Won’t you go home, Old Man Winter, won’t you go home?

Snowbaseball
Photo from thebaseballbloggess.com

The title, of course, is set to the tune of “Bill Bailey.”  (And if you don’t know that classic song, well, Google it. Or ask Alexa or Siri.) Old Man Winter obviously can’t read, or he would see that today’s date is April 18 and realize that it is well past time for him to go back to the North (or South) Pole.  Snowballs and baseballs are roughly the same size, but this time of year, we would rather see baseballs being thrown than snowballs.  The weather gets warmer for a few days, fooling us into thinking that spring is finally here; then Old Man Winter returns, making the weather windy, cold and sometimes snowy.  Old Man Winter doesn’t know he’s outstayed his welcome.

Twenty-five Major League games have been postponed this season due to inclement weather, including today’s Cards-Cubs game, which was rescheduled for tomorrow.  Even closed-in stadiums were not exempt – one of the Blue Jays’ games had to be postponed due to a leaky roof.  The Cards-Cubs game that was cancelled on Monday due to inclement weather is scheduled to be played as part of a twi-night doubleheader on July 21.  It will hopefully be warmer by then.  I do recall, however, attending a Camera Night game in July at Busch Stadium II when the temperature was so cool that we were all wearing jackets.

I can’t remember a season when so many games have been postponed or rescheduled in the first month of the season due to the weather. So much for global warming!  It’s so sad to see our boys with the hooded sweatshirts under their uniforms and caps, trying to stay warm.  Sweatshirts are expected during playoff season in the fall, when it normally is cooler.  But in April?  What have we done to Mother Nature to make her hold back Spring?  There’s a reason that spring training is held in Florida and Arizona. Usually, the teams bring the warm weather up North when they return.  I will be attending both Saturday and Sunday’s games at Busch Stadium and the temperatures are projected to be in the low 60’s.  It should be in the high 60’s by now.

It’s not good for the players to play in such cold conditions. It makes the muscles tight and prone to injury. Tommy Pham pulled a groin muscle during last night’s game.  The cold weather might have contributed to that injury.  The cold weather conditions also doesn’t make the baseballs fly like they would if the weather was warmer. In addition, if the weather is cold, the fans won’t come to the stadium, and concession profits are lost.

So is this season an anomaly?  Could all these postponements/cancellations happen again next year? The weather can’t be predicted a year out, but maybe MLB could schedule games to prevent snow-outs/cold-outs/ice-outs.  How is that possible, you ask?  I’m (almost) certain that all of the game schedules are drawn up by computers by now.

Here’s my proposal:

  1.  All games in March and the first 3 weeks of April should be held in stadiums in   warmer climes or in stadiums with roofs.
  2.  The exception to number 1 would be an early April homestand for each team for   the home opener. The fans deserve an April home opener; they’ve waited six   months for baseball.  There will be a scheduled day off after the home opener, in   case the home opener is rained out, snowed out, or it’s just too darn cold to play.     The Cards already do this, but I’m not sure if other teams do.

Surely MLB can arrange the schedules so that the late March/early-to-mid-April games can be played at the stadiums located in warmer climes or that have a closed-in roof, and those teams are listed in Column A below. The teams listed in Column B are the teams that don’t have the necessary attributes for Column A.

 American League:

A                             B

Rays                      Yankees

Rangers                Indians

Athletics              Orioles

Angels                  Royals

Twins                    White Sox

Mariners              Red Sox

Astros                   Tigers

                               Blue Jays

 National League:

A                                             B

Braves                                  Mets

Padres                                  Phillies

Dodgers                               Pirates

Diamondbacks                  Nationals

Brewers                               Reds

Marlins                                 Cards

Giants                                   Cubs

                                                Rockies

You will note that there is an extra team in Column B for both leagues.  MLB will have to do a juggling act with the schedules, but that’s what computers are for.  Maybe the Blue Jays could play at the Rockies’ stadium for a quick interleague matchup to even things up.  Any other plan has got to be better than all the cancelled/postponed games this month. In addition, when it gets hot in the South and the West during the summer, perhaps those teams could visit the northern and the eastern teams and play in the cooler climes.

The Cards will be back home on Friday for a six game homestand.  Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and boot Old Man Winter back home.  I’ll have the homestand highlights in my next post.  Until then, thanks for reading! See you next time!

 Diane

 

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Opening Day and Homestand Highlights for Thursday, April 5 – Wednesday, April 11

2018 Opening Day

It may be chilly tomorrow, but it will seem like spring since the Cardinals’ Opening Day is tomorrow!  Are you excited?  I’ve been waiting for this day all winter.  It will be great to see the current players riding into the stadium on the back of those Ford F150 trucks, and to see the new players too.  I get teary eyed seeing the Cardinals Hall of Famers in their red jackets.  I’m excited to see Bob Gibson’s first pitch to Tim McCarver, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his 1.12 ERA, which has never been broken.  And I’m glad that the game is in the evening so I can watch the pre-game festivities from home, rather than from the window of the office across from my desk and watching them on the big video screen at the stadium (and hoping and praying I don’t get caught).  Listed below is the schedule for the Opening Day festivities and the game information, as well the information for the rest of the homestand. You will want to note that the April 11 game will only be broadcast on Facebook, but that’s during lunch time for me, so I can watch it on my phone.  Go Cards!

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Thursday, April 5—Wednesday, April 11)

Home Opener & Mystery HOF Car Parade Bobblehead Giveaway Highlight First Homestand of 2018

The Cardinals open the 2018 home slate with a pair of three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (April 5, 7-8) and the Milwaukee Brewers (April 9-11).  The first homestand of the year is highlighted by Opening Day festivities, four promotional giveaways and two theme nights.

Thursday, April 5, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (6:15 p.m.) OPENING DAY

Pregame Schedule

12:00 – 3:15 p.m.            Opening Day Pep Rally at Ballpark Village: 

Join Fredbird, Team Fredbird and DJ Todd Thomas at the Ballpark Village parking lot for the Cardinals Opening Day Pep Rally.  This event is free for all fans to attend and will proceed rain or shine.  Danny Cox, Kyle McClellan and the FOX Sports Midwest announcers will stop by with plenty of Cardinals prizes and even some Opening Day tickets to give away.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase as well.

11:00 – 5:00 p.m.            FOX 2 Pep Rally in Kiener Plaza (7th & Market)

1:00 – 6:00 p.m.              Two other pep rallies for you to attend:

KSDK Pep Rally – Tin Roof at 10th & Clark (formerly J. Buck’s                                                     Restaurant)

KMOV Pep Rally – 4th and South Broadway, with former                                                             Cardinals Kyle McClellan and Ray Lankford

3:00 p.m.                         Gates open

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.              Cardinals Batting Practice (subject to change)

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.              Diamondbacks Batting Practice (subject to change)

5:30 p.m.                          Pregame ceremonies begin with an appearance by the                                                                 famed Budweiser Clydesdales

Introduction of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger

Introduction of Fredbird and Team Fredbird

5:35 p.m.                          Hall of Famers will be introduced via a Ford Motorcade around                                               the warning track. Hall of Famers will be riding in 2018 Ford                                                     Mustang convertibles.

Introduction of 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class

Cardinals Opening Day Video

5:50 p.m.                          Introduction of Cardinals principal owner and CEO, Bill DeWitt                                               Jr.

