The infield also has a traffic jam.  Aledmys Diaz was sent down to Memphis.  Paul DeJong was brought up and has played well.  Second base has been sort of a revolving door.  Matt Carpenter was assigned to first base, which left no place for Matt Adams. Kolten Wong has been on the disabled list. Greg Garcia and Matt Carpenter have tried playing second base but neither of them has done well at the position.  Kolten has been activated so he will be back at second base tomorrow night.  Kolten’s bat has been on fire in rehab.  Luke Voit is doing a great job playing first.  He is also batting quite well.  Carpenter is the odd man out.

The closer role has also been a revolving door.  Seung-Hwan Oh started the season as the closer, but he has proven to be human.  Trevor Rosenthal has had his ups and downs as well And the bullpen has been streaky.

Everyone is saying that the Cardinals need a big bat in the middle of the lineup.  I have another suggestion.  Perhaps the Cardinals need a new hitting coach. Matt Holliday has been working with Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ big home run hitter.  Matt would be a great hitting coach for the Cards.

So should the Cards be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?  There are so many variables in play that I hate to make even an educated guess.  All I know is that I’m glad that I don’t have to make that decision.

The All-Star Game was a lot of fun (even though the National League lost), but I’m missing Cardinals baseball and I can’t wait until 6:15 PM CST when the Cardinals play again.  Here’s hoping that the Cardinals are more consistent in the second half of the season and make the playoffs.  There’s still time for it to happen. Thanks as always for reading – see you next time!

Diane