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

 

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2013 World Series schedule – all you need to know!

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My last blog post was some nice overall musing about the Series.  Here’s the lowdown on all the pertinent information about locations, times, pep rallies, etc. for the 2013 World Series.  I hope this is helpful!

                        2013 WORLD SERIES at BUSCH STADIUM                             

St. Louis Cardinals –Boston Red Sox

How fans can enjoy World Series baseball and rally support for the Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (October 23, 2013) – After beating the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their 19th National League Pennant, the St. Louis Cardinals are returning to the World Series for the fourth time in ten years. The series matchup with the Boston Red Sox – which starts tonight at Fenway Park – is the fourth meeting between the two clubs. The Cardinals defeated the Red Sox in seven games during the 1946 and 1967 Fall Classics, but fell victim to a four-game sweep in 2004. The Cardinals are making their tenth appearance in the postseason since 2000 and the 26thpostseason appearance in franchise history (#PostCards). When the Cardinals take the field on Saturday at Busch Stadium, the team will be wearing their home alternate uniforms that feature “St. Louis” in place of “Cardinals” on the jersey – the first World Series appearance since 1931.  For updated ticket availability, visit cardinals.com/postseason. Major League Baseball will be sending daily updates throughout the World Series (#WorldSeries) for more information on pre-game ceremonies and community activities.   

Game Schedule & Highlights

WS Game 1 – Wednesday, October 23, 2013 –Fenway Park – 7:07 p.m. CT (FOX)

WS Game 2 – Thursday, October 24, 2013 –Fenway Park – 7:07 p.m. CT (FOX)

WS Game 3 – Saturday, October 26, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 7:07 p.m. CT (FOX)

  • 3:30 – 6 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Music from DJ Todd Thomas, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy, the Cardinals’ Warren C. Giles Trophy for the 2013 National League Championship and more
  • Gates open at 4:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Cardinals Rally Towel, courtesy of Chevy
  • Budweiser Clydesdales will parade the warning track
  • An appearance from the Cardinals Hall of Famers
  • In a ceremony prior to the game, the Cardinals will recognize the 2013 Budweiser Good Sport Designated Driver of the Year. More than 61,000 fans registered as designated drivers throughout the 2013 season.

WS Game 4 – Sunday, October 27, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 7:15 p.m. CT (FOX)

  • 3:30 – 6 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Music from DJ Todd Thomas, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy, the Cardinals’ Warren C. Giles Trophy for the 2013 National League Championship and more
  • Gates open at 4:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Rally Towel and Stand Up to Cancer bracelet, courtesy of MasterCard
  • Budweiser Clydesdales will parade the warning track

 

WS Game 5 – Monday, October 28, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 7:07 p.m. CT (FOX) (If necessary)

  • 3:30 – 6 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Music from DJ Todd Thomas, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy, the Cardinals’ Warren C. Giles Trophy for the 2013 National League Championship and more
  • Gates open at 4:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Rally Towel and mini flag, courtesy of Bank of America
  • Budweiser Clydesdales will parade the warning track

WS Game 6 – Wednesday, October 30, 2013 – Fenway Park – 7:07 p.m. CT (FOX) (If necessary)

WS Game 7 – Thursday, October 31, 2013 – Fenway Park – 7:07 p.m. CT (FOX) (If necessary)

 

Ballpark Village Parking

As a reminder, convenient parking is available to fans in the Ballpark Village parking lot throughout the World Series.

Watching on TV

Fans can watch the World Series games on FOX.

Radio Coverage

Fans can tune into KMOX (1120 AM) to hear Mike Shannon & John Rooney call the games, or listen to the national broadcast on ESPN Radio (101.1 FM) and the Cardinals Radio Network.

Social Media

Fans participating in the postseason action on social media can follow the Cardinals at Facebook.com/Cardinals, on Twitter (@Cardinals), on Instagram (@Cardinals) and Tumblr (stlcardinals.tumblr.com). Join the social conversation using #PostCards.

New this postseason, fans can share their good luck wishes to the Cardinals by sending a virtual Postcard to the team at cardinals.com/postcards. Fans can download a postcard template online, personalize the message and share on social media using #PostCards.