Introduction of the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals via Ford Motorcade. The players will ride in 2018 Ford F-150 Raptors.

                                   Introduction of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Color Guard and American Flag in center field, courtesy of the service men and women of Scott Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood, respectively.

6:05 p.m.                          National Anthem performed by Colleen Schoendienst, daughter                                               of Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst

6:07 p.m.                           KC-135 Flyover (weather permitting)

6:09 p.m.                           Ceremonial First Pitch by Bob Gibson to Tim McCarver in                                                          recognition of Bob Gibson’s historic 1968 season.

6:15 p.m.                           First Pitch

Watching on TV

Fans can watch the pregame ceremonies in High Definition on FOX Sports Midwest beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Live pregame coverage will start at 4:00 p.m.  The game will also be broadcast nationally outside of the Cardinals home television territory on MLB Network.

MLB Network Showcase National Broadcast (out of market only)

2018 Cardinals Magnet Schedule: All ticketed-fans, ages 21 and older, will receive a magnet featuring the 2018 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser.

Cardinals en Español: Tonight’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from tonight’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050. #CardsCare5050

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located by Gate 1, Gate 3, and inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Saturday, April 7, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Mystery Hall of Fame Opening Day Car Parade Bobblehead: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will be surprised at the gates when they find out which mystery Hall of Fame parade bobblehead they receive (Brock, Gibson, Schoendienst), courtesy of Ford.#CardsPromo

Ceremonial First Pitch: Former Cardinals outfielder Ray Lankford will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.  Ray will then serve as the first celebrity bartender at the Budweiser Terrace one hour after the start of the game.

Cardinals en Español: Tonight’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals outfielder Ray Lankford will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from tonight’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050. #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Amateur Game:  After today’s game, Hillsboro High School will square off against Edwardsville High School.

Sunday, April 8, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Performance Pullover Giveaway:  30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will leave the ballpark with their very own lightweight quarter-zip performance pullover, courtesy of Maryville University. #CardsPromo

Kids Ticket Voucher Giveaway: All kids entering with a tickets, ages 15 and younger, will receive a free ticket voucher valid for select Cardinals regular season home games in 2018, courtesy of Ritz. #CardsPromo

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 en Español: Tonight’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from tonight’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050. #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Amateur Game: After today’s game, Greenville High School will square off against O’Fallon High School.

Monday, April 9, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (6:05 p.m.)

ESPN National Broadcast (out of market only)

Gates open at 4:35 p.m.

College Theme Night #1: Take a break from the books and celebrate the end of the school year on College Night at Busch Stadium.  For just $20, fans will receive a ticket to the game and an exclusive Cardinals crewneck sweatshirt.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/college. #CardsTheme

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Class of 2018 Theme Night: Graduates of all ages are invited down to the ballpark for Class of 2018 Night.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Class of 2018 t-shirt.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/graduation. #CardsTheme

Ceremonial First Pitch: 18-year-old Camille Fernandez, who received a life-saving procedure for her battle against leukemia thanks to Carlos Martínez’s Tsunami Waves Foundation, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located by Gate 1, Gate 3, and inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  #CardsCare

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (12:15 p.m.)

Facebook Watch Exclusive Broadcast

Gates open at 10:45 a.m.

Facebook Watch: Today’s game will be distributed exclusively on Facebook Watch via the MLB Live show page (facebook.com/MLBLiveGames) as part of MLB’s newly expanded partnership for the 2018 season.

Award Ceremony: Before the start of today’s game, Adam Wainwright and Marcell Ozuna will be presented with their 2017 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards in recognition of being the best National League offensive starting pitcher and left fielder, respectively, as selected by NL managers and coaches.

Amateur Game: After today’s game, the St. Louis Patriots will square off against Marshall County High School (KY).

MORE INFORMATION

Cardinals Fan Music Contest

The club has launched the first-ever Cardinals Fan Music Contest as a way for fans to share their creativity and musical talent, along with their passion for Cardinals baseball.  Fans are asked to write, perform and share an original Cardinals-inspired song/anthem and share the performance via a video or audio file.  One lucky performance will be crowned the winner and receive a trip to Nashville to have their song professionally recorded and mastered at the Shoe Box Studios.  The Cardinals will also produce a professional music video and share the artist’s work with all of Cardinals Nation!  Details can be found at cardinals.com/MusicContest.

Cardinals 2018 Hall of Fame Voting

Earlier this month, Vince Coleman, Keith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Ray Lankford, Scott Rolen, Lee Smith and John Tudor were revealed as the seven players nominated for possible induction into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.  The seven nominees appear on the Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot online at cardinals.com/HOF presented by Edward Jones.  The two players with the most online fan votes after voting concludes on April 12 will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this August.  #CardsHOF

#BigMacFlashback

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 1998 Home Run Race that ultimately concluded with Mark McGwire establishing a new MLB single-season home run record.  All season long, we will share content on our social media channels that helps fans relive the 1998 Home Run Race; including videos of all 70 of Big Mac’s home runs, real-time updates on the home run count of McGwire, Sosa and Griffey Jr. and fan images that convey the excitement of that amazing season.  As part of the lookback, the team will be asking fans to share their photos, memorabilia, stories and experiences from the historic 1998 season as the fan perspective is an important part of this historic time in baseball.  Fans can share their favorite #BigMacFlashback memories with us using our online submission form at cardinals.com/McGwire.

Busch Stadium Food & Beverages

The Cardinals Fan Food Guide is available at cardinals.com/food and via the MLB.com Ballpark mobile app to help fans locate their favorite food and beverages at Busch Stadium.

New concession items for 2018 include:

Gioia’s Hot Salami Sandwich: A St. Louis Hill classic since 1918!  A James Beard Award winning sandwich featuring Gioia’s hot salami, Italian bread, pepper jack cheese, diced onions, sliced pepperoncini’s and deli mustard.  Served at: Concourse Stand behind Section 151 for $14.25.

Coca-Cola Cantina Street Tacos: Three tacos with Coca-Cola marinated house smoked pork, Coca-Cola infused BBQ sauce, fresh pico de gallo, toasted onions, lime wedge.  Served at: Coke Cantina at Gate 1 for $9.

Grilled Chicken Bats: Smoked chicken legs with choice of BBQ, Buffalo or Hot Honey sauces.  Served at: Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $7.

Sausage Bites: Bacon Onion Cheddar, Whiskey Peppercorn, or Mango Habanero sausage topped with spicy aioli.  Served at Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $8.75.

Jumbo Shrimp Skewer: Four Jumbo Shrimp, grilled to order, marinated with minced garlic and fresh lime.  Served at: Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $12.

Grand Slam Mixed Grill: Sampling of Grilled Chicken Bats, Sausage Bites and Jumbo Shrimp Skewer. Served at: Terrace Grill at Budweiser Terrace for $25.

Updated Prohibited Items Policy

Fans may now bring empty cups, empty mugs, empty plastic bottles and ice packs into Busch Stadium.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/security for the complete inspection policy & prohibited items list.

Busch Stadium Re-Entry

Exit stamps will be available for guests who need to exit the stadium but plan to return.  The stamps will be located at Gate 1 (southeast corner of stadium) and Gate 4 (northwest corner of stadium).

