Today (1/13/18) was the first day of the 2018 Winter Warm-Up. I want to apologize in advance for the crappy (all but a few) photos that I will be adding to this post. I forgot my digital camera today. I had to trade in my iPhone for an Android when I switched carriers to T-Mobile and my new phone takes crappy photos. I will be “JUMPing” back to an iPhone at the earliest opportunity. I promise to take better photos tomorrow.
My son Phillip attended WWU with me again. We rode the Metrolink train over to St. Louis and got off the train at the Eighth & Pine station. WWU doesn’t start until 9 AM, but we wanted to get there early so that we didn’t have to wait outside in the bitter cold.
The line to get into WWU started at the escalator that takes fans up to the second level of the hotel. When you are in line with other Cardinals fans, you always make new friends and today was no exception. I started chatting with a couple of gentlemen standing behind me. The older gentleman was interviewed by a FOX 2 reporter and the clip was shown on the 5:00 PM newscast.
We went to the fourth floor and dropped off our coats at the coat check booth. I had an autograph ticket for John Tudor at 9 AM, so we went back down to the second floor. It was announced previously that autograph seekers would be lined up in alphabetical order. Since my last name starts with the letter S, I figured it would be awhile until it would be my turn. The Cardinals Care attendant told me to check back in 20 minutes. We decided to check out the Cardinals Care store until it was time to enter the line.
I had an 8″ X 10″ color glossy of John that I had him sign at FanFest in 2009 during All-Star Game. I had something special for John to sign today – I had a scorecard that I had filled out from a game on 9/6/87 in which he was the starting pitcher. The Cards beat the Padres 6-2 that day. He smiled when I told him that it was from a game in which he was the starting and winning pitcher.
John was my favorite pitcher in the 1980’s. I cried when he got traded to the Dodgers for Pedro Guerrero, but it was for the best, because John got a World Series ring in 1988.
After I got the autograph, we went back downstairs and walked through the vendor area. There was many wonderful things available to purchase, but most of them were unfortunately not in my price range. It was still nice to look, though.
I also had an autograph ticket for Ryan Franklin for today, but he cancelled his appearance earlier this week.
We took a photo in front of a green screen at the Ballpark Village booth, which was merged with a photo of Busch Stadium.
At 11:00 AM, we went to the Clubhouse Room to hear “The Overlooked Legacy of Stan Musial,” which was presented by Brian Finch of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. Brian was going to give this presentation last year on the first day of WWU, but you may remember that the first day was cancelled due to a predicted ice storm that never materialized.
The Clubhouse Room room was smaller than the normal room that the presentations are usually held in and it was very cramped in there. Some folks had to stand at the rear of the room because there were no more seats available. Hopefully, this will be rectified before Brian’s next presentation tomorrow afternoon or next year at the latest.
Brian’s presentation was entertaining and well put together as always. Stan was such a nice guy off the field that we forget what a “beast” he was on the field. Even though Stan hasn’t played baseball in a long time, his stats still stack up with the best players ever. These slides are just a couple of Stan’s outstanding stats.
After the presentation, it was time for lunch. Hardee’s was our usual go-to for lunch, but sadly for my wallet, it closed last fall. We walked down the street to Jimmy John’s, where I paid $16 for 2 sub sandwiches and drinks. I would have loved to go to Subway, but both downtown Subways are owned by the same guy and they are not open on the weekends. That guy lost lots of money today by being closed. We will probably go to Subway on Monday, though. We will probably be at St. Louis Bread Company tomorrow, in case anyone wants to stop by and say hi.
After lunch, we went back to the Hyatt and watched some of the players sign autographs. We saw Miles Mikolas, the pitcher the Cards picked up from Japan. Carlos Martinez was signing autographs today too, and I was amazed to see that his hair was back to its normal color. Kolten Wong was signing today too. Kolten was upset about the false ballistic missile alert sent out by his home state of Hawaii and he posted about it on Twitter.
We found a place to sit in the second row of the main stage area for the afternoon presentations. There was a live auction. There was a trivia contest with the Club Fredbird girls, and I won a Cardinals Care drawstring bag for knowing that Helene Britton was the first woman team owner in baseball.
The first presentation was with Dan McLaughlin and Tim McCarver. Tim announced that he has signed with Fox Sports Midwest for another season and he would be announcing 35 or 36 games. We all applauded. I always enjoy listening to the broadcasts when Tim is announcing. He has such great stories and straight to the point analysis. Tim didn’t disappoint – he had a couple of great stories for us today that featured Roger Maris and Bob Gibson.
After McCarver left the stage, a long, brown couch was brought up on stage. I was wondering what that was all about. The next presentation was with McLaughlin and Jim Edmonds. The need for the couch became evident when we saw Edmonds walk up the stairs to the stage on a pair of crutches. He told us that he tore a ligament off of his patella (his knee bone) playing basketball with his son Landon. Jim was asked whether he had ever thought about coaching, and he replied that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Jim mentioned that his wife is expecting twin boys in June.
The last presentation was with McCarver and Carlos Martinez and his family, talking about Tsunami Waves, Carlos’ charitable foundation. This was a presentation that was not on the official schedule. This happens sometimes at WWU. The presentation started with a video about Camille, the young girl with leukemia that Carlos and the Pujols Foundation brought to St. Louis for treatment. Then Carlos and his family took the stage and Dan spoke to Carlos about his foundation. Dan asked Carlos how he felt the upcoming season. Carlos said he needed rings, and we all knew he was talking about World Series rings. Carlos was also excited about Marcell Ozuna joining the Cards.
After the presentation, it was time to go home. It’s time to rest up for another busy day at WWU tomorrow. Stay tuned for the report from Day 2 of WWU!