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Fans will also have the opportunity to win tickets to World Series games at Busch Stadium just by following the Cardinals on Twitter and Vine. The Cardinals will tweet the contest rules, and fans will be required to tweet an original video on Vine showing their #PostseasonPride. One fan will win tickets to a World Series game. For more information and official rules, visit cardinals.com/postseasonpride.

Online Or On The Go

Fans can follow the games for free on cardinals.com using the Gameday program. MLB’s mobile app, At Bat 1, provides mobile access to real-time game updates on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as well as supported Android phones and tablets. At Bat is available for free on your phone’s app store.

Driving to the Games

MoDOT has limited roadwork when the Cardinals are at home in the World Series. Currently, fans can expect no significant traffic impacts due to construction on Missouri interstates heading into Busch Stadium or heading home Saturday, October 26, Sunday, October 27, or Monday, October 28.  Fans should remember that since the Rams will be playing Seattle Monday night, the Broadway ramp into the city from eastbound I-70 will be closed due to NFL security requirements. Drivers can use the Pine Street ramp. In addition, they may also use the new ramp from eastbound I-70 to Tucker Boulevard to get to the games, avoiding much of the downtown interstate traffic. Fans can take Tucker to Market Street to get to parking for the game.

Alternative Transportation

MetroLink is a convenient alternative to driving, allowing fans to avoid the cost of parking and game day traffic.  To avoid the traffic congestion and the cost of parking on game day, fans can use one of 19 free Park-Ride lots along the MetroLink line and take the train to Stadium Station, right across the street from the ballpark.  Check the Metro website http://www.MetroSt.Louis.org for schedules and the Park-Ride lot nearest you.  There are also plenty of buses in Missouri and Illinois that will get fans to Busch Stadium including the RedBird Express that departs from the Water Tower at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, Illinois.  The first RedBird Express leaves 2 ½ hours before the game and runs approximately every 5 minutes.

Fans Urged to Organize “Rally Everyone Days” to Support the Cardinals and Kids

The St. Louis Cardinals are encouraging local businesses, schools and other organizations to help kids in our community while supporting the team by participating in Cardinals RED for Kids (#RED4kids). RED stands for Rally Everyone Day.  Piloted during the 2011 postseason, Cardinals RED for Kids is the team’s version of an office “dress down” day in which participating organizations make a donation to Cardinals Care in exchange for the opportunity to sport their Cardinals clothes at work or school. To participate, fans should go to cardinals.com/red and register their organization. While the Cardinals would like businesses to help raise money while showing their team spirit, schools are not required to make a donation to get involved. Participating schools, businesses and organizations are also encouraged to submit photos via the team’s website and social media showing their Rally Everyone Day (#RED4kids) spirit.

2013 World Series Merchandise Available

  • Busch Stadium Team Store: The Team Store will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. during the World Series. On game days, the store will close briefly 30 minutes prior to gates opening for 30 minutes. In addition to standard merchandise, the store will carry postseason, Central Division Champion and National League Champion merchandise as well as new World Series items including hats, t-shirts, balls, pennants, pins and more. Official merchandise is available in a variety of sizes including, youth, ladies and adult, as well as price ranges. Fans should be on the lookout for special merchandise discount tokens handed out around downtown throughout the World Series. Each token provides $20 off a merchandise purchase at the Team Store. During Games 3 and 4, Nike will have a location outside the stadium to personalize the official World Series sweatshirts.
  • Cardinals Authentics: Fans will want to stop by the Cardinals Authentics store in Ford Plaza, the only place to get official, game-used, limited edition and autographed Cardinals memorabilia directly from the team. Featured items include game –used equipment from the 2013 season, 2011 World Championship themed items and more. Cardinals Authentics has a variety of items to fit every budget.
  •  Cardinals Magazine & Cardinals Yearbook: Two of the most sought-after releases of the 2013 season by Cardinals Publications are now on sale during the World Series! The Official 2013 Cardinals Yearbook celebrates Stan Musial’s baseball brilliance and exemplary character—packed with details of all the big games, record-setting performances and off-the-field experiences that distinguished Stan’s remarkable career. This tribute to Stan the Man captures the extraordinary impact of his legacy unlike anything ever presented before. This edition also includes studio portraits and action images of the 2013 Cardinals, making for the perfect keepsake from this memorable season. And the new issue of Cardinals Magazine highlights the MV3 of Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig, who helped propel the Redbirds to a 12th division title and 19th National League pennant. Both publications are on sale at 314.345.9303 or at cardinals.com/publications.