Smoking Gate Relocation

Busch Stadium has moved the Smoking Gate to outside of Gate 1 (southeast corner of stadium).  This new space includes a covered area for guest and free access in/out of the area.

Fan Information Guide

The Busch Stadium Fan Information Guide can be viewed at cardinals.com/info.

Budweiser Ballpark Pass

Following a successful launch in 2017, the popular ticket subscription service returns for 2018.  Fans can attend as many Cardinals home games as they want each month for a monthly fee of $29.99.  Subscribers will have a Standing Room Only ticket to each regular season game (except Opening Day) digitally delivered to their smartphone via the MLB.com Ballpark app.  The subscription will automatically renew each month and subscribers can cancel at any time.  To purchase the Budweiser Cardinals Ballpark Pass or for more information, visit cardinals.com/pass.

Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cardinals are proud to continue to offer the Individual ($50) and Family ($85) Museum Membership options for fans in 2018.  Visit cardinals.com/membership for a detailed list of membership benefits.

This year’s new special exhibit entitled “Goodwill through Baseball: Cardinals Across the Pacific” examines how the Cardinals MLB’s baseball goodwill tours across the Pacific have helped pave the way for players to join leagues in the United States and Japan.  Additionally, the official World Baseball Classic trophy will be on display as part of the exhibit through Memorial Day.  Photo opportunities will be available on Saturday home games in April and May. The special exhibit is open to the public through the conclusion of the 2018 baseball season and is included with admission to the museum.

The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and remains open through the 7th inning on home game nights.  Adult admission is $12, and tickets can be purchased at cardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Cardinals Magazine – New Edition on Sale Now

Always a man on a mission behind the plate, Yadier Molina was boots on the ground in his homeland of Puerto Rico this offseason as he repaired homes and delivered supplies and hope to many devastated by Hurricane Maria.  In the season-opening edition of Cardinals Magazine, Yadi and his wife, Wanda, share personal stories and photos in an exclusive story you won’t find anywhere else.

Our inside access also takes you behind the scenes with arguably the league’s top outfield trio of Marcell Ozuna, Tommy Pham and Dexter Fowler, and inside the home of pitcher Miles Mikolas—to visit with his wife, Lauren.  Plus, Adam Wainwright’s heartfelt letter to his younger self, the debut of Tommy Pham’s monthly column, our detailed look at the promising wave of young talent in the farm system, and so much more!  Start a print or digital subscription and receive two FREE tickets to a 2018 home game.  To order, visit cardinals.com/publications or call 314-345-9000.

Official Team Media Guide

The Cardinals official team Media Guide has long been relied upon by journalists and broadcasters who cover the team.  Containing stats, photos and biographies of every player in the Cardinals organization, along with the definitive history of the club since its inception, the official team Media Guide is the most comprehensive book about the Cardinals.  The 2018 Media Guide is available for $20 at the Official Cardinals Team Store, the Cardinals Authentics Shop or online at cardinals.com/mediaguide.

That’s all for now – and it’s a lot to process!  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame fan ballot now open!

Hello friends!  Spring training has begun!  It’s so exciting to see the minor league players showing us their stuff during spring training games.  It makes me excited for the future.

It’s time now to honor the past as the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame fan ballot is now open for voting.  I was pleased to see John Tudor, my favorite pitcher in the 1980’s, on this year’s ballot. I and my fellow bloggers have been posting on Twitter over the years that Ray Lankford deserves to be in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and he is also on this year’s ballot. There are also some carryover candidates from last year’s ballot.  Remember, you can only vote for two candidates.  Here are all the details on voting and descriptions of all the candidates’ Cardinals careers.

2018 CARDINALS HALL OF FAME FAN BALLOTING BEGINS TODAY

Fans Can Select Two Players For August Induction From A List of Seven Former Cardinals Greats

ST. LOUIS, Mo., March 1, 2018 – The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame fan balloting process is now open at cardinals.com/HOF.  Fans can select two players for election from a ballot that includes Cardinals greats Vince Coleman,  

HOFKeith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Ray Lankford, Scott Rolen, Lee Smith and John Tudor.

The seven modern ballot nominees were selected by a “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process in January.  The Cardinals Hall of Fame Fan Vote, presented by Edward Jones, will run through Thursday, April 12.  The two players with the most fan votes after the voting concludes will be announced as part of the fifth Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class on Friday, May 4, at 6:00 p.m. during a televised 30-minute Hall of Fame announcement special on FOX Sports Midwest, and also in a pregame ceremony at Busch Stadium before the Cardinals face the Chicago Cubs.

The formal enshrinement ceremony for the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Class is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, at FOX Sports Midwest Live! in Ballpark Village as part of the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend.  The induction ceremony is free to attend.

The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame was established as a way to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of the greatest players in Cardinals history.  To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired as a player from Major League Baseball for at least three years.  The eligible pool of players is divided into two categories of “modern players” and “veteran players”.  If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.

In addition to nominating modern players for fan balloting, the Red Ribbon committee of Cardinals baseball experts also elects a veteran player for induction using a secret ballot process.  Independent of this process, the Cardinals organization may also opt to induct an individual who was an important figure in Cardinals history such as a coach, broadcaster or member of the front office.

Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame will be permanently enshrined in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the team’s museum.  The Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public.  The plaques that adorn the gallery are produced by Mathews International, the company that also produces the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Fans can check cardinals.com/HOF for more details about the 2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend as they become available along with information about other events at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum that weekend.

Following is a description of each Hall of Fame nominee’s career as a Cardinal:

 Vince Coleman (#ColemanHOF)

Years: 1985 – 1990                          

.265/.326/.339, 937 H, 549 SB, 556 R, 56 3B (878 Games)

Vince Coleman burst on to the scene in 1985 by stealing 110 bases as a rookie, a MLB record that still stands today, and winning National League Rookie of the Year honors.  Coleman would continue to lead the National League in stolen bases throughout his six seasons as the Cardinals primary left-fielder while being named to two All-Star teams.  A member of two National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Coleman’s 549 career stolen bases rank him second all-time in franchise history behind Lou Brock.

Keith Hernandez (#HernandezHOF)

Years: 1974 – 1983                          

.299/.385/.448, 1217 H, 265 2B, 81 HR, 595 RBI, 662 R (1165 Games)

Keith Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-1983 at first base.  He was a National League co-MVP in 1979, batting a league leading .344 with 48 doubles, 11 home runs and 105 RBI.  The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 World Championship team and batted .299 that season with 94 RBI.  Hernandez’s .385 on-base percentage ranks fifth all-time among Cardinals hitters to have played at least 10 seasons with the club.

Jason Isringhausen (#IzzyHOF)

Years: 2002 – 2008                          

217 Saves, 2.98 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 408.0 IP (401 Games)

Jason Isringhausen spent seven seasons with the Cardinals. During his time with the team, the Cardinals won the Central Division in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 with World Series appearances in 2004 and 2006, winning the World Series in 2006.  He registered a National League-leading 47 saves in 2004, tying the franchise record which Lee Smith set, until Trevor Rosenthal broke the record in 2015.  An All-Star in 2005, “Izzy” still holds the franchise record for saves with 217, and is sixth with 401 appearances with St. Louis.

Ray Lankford (#LankfordHOF)

Years: 1990 – 2001, 2004              

.273/.365/.481, 1479 H, 928 R, 228 HR, 829 RBI, 250 SB (1580 Games)

Ray Lankford was known for his combination of speed and power during his 13 seasons in St. Louis.  Lankford recorded five 20-20 seasons (with four consecutive from 1995-1998) and ranks fifth all-time in club history in home runs and stolen bases.  He is the only player in Cardinals history with at least 200 home runs and 200 steals, and hit more home runs in Busch Stadium II than any other player (123).  The long-time Cardinal center fielder was named to the All-Star team in 1997 and still ranks in the all-time Top-10 franchise leaders in Runs (9th), Total Bases (10th), Doubles (9th), Runs Batted In (8th), Walks (5th) and Game Winning-RBI (T-2nd).

Scott Rolen (#RolenHOF)

Years: 2002 – 2007                          

.286/.370/.510, 678 H, 421 R, 173 2Bs, 111 HR, 453 RBI (661 Games)

In his five plus seasons with the Cardinals, Scott Rolen dominated the hot corner winning Gold Gloves in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, and a Silver Slugger award in 2002.  He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, and named to the All-Busch Stadium team as the third baseman by vote of fans.  In 2004, Rolen slashed .314/.409/.598 with 34 home runs and 124 RBI.  His stellar 2004 campaign continued during the postseason with his pennant-clinching, two-run homer off Roger Clemens in the 6th inning of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series vs. Houston.  In 2006, Rolen helped the club to its 10th World Championship, closing out the postseason with a 10-game hitting streak.

Lee Smith (#SmithHOF)

Years: 1990 – 1993                          

160 Saves, 2.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 266.2 IP (245 Games)

Known as one of the most feared closers in baseball history, Lee Smith recorded at least 43 saves in three of his four seasons with the Cardinals, leading the league in 1991 and 1992.  During his Cardinals career, Smith earned three All-Star selections and finished in the Top-4 of National League Cy Young voting twice.  His 160 saves stood as a club record until Jason Isringhausen surpassed that total in 2007.

John Tudor (#TudorHOF)

Years: 1985 – 1988, 1990              

62-26, 2.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12 SHO, 881.2 IP (125 Games Started)

During his five seasons in a Cardinals uniform, John Tudor accumulated a .705 winning percentage and 2.52 ERA over 125 starts, both of which still stand as all-time Cardinals records (minimum 750.0 IP).  The left-hander’s finest season came in 1985 when he won 21 games (went 20-1 after June 1) with a miniscule 1.93 ERA, including 10 complete game shutouts, and finished second in National League Cy Young voting.  A member of two National League pennant winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Tudor won at least 10 games in each of the four full seasons he pitched for the Redbirds.

Cardinals Hall of Fame Members

Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Sam Breadon, Lou Brock, Jack Buck, August A. “Gussie” Busch Jr., Chris Carpenter, Dizzy Dean, Jim Edmonds, Curt Flood, Bob Forsch, Frank Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, George Kissell, Tony La Russa, Marty Marion, Pepper Martin, Tim McCarver, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Terry Moore, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Mike Shannon, Ted Simmons, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth, Bruce Sutter and Joe Torre.

2018 Cardinals Hall of Fame Red Ribbon Selection Committee

Tom Ackerman,  Frank Cusumano,  Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker,  Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch,  Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst and Brian Walton.

Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The 8,000-square-foot St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village celebrates the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball’s most storied franchises.  Since its creation in 2014, the Cardinals Hall of Fame, presented by Edward Jones, has inducted 37 former Cardinal players, coaches and executives.  The Cardinals’ museum collection is the largest team-held collection in baseball and is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 22,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archived photographs.  Fans can learn more about the museum at cardinals.com/museum.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

2018 Winter Warm-Up Report Day 3

WWU2018Today was the third and last day of Winter Warm-Up.  It had snowed overnight, so it really looked like winter this morning.  Phillip and I boarded a Metrolink train at a later time this morning, since the first presentation we want to attend didn’t start until 11:00 AM.  We arrived at the Hyatt only 10 minutes after WWU opened for the day, and there were no lines snaking through the lobby.  The third day of WWU is not as well attended as the previous two days, since out-of-town people travel home and other people have to work on that day. The WWU planners seem to realize this too, as there were  no presentations in the Dugout room until 12 PM.

We checked in our coats and went down to the second floor to look at the vendor booths.  One of the vendors had a $5 bin with leftover promotional items.  I bought a Cardinals beach towel and a grey 1940’s jersey for my husband.  Some of the vendors had 50% off sales, and the Cardinals Care store had 50% off all of their items.  Even at 50% off, the jerseys still cost more than my budget allowed.

We went upstairs to the Main Stage ballroom to see what was going on.  The guys giving autographs before lunch this morning were Tyler O’Neill, Andrew Knizer, John Mabry, Brett Cecil, Whitey Herzog, Cliff Politte, Andy and Alan Benes, Mike Matheny, and Bill DeWitt II and III.  Once again, I need to apologize for the photo quality.  See the Day 1 report for details.

The first presentation we attended today was with Bill DeWitt, Jr. and III on the Main Stage.  They were interviewed by Matt Chambers of local TV station KMOV.  DeWitt, Jr. talked about the strategic way they look at players.  The issue of social media was discussed and how it stirs up interest in the club and engages players with the public.  As president of the club, DeWitt III is in charge of the Cardinals’ social media presence.  The Communications Department does the actual posting on social media.  DeWitt III said that the most popular social media posts are about the history of the Cardinals.

DeWitt III spoke about Phase II of Ballpark Village.  The west side will be a hotel, an office tower, and additional retail and some parking.  The east side will be a 29 story, 300 unit apartment complex.

DeWitt III then talked about the new Budweiser Terrace, which will be in the upper deck in the right field terrace level.  It will be a standing room only, social area for fans to kick back and socialize.

Questions were then taken from the audience.  The first question was since there was so many blown games last season, why didn’t the front office pick up Greg Holland or another closer?  DeWitt, Jr. had a long, drawn out answer, but the highlights were that there is no certainty with a closer – they can be great one year and bad the next, and if the current crop of available closers were great, they’d have been picked up already.

There were a couple of other interesting questions and thank you messages for the DeWitts for keeping baseball going in St. Louis.

20180115_100611.jpg

The second presentation we attended today was “2017 – A Year in Photos” by Taka Yanagimoto, the head of the Cardinals’ photo department. We attended this presentation last year and really enjoyed it, so we thought we would attend it this year.  Mr. Yanagimoto started by presenting some statistics as to how many photographs the photography team shot last season – 22,000 photos.  21,000 of those photos were saved to the archives.  Photographs are used in many ways – social media, the Cardinals magazine, etc.  The best part came next – when Mr. Yanagimoto ran the slide show of the best photographs that were taken last year.  It was sad to realize that a lot of the players in the photographs were no longer with the team.

After the presentation, Phillip and I went to Subway for lunch.  The temperature was starting to drop, and the wind was very cold coming off of the river.

The afternoon autograph signers were Kerry Robinson, Ray Lankford, Tom Lawless, Matt Carpenter, Jack Flaherty, and the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Yadier Molina.  Phillip wanted to go home after lunch, but I wanted to see Yadi.  I was going to purchase an autograph ticket for Ray Lankford this morning when I got to the Hyatt, but when I went to the ticket sale area, I discovered that there were no more tickets left for Ray. Everyone was so happy to see Yadi that they broke out in a round of applause when he sat down in his seat.