2013 YB Cover JPEG   Issue 6 Cards Magazine

New Postseason Menu Items

Delaware North Companies Sportservice, the St. Louis Cardinals’ concessionaire for more than 50 years, is offering new menu options during the 2013 postseason. Sportservice will also have a new souvenir beer and soda cup for the World Series and a variety of gourmet hot chocolate and apple cider recipe cocktails. Following is a list of new items exclusive to postseason games at Busch:

  • Surf & Turf Sliders (148 & 509): A combination platter featuring one crab cake slider and one smoked-brisket slider served with french fries.
  • All American Grilled Cheese (Section 141): An American Classic. White American and Swiss cheeses melted on giant butter-toasted sourdough loaf.
  • Grilled Cheese Supreme (Redbird Club): Cheezy Heaven! Melted White Cheddar, Monterey Jack, White American, and Swiss cheeses topped with Heirloom tomatoes and Pecan Wood Smoked bacon all on a giant butter-toasted sourdough loaf.
  • Pecan Bacon Dog (Section 599): An all-beef Hunter hot dog wrapped with 2 pieces of sweet, thick-cut Pecan Wood Smoked Bacon on a fresh-baked hoagie roll, topped with jalapeno black bean & corn salsa and tangy Tequila BBQ sauce.
  • Pepper Bacon Dog (Section 599): An all-beef Hunter hot dog wrapped with 2 pieces of fiery, thick-cut Pepper Bacon on a fresh-baked hoagie roll, topped with jalapeno black bean & corn salsa and tangy Tequila BBQ sauce.
  • Double Dog Dare Ya (Section 599): Heaven on a Bun! Combine the sweet Pecan Bacon Dog with our fiery Pepper Bacon Dog all on the same hoagie roll! It comes with a double dose of jalapeno black bean & corn salsa and as much Tequila BBQ sauce as fans want.
  • Wasabi Sushi Rolls (Redbird Club and near Gate 1): Sushi chefs from Wasabi Sushi Bar will make and roll fresh sushi options including California Rolls, Philadelphia Rolls, and Vegetable Rolls. Wasabi currently operates 5 local restaurants and provides catering for Washington University.

Matchup History

  • The Cardinals have faced the Red Sox 3 times in the postseason, with all three matchups coming in the World Series; 1946, 1967 and 2004.
  • The Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox 4 games to 3 in both 1946 and 1967; however the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in 4 straight games in 2004.
  • The Cardinals did not face the Boston Red Sox during the 2013 regular season.

2013 Season Highlights

  • The Cardinals led the National League with 97 wins, the first time since 2005 when they led the Majors with 100 wins. Their 97-65 record also tied the American League Boston Red Sox for the winningest in MLB.
  • The Cardinals set franchise records with 75 errors, the fewest in team history and a .988 fielding percentage.
  • The Cardinals had a Major League‐leading 36 combined wins from rookie pitchers this season, their most since 1941 when they received the franchise record of 42 led by Ernie White (17‐7) and Howie Krist (10‐0).
  • The team has used 20 rookies this season ‐ the most since employing 21 in 1970.
  • Matt Carpenter set the Cardinals single‐season doubles record for a left‐handed batter with his 54th at Milwaukee (9/21), breaking Stan Musial’s mark of 53 in 1953. Carpenter also finished the season one hit shy of 200. The last Cardinal to collect 200 or more hits in a season was Albert Pujols in 2003 when he had an NL‐best 212 hits.
  • Mike Matheny became the first in St. Louis Cardinals history to make the postseason in each of his first two years as a manager.
  • The Cardinals finished the season with 3,369,769 fans, averaging 41,602 per game, ranking second in the majors behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, and earning their fifth highest attendance in franchise history. It was also the 17th time in franchise history the Cardinals eclipsed 3 million fans and the 10th straight season.

BUSCH STADIUM – POLICY REMINDER

Bag Inspections Policy

·         Standard game-day bag inspection policies for Busch Stadium are in effect. Bags will be allowed that meet Major League Baseball’s standard size restriction (16”x16”x8”), and all bags will be inspected prior to entry.

·         Fans will be permitted to bring small personal cameras as long as they do not obstruct other guest’s view and will be subject to inspection.  No professional-sized photography equipment will be allowed except for members of the media with proper MLB Postseason credentials.

·         Non-alcoholic beverages such as water & soda in open cups or in clear plastic bottles no larger than 2 liters are allowed.

·         Alcohol, bottles, cans, thermoses, hard-sided coolers; hard plastic cups/mugs are not permitted.

·         Small banners and signs are allowed. Banners may be displayed as long as they do not hinder or interfere with a ball in play or distract or interfere with the view of another guest. Banners may not be displayed in fair territory, be obscene or in poor taste, attract abuse or cause a disturbance among other guests. They should be baseball-oriented and not commercial in nature.

·         Please minimize items you bring into the stadium to speed up the inspection process.

·         Expect long lines upon entry and allow yourself plenty of time to go through the inspection process.

Exit/Re-entry Policy

A new exit/re-entry policy, instituted during the 2013 regular season, is in effect.  Guests wishing to leave the stadium, but planning to return during the same game must have their hand stamped at Gates 1, 2 or 4 as they exit the stadium. Guests will also receive a re-entry card which they must show with their stamped ticket and stamped hand upon re-entry. Inspection policy will also be enforced.

No Smoking Policy

Standard Busch Stadium Smoking Policy is in effect.  Busch Stadium is a smoke-free facility. Exit/Re-Entry turnstiles will be set up at Gates 1, 2 and 4 to allow fans access in and out of the stadium if they wish to smoke. Fans will get their hand stamped as they exit the stadium. Guests must show ticket upon re-entry. Inspection policy will also be enforced.

Thanks for reading! Go Cards!

Diane

As the World Series Turns

WS_FINALS_Web_MasterMiniseries were popular TV programs back in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and the 1990’s. The episodes of the miniseries were shown in prime time over several nights.  They were mostly historical dramas, based on previously published books, although some were based on fiction books.  Some of the more popular mini-series of those decades were Roots, North and South, and The Thorn Birds.

The 2013 World Series, Major League Baseball’s version of the miniseries, starts tonight.  The cast of players are the two teams that battled through the Division Series and the Championship Series in their respective leagues.  The settings for this Series are the old and venerable Fenway Park featuring the Green Monster, which opened in 1912, and the newer Busch Stadium III, which opened in 2006.  Both teams also had the best regular season record in their respective leagues, the first time that has happened since 1999.

Every good miniseries has several story arcs, and this World Series is no exception.  This is Carlos Beltran’s first trip to the World Series in his long illustrious career, and it’s Yadier Molina’s fourth trip to the Series.  This is Mike Matheny’s first trip to the World Series as a manager.  Chris Carpenter took batting practice at Fenway to fulfill a long held dream and he hit pretty well.  Maybe he should have been put on the roster on the bench?  LOL!

Will rookie Michael Wacha be as lights out on the mound as he was during the NLCS? Or will he get nervous and choke?  Will Matt Adams start hitting like he did during the regular season?  How will Allen Craig perform in a DH role?

This World Series brings hope to Boston after the terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon.  It’s the battle of the Red Sox beards versus the fresh faced Cardinals rookies.  It’s a showdown between 2 of the oldest franchises in MLB.  And of course, each team claims the best fans in baseball.

This World Series is the fourth meeting between the Red Sox and the Cardinals. The Cardinals hold a 3-1 lead in the matchups.  In the 2004 World Series, the Cards were swept in 4 games by the Sox.  Will there be revenge this year for 2004?  Only Molina, Matheny, and Chris Carpenter remain from that Cardinals team.

It would be easy to get caught up in all the drama.  But underneath it all, this is still the World Series and there is still baseball to be played.  On paper, the Cards and the Red Sox appear evenly matched.  This should be a very good World Series.  My prediction is that the Cards will win in 6, for Stan.  Let’s go Cards!  My next post will give you all the logistics for the 2013 World Series games and events.

Thanks for reading!  See you soon!

Diane