We then hurried down to the second floor to see the presentation with the bald eagle.  The eagle’s name was Liberty and the handler from the World Bird Sanctuary explained how Liberty came to live at the World Bird Sanctuary.  He spoke about the work that the World Bird Sanctuary.  Since we were late, we were at the back of the room. Fredbird sneaked into the room and gave me a peck on the head.  He always does that when he sees me because I have red hair.

After the bald eagle presentation, we went to the Cardinals Authentic booth to see if I could win a lovely 2009 All-Star Game plaque by correctly answering the trivia question.  I could not answer it, although I did not cheat by Googling the answer. The question was about Yadi – who did he pass on the Cardinals’ all time hits list?  It was Jim Bottomley.

It was time to us go home.  We  had a great time but I will do some things better next year.  I will have a better phone, a better camera, and I will get more autograph tickets.  I will also pack a lunch for at least one day to save some money.

Thanks for reading my long reports!  See you next time!

Diane

2018 Winter Warm-Up schedule and more!

WWU2018The calendar has turned to a new year, and we can see spring right around the corner.  The first event of the Cardinals New Year is Winter Warm-Up and that happens this weekend.  I’ll share the schedule with you shortly.  But first, there are two items of interest.  First, Randal Grichuk accepted the Cardinals’ arbitration offer today for $2.6 million dollars for 1 year.  Will Randal be the Cards’ fourth outfielder, or was he signed in advance of a trade? Second, tickets for the Cardinals’ spring training games go on sale on Saturday and you can purchase them here:  cardinals.com/springtraining, or you can call 561-775-1818.  Someday I hope to get to spring training.

I’ll be at Winter Warm-Up, so if you see me, stop me and say hi!  I would love to meet those who read my blog.  And now without further ado,  here is the schedule for 2018 Winter Warm-Up.

CARDINALS-THEMED HOLIDAY WEEKEND TO KICK OFF 2018 SEASON

Weekend Highlighted by 2018 Winter Warm-Up, Cardinals Caravan & Writers’ Dinner

 ST. LOUIS, Mo., January 11, 2018 – The 22nd annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up (#CardsWarmUp) and the Cardinals Caravan (#CardsCaravan) highlight a busy Cardinals-themed holiday weekend that kicks off the 2018 season.

Winter Warm-Up—the largest fundraising effort for the team’s charitable fund, Cardinals Care—returns to the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch Saturday, January 13 through Monday, January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) with appearances from over 60 players, coaches and alumni.  For the most complete schedule and up-to-date Winter Warm-Up information, visit cardinals.com/WWU.

The 2018 Cardinals Caravan, presented by Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, departs Busch Stadium on Friday morning.  Over the course of the weekend, more than 30 current and former players will visit 20 cities throughout Cardinals Nation along six different routes before returning to St. Louis on Monday night.  For complete information on all caravan stops, visit cardinals.com/caravan.

The 60th annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner takes place at the Union Station Hotel on Sunday, January 14. Fans will enjoy a night of fun and entertainment as the dinner honors the top players from the 2017 Cardinals team and commemorates six decades of Cardinals players.  The evening will be highlighted by special guests and the presentation of the Red Schoendienst Medal, J.G. Taylor Spink St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year Award and the inaugural Branch Rickey Award.

Below are complete highlights of the 2018 Winter Warm-Up weekend:

Friday, January 12, 2018

  • Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 12:00–7:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
  • Cardinals Caravan: The 2018 Caravan kicks off with stops in Champaign and Peoria, Ill., Jefferson City and Springfield, Mo. and Memphis, Tenn.
  • Adam Wainwright’s Big League Impact 2nd Annual Sing Off & Karaoke Challenge (Dave & Buster’s, 7:00 p.m.): Come watch Waino and ten of St. Louis’ best karaoke performers compete against each other for the title of 2018 Big League Impact St. Louis Sing Off Winner while raising money to help save lives in St. Louis and around the globe!  Tickets are available at bigleagueimpact.org.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

  • Winter Warm-Up: The three-day event kicks off today, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
    • Cardinals Autographs: Carson Kelly, Alex Reyes, John Brebbia, Dakota Hudson, John Mozeliak, Miles Mikolas, Matt Bowman, Carlos Martínez, Luke Voit, Rowan Wick, Austin Gomber, Sam Tuivailala, Ryan Sherriff & Kolten Wong
    • Alumni Autographs: Ray King, John Tudor, Al Hrabosky, Ted Savage, Brian Jordan & Scott Cooper
    • Main Stage: The Main Stage will feature a number of auctions, presentations and live emceed interviews throughout the day.  Scheduled events include KMOV’s Claire Kellet from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., Redbird Rookies Scholarship Presentation at 10:30 a.m., Q&A with President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak at 11:00 a.m., and broadcasters Dan McLaughlin, Tim McCarver and Jim Edmonds from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
      • Live Auctions (Main Stage): Beginning at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Fans must be present to win an auction item and all items must be paid for and picked up at the close of each auction.
    • Dugout Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. –  “A History of the St. Louis Browns’ 52 years in St. Louis” with author Ed Wheatley
      • 11:00 a.m. – “Designing the Cardinals’ Official Scorecard” with illustrator Mike Right
      • 12:00 p.m. – Learn all aspects of collecting sports memorabilia with Dave Jackson
      • 1:30 p.m. – Brian Jordan book signing (must bring a copy of his book or purchase at the signing)
      • 3:00 p.m. – Meet members of Team Fredbird
    • Clubhouse Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. – “Goodwill through Baseball: Cardinals Across the Pacific” with Cardinals Museum Curator Paula Homan
      • 11:00 a.m. – “The Overlooked Legacy of Stan Musial” with Brian Finch of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
      • 12:00 p.m. – Tips for storing and displaying personal baseball collections with Amy Berra and Danielle DiGiacomo of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum
      • 1:00 p.m. – “2017 Minor League Year in Review” with Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque
      • 2:00 p.m. – Learn about Cardinals Authentics and the MLB Authentication program with Ashley Brown of Cardinals Authentics
      • 3:00 p.m. – Learn about the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) including how baseball has embraced SABRmetrics with local chapter president Brian Flaspohler
    • Silent Auctions (Fourth Floor): There are two silent auctions: 9:00–11:30 a.m. and 1:00–3:00 p.m.

o   Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.

  • Cardinals Caravan: The Cardinals Caravan makes its way through Cardinals Nation with stops in Jonesboro, Ark., Dyersburg, Tenn., Bloomington, Ill., and Joplin, Rolla, Fulton, and Columbia, Mo.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

  • Winter Warm-Up: Day two of the event is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
    • Cardinals Autographs: Oscar Mercado, Alex Mejia, Josh Lucas, Harrison Bader, Adam Wainwright, Tyler Lyons, Paul DeJong, Tommy Pham, José Martínez, Patrick Wisdom, John Gant, Mike Mayers, Greg Garcia, Marcell Ozuna, Michael Wacha & Luke Weaver
    • Alumni Autographs: Tony La Russa, Danny Cox, Kyle McClellan, Stubby Clapp, Scott Terry, Ricky Horton, Todd Worrell, Mike Shannon & Rick Ankiel
    • Main Stage: The Main Stage will feature a number of auctions, presentations and live emceed interviews throughout the day.  Scheduled events include KMOV’s Maurice Drummond from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., broadcasters Mike Claiborne, John Rooney and Mike Shannon from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Adam Wainwright/Big League Impact Presentation & Q&A at 1:45 p.m., Q&A with General Manager Michael Girsch at 2:30 p.m., and broadcaster Ricky Horton from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
      • Live Auctions (Main Stage): Beginning at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Fans must be present to win an auction item and all items must be paid for and picked up at the close of each auction.
    • Dugout Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. –  Learn about the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) including how baseball has embraced SABRmetrics with local chapter president Brian Flaspohler
      • 11:00 a.m. – “Designing the Cardinals’ Official Scorecard” with illustrator Mike Right
      • 12:00 p.m. – Meet members of Team Fredbird
      • 1:00 p.m. – Learn all aspects of collecting sports memorabilia with Dave Jackson
      • 2:00 p.m. –  “A History of the St. Louis Browns’ 52 years in St. Louis” with author Ed Wheatley
      • 3:00 p.m. – “Making and Decorating the Cardinals Care Cupcake” with The Cup
    • Clubhouse Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. – “Busch Stadium Security Updates for 2018” with Cardinals Security Director, Phil Melcher
      • 11:00 a.m. – Discussing the Amateur Draft with Scouting Director and former Cardinals pitcher, Randy Flores
      • 12:00 p.m. – Go behind the pages of the Cardinals’ two books “Uniforms and Logos” and “Redbird Relics” with authors Gary and Oliver Kodner and Brian Finch
      • 1:00 p.m. – Learn about Cardinals Authentics and the MLB Authentication program with Ashley Brown of Cardinals Authentics
      • 2:00 p.m. – “Creating a Keepsake”—see what goes into making Hall of Fame bobbleheads and learn about benefits of Cardinals Museum Membership with Molly Becker
      • 3:00 p.m. – Bring your camera and take a picture with an American Bald Eagle, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary
    • Silent Auctions (Fourth Floor): There are two silent auctions: 9:00–11:30 a.m. and 1:00–3:00 p.m.
    • Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
  • Cardinals Caravan: The Cardinals Caravan makes stops in Evansville, Ind., as well as Mattoon, Springfield and Mount Vernon, Ill.
  • 60th Annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner (Union Station Hotel, 5:00 p.m.): This year’s dinner honors the top players from the 2017 Cardinals team and commemorates six decades of Cardinals players. The St. Louis BBWAA will present their highest honor to Bob Gibson for his Hall of Fame career and invaluable service to baseball.  Other highlights include presentation of the J.G. Taylor Spink St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year Award, the Stockton/Broeg Award for Outstanding Achievement in Baseball, the Herman/Ostermeier Award for Cardinals Rookie of the Year Award and the inaugural Branch Rickey Award for Innovation in the Game of Baseball.  For information, or to purchase tickets, visit stlouisbbwaa.com.

 Monday, January 15, 2018

  • Winter Warm-Up: The final day of the event is open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    • Cardinals Autographs: Tyler O’Neill, Andrew Knizner, Brett Cecil, Mike Matheny, Bill DeWitt Jr., Bill DeWitt III, Jack Flaherty, Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter & Randal Grichuk
    • Alumni Autographs: John Mabry, John Costello, Cliff Politte, Andy Benes, Alan Benes, Whitey Herzog, Kerry Robinson, Ray Lankford, Brad Thompson & Tom Lawless
    • Main Stage: The Main Stage will feature a number of auctions, presentations and live emceed interviews throughout the day.  Scheduled events include KMOV’s Matt Chambers from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., Q&A with Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and President Bill DeWitt III at 10:00 a.m., broadcasters Jay Randolph and Scott Warmann from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and broadcasters Tom Ackerman and Brad Thompson from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
      • Live Auctions (Main Stage): Beginning at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Fans must be present to win an auction item and all items must be paid for and picked up at the close of each auction.
    • Dugout Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 12:00 p.m. –  “A History of the St. Louis Browns’ 52 years in St. Louis” with author Ed Wheatley
      • 1:00 p.m. – Meet members of Team Fredbird
    • Clubhouse Presentations (Second Floor):
      • 10:00 a.m. – Learn about the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) including how baseball has embraced SABRmetrics with local chapter president Brian Flaspohler
      • 11:00 a.m. – “2017—A Year in Photos” with Cardinals Photography Manager Taka Yanagimoto
      • 12:00 p.m. – “Making and Decorating the Cardinals Care Cupcake” with The Cup
      • 1:00 p.m. – Bring your camera and take a picture with an American Bald Eagle, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary
    • Silent Auctions (Fourth Floor): There are two silent auctions: 9:00–11:00 a.m. and 12:00–2:00 p.m.
    • Will Call: Winter Warm-Up Will Call is open from 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency.
  • Cardinals Caravan: The Cardinals Caravan makes its final stops in Decatur and Quincy, Ill., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Paducah, Ky.

Additional Winter Warm-Up Information

  • Stay Updated: Text CARDS to 82810 to receive the latest Winter Warm-Up news and event information via text message to your mobile device!
  • Admission Tickets: Although online ticket sales have ended, fans can still purchase three-day passes for the event in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency from January 12-15.  Ticket prices are $40 for fans 16 and older, $10 for fans ages five to 15, and free for kids under five.  Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult admission ticket which must be obtained in person at the ticket booth in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency during the times listed below.
  • Warm-Up Will Call: All Admission Tickets purchased after January 4, 2018 must be picked up at the ticket booth in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency during the times listed below.  A photo ID matching the name on the original order or a print out of the confirmation email is required to pick up your purchase:
    • Friday, January 12th from 12:00–7:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
    • Saturday, January 13th from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
    • Sunday, January 14th from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
    • Monday, January 15th from 9:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch
  •  Autograph Tickets:  Although online ticket sales have ended, remaining autograph tickets may be purchased in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency for a specific donation to Cardinals Care.  Every dollar donated for autograph tickets will benefit Redbird Rookies and charitable grants to other non-profit organizations that help kids.  Donation amounts can be found at cardinals.com/WWU.  All free autograph tickets have been distributed.
  • Second Floor: On the second floor of the Hyatt, fans will be able to find collectible memorabilia, baseball cards and more from more than 50 vendors, shop at the Cardinals Publications booth and Cardinals Authentics Shop, listen to informative presentations by Cardinals executives in the Dugout and Clubhouse Presentation rooms, meet Fredbird and watch the kids enjoy free activities at the Kids Room Stage.
  • Fourth Floor: On the fourth floor fans will find the main stage, be able to meet their favorite players at autograph tables, bid on Cardinals Care silent auctions, shop the Cardinals Care Store and Official Cardinals Team Store, as well as visit booths for Adam Wainwright’s Big League Impact, Carlos Martínez’s Tsunami Waves Foundation, the Jason Motte Foundation, the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation, Ballpark Village and more.
  • Cardinals Care Store: Open throughout the weekend, the Cardinals Care Store is stocked full of Cardinals memorabilia such as discounted baseball caps, team-issued apparel, t-shirts, game-worn jerseys, autographed photos and bats, and more.  Fans can even purchase photos for collecting player autographs and baseball cases for your new autographed collectibles.  Also, any fan that purchased an autograph ticket for a pre-signed baseball from Lou Brock, Bob Gibson or Ozzie Smith may redeem their ticket at the Cardinals Care Store to receive their autographed item.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Throughout the weekend, Cardinals fans, age 18 and older, can participate in the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle.  Fans can buy tickets (priced 3 for $5, 10 for $10, or 60 for $20) from kiosks located on each level of the event, in the Cardinals Care Store, at the ticket booth in the lobby, or from roaming ticket sellers.  Each day of the Winter Warm-Up, one lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the raffle ticket donations raised and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.
  •  Cardinals Kids Club Booth: The Cardinals Kids Club will have a booth in the Kids Room on the second floor.  To learn more about Cardinals Kids Club, visit cardinals.com/kidsclub.
  • Official Cardinals Team Store: The Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium will have a large selection of Cardinals merchandise available at the Warm-Up next to the silent auctions on the fourth floor.  The Official Cardinals Team Store, open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., will have specially-priced items on sale for the weekend too.  The Majestic Store located on the north side of Ballpark Village will also be open Saturday and Sunday, sharing the same hours as the Team Store.  Stop by either location for the latest Cardinals gear!
  • Cardinals Publications: Fans visiting the Cardinals Publications booth at its new second floor location can take advantage of fantastic show specials, enroll in drawings for premium autographed items and start a subscription to Cardinals Magazine.  New subscribers will take home two free tickets to a 2018 home game, the newest edition featuring Alex Reyes on the cover and gain automatic entry into a drawing to win a 16 x 20 inch photo autographed by Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.  Fans who spend at least $25 in merchandise will receive automatic entry into a drawing for autographed magazine posters signed by Carlos Martínez and Rick Ankiel.  Additional show-only sales include: 1) the 2018 Cardinals Official Calendar—spotlighting the top images by club photographers and featuring the complete spring training and regular season schedules—for just $10 each; 2) oversized Cardinals Magazine cover posters featuring the likes of Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martínez and Yadier Molina; 3) an extensive and affordable vintage collection of Cardinals Magazines, Yearbooks and Media Guides; and 4) Official Scorecard collector sets.  Stay tuned for special announcements by Cardinals Publications via Twitter (@CardsMagazine) throughout the three-day event.
  • Busch Stadium Tours & Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum: Guided tours of Busch Stadium are available during the 2018 Winter Warm-Up each day from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  These tours will be offered at regular tour prices, but will also include a stop inside the Cardinals Clubhouse—the only time each year the Cardinals’ locker room is open to tours.  Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum entry is also included in all tour ticket purchases.  Fans who purchase Stadium Tour or Museum Admission tickets during the holiday weekend will receive a special gift while supplies last.  The Cardinals Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and includes a new exhibit titled “Goodwill through Baseball: Cardinals Across the Pacific.”  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/tours.
  • Cardinals Authentics & Personalized Bats: Cardinals Authentics—the only official source of memorabilia directly from the team—will be selling unique game-used, limited-edition, exclusive and autographed memorabilia at the Winter Warm-Up.  Cardinals Authentics is offering their lowest prices of the year (this weekend only) along with other special offers and gifts with purchases.  Also at the booth, fans can buy a personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bat.  Each bat, which comes in different sizes and color options, can feature up to three lines of custom text and two logos, including the collectible 2018 Winter Warm-Up logo.  The Cardinals Authentics Store, located on the first floor of Cardinals Nation inside Ballpark Village, will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on January 13-15 and daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Show your Winter Warm-Up admission ticket at the store in Cardinals Nation and you will receive 20% off of your purchase all weekend long.  Stay tuned for special announcements by Cardinals Authentics via Twitter (@CardsAuthentics) throughout the three-day event.
  •  Green Team: The team’s “4 A Greener Game” initiative will have a booth on the second floor where fans can learn more about the Cardinals Green Team—a group of volunteers who collect recyclables from fans throughout each game at Busch Stadium.  In exchange for volunteering, fans are able to watch the game in standing room only sections of Busch Stadium.  Visit cardinals.com/green for more information. 
  • Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar: Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar in Ballpark Village is open daily during the Winter Warm-Up, and throughout the entire year: Monday–Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  During Winter Warm-Up weekend, attendees can show their admission ticket and receive 10% off their bill.  Make reservations online at cardinalsnation.com or by phone at 314.345.9880.

Social Media

Throughout the Cardinals Caravan and Winter Warm-Up, fans can stay connected by following the Cardinals on Twitter (@Cardinals), Facebook (@Cardinals), Instagram (@Cardinals) and Snapchat (Cardinals) for the latest news, event updates and behind-the-scenes content.  Fans can join the conversation and share their own photos and experiences by using hashtags #CardsWarmUp, #CardsCaravan and #CardsCare.

Traffic & Parking

For the most up-to-date alerts regarding construction and winter road conditions this weekend, fans can visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s website at modot.org.  Winter Warm-Up event parking can be found just two blocks south of the Hyatt Regency at the Stadium East Parking Garage, with entrances located on South Broadway and South 4th Street.

 That’s all for now!  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

The top 5 Cardinals stories of 2017

Top 5Tomorrow is the last day of 2017! Where does the time go?  (Probably the same place that missing socks from the dryer go.)  One of the United Cardinals Bloggers projects every year is to post what we believe were the top 5 Cardinals stories of the year.  There was a lot happening with the Cardinals this year, so it was hard to select just 5 top stories.  Like the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve, I will count down from 5 to 1.

5.   The Matt Adams left field experiment. Left fielders have been moved to first base before (see Albert Pujols), but I do not remember the reverse ever happening – until it did.  Bloggers and Cardinals fans alike scratched their heads at Mike Matheny’s bizarre experiment.  Thankfully, the Adams experiment ended and Matt was traded to the Braves.  Matt was later released by the Braves and picked up by the Nationals.

4.   MLB’s punishment on the Cardinals for Hackergate. MLB finally laid the smackdown on the Cardinals for Chris Correa’s hacking of the Astros’ computer system.  All things considered, the punishment was pretty lenient – a $2 million fine and the loss of the Cards’ top two draft picks to the Astros.  It could have been worse.

3.   Bullpen meltdown. Seung Hwan Oh did not repeat his stellar 2016 season, leading to his release.  Trevor Rosenthal was injured and had to have Tommy John surgery. The Cards released Trevor at the end of the season.  The big signing of Brett Cecil was a bust.  Juan Nicasio was picked up off of waivers from the Phillies in September, too late to qualify for the playoffs, but he pitched very well and I, along with a lot of other fans, were hoping that the Cardinals would sign him.  Unfortunately, the Mariners signed Juan for a lot more money than I’d be willing to pay him.

2.   The signing of Marcell Ozuna. The Cardinals lost out on Giancarlo Stanton, but that didn’t stop John Mozeliak from signing Ozuna.  I think the Ozuna signing was a good one.  Ozuna is friends with some of the Cardinals players, so he will fit in well with the team. It touched my heart when I read that Ozuna wants to make Cardinals fans smile.  Ozuna’s signing, however, led to Stephen Piscotty being traded to the A’s so he can be closer to his mother, who suffers from MLS.  And what will happen to Randal Grichuk?  Stay tuned for As the Outfield Turns.

1.    The emergence of Tommy Pham. Tommy has been in the Cardinals system for a long time.  He has battled through injury and an eye disease, but this season, Tommy upped his game and became the best player on the team. His emergence led the team to move Dexter Fowler to left field so that Tommy could play center field exclusively.

This off-season has seemed incredibly long, hasn’t it?  Mo has made a few deals (Ozuna, Mikolas) and changed up the coaching staff (welcome back, Jose and Willie – we really missed you), but there are other additions that need to be made so that this club can compete in 2018.  Hopefully after the first of the year, Mo will get out there and get it done.  The hot stove is losing its heat – and I’m not talking about the current frigid weather in the St. Louis area.

Winter Warm-Up is in 3 weeks and I can’t wait.  John Tudor, my favorite pitcher from the 1980s, will be signing autographs and I have my autograph ticket already.  You can order the free autograph tickets online to get them in advance so you don’t have to wait in long lines at Winter Warm-Up.  A lot of the free autograph tickets are already sold out, so don’t wait!  If you’re going to be at Winter Warm-Up, follow me on Twitter (check out the Twitter feed over in the right hand column) and maybe we can meet up!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, and may the Cardinals finally win the World Series again in 2018! Thanks as always for reading, and see you next time!

Diane

United Cardinals Bloggers 2017 Roundtable Day 1

Now that the Cardinals’ season is over, it’s time for the fall version of the United Cardinals Bloggers Roundtable.  The bloggers who are interested in participating in the roundtable pose a question to the other bloggers who are participating, and they then respond.  After all of the answers are obtained, we are to take our question and the responses and put them in a blog post.  There were supposed to be two bloggers ahead of me, but neither one of them posted their questions, so I got to be the first blogger to post a question.  In a way, that was good, because I was worried that someone would take my question and I would have to think of another one!

So here is the question I asked:

Good morning and happy Friday! This Friday is even happier due to the fact that the Cubs will not be going to the World Series this year (thank you, Dodgers!).  Welcome to the 2017 UCB Roundtable! Without further ado, here is my roundtable question.

The subject of our discussion today is Lance Lynn.  I have a 3 part question.

1.  Will the Cardinals make a qualifying offer to Lance?  If not, why?

2.  Will Lance accept the qualifying offer, if one is made?  If not, why?  If your answer to question number 1 is no, you can skip this question.

3.  If Lance doesn’t resign with the Cardinals, who fills his spot in the rotation?  Will it be someone from the minor leagues, a trade, or a free agent signing? If you have thoughts about who the Cards should select, please share.

Thanks as always for your input! I’m looking forward to your responses.

The first response was from Mark Tomasek, who writes the excellent historical Retrosimba blog.  Here is his response:

Diane:

Yes, I believe Cardinals will make a qualifying offer to Lance Lynn in order to receive a compensatory draft pick.

The Cardinals and Lynn seem ready for a divorce, so I believe the Cardinals will make the offer with no expectation Lynn will accept. He will receive some eye-popping offers from other teams.

My guess is the Cardinals will try to replace Lynn’s rotation spot from within the organization – Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes are the obvious options – and will acquire a veteran, low-cost starting pitcher (like they did in past years with Kyle Lohse, Joel Pineiro, etc.) as a safety valve.

Right now, it seems a Cardinals rotation would be Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright. Alex Reyes likely would begin the season in a bullpen role.

Cardinals will need to pick up a veteran starting pitcher (or two) to hedge against the inevitable injuries and setbacks to one or more of the projected starting five, but I don’t get the sense it will be a star pitcher.

The next response was from Allen Medlock of the Redbird Daily:

Good morning, everyone.   Excited to talk some Cardinal baseball. I believe the Cardinals will extend them qualifying offer.

That allows the organization to receive compensation in the case that Lynn will move on and the small chance of a fairly reasonable one year contract if Lynn were to accept. The free agent starting pitching market will be interesting this off-season. I expect teams to completely overspend on Lynn and Arrieta.

Carlos Martinez, Micheal Wacha, Adam Wainwright, and Luke Weaver are the rotation definite’s as things stand right now. The fifth spot may be fluid for most of the season with the expectation that Alex Reyes has taken control of the spot by June. I think they like the idea of Reyes being a bullpen weapon but have heard that they were so impressed with him during this season of rehab that he may actually take starter innings during Spring.

If they miss out on the level of offensive player that we expect them to pursue, it wouldn’t surprise me top see hem kick the tires on front-line starters via trade.

The next response was from Adam Butler, also from the Redbird Daily:

Hello, I believe the Cardinals will definitely make a qualifying offer to Lance Lynn. Worst case scenario is that he accepts it and they have their mid rotation innings eating stopgap for next season. It would push the need in their rotation back a season and give some young guys an opportunity to step up.

With that being said, I don’t see any way he accepts the qualifying offer. Even if the market collapses on him I would imagine he can get at least 3 years with an AAV similar to the $17.4 million qualifying offer.

The best guess at the current rotation would be

Carlos Martinez
Michael Wacha
Luke Weaver
Adam Wainwright
Jack Flaherty

I don’t know about you but I don’t think that’s going to cut it. They can go one of two ways here. Either add a #2 starting pitcher and push Flaherty out or sign a swing man type of pitcher to hopefully bridge the gap until Alex Reyes is ready (Trevor Cahill is the guy that keeps coming to my mind). I expect this to hinge on a couple of things.

#1. What they’re able to do with the lineup. Like Allen said, if they whiff on bringing in a true middle of the order hitter I believe they might see the rotation as a way to make up for that.

#2. What the market is like for starting pitchers. I’m sure we’ll start hearing the word “opportunistic” a whole lot as the offseason rolls on when the front office is asked about the rotation. If somebody falls into their range, they’ll be ready to pounce. Unfortunately, with the way free agency has gone in the recent past, I don’t expect a pitcher to fall into their lap.

As far as getting a high end pitcher, if we look at the available free agents it’s currently Yu Darvish or bust for me. If Masahiro Tanaka were to opt out of his contract with he could be another option as well. Those are the only two available that I would really want them to give any significant amount of money to.

The trade market for starting pitching is a whole other can of worms. I think that’s where they’d be more likely to get a high end starter if it happens. The possibilities there are almost endless though.

In the end, I expect them to sign or trade for some sort of stopgap starter. Someone to help cover some innings and give the rotation some reliability because right now I don’t feel comfortable relying on any of those guys beyond Carlos Martinez.

The next response was from Daniel Shoptaw, the head of the UCB.  You can read Daniel’s blog posts at The Cards Conclave.
Well, I’m late to the party and I figure everyone’s answered this better than me, but I’ll go ahead and go for completeness sake if nothing else!

Extending the qualifying offer to Lance Lynn is really a no-brainer.  The Cardinals would love to have Lance Lynn for another year.  If he’d do a two-year deal, they’d probably consider that as well.  Unfortunately, the market is likely to go 4-5 years for Mr. Lynn and that’s just not in the Cardinals’ plans.  So extend the QO because it’s a win-win situation.

2) As others have said, there seems no chance that Lynn would take the offer, though.  It was just two years ago that the first qualifying offers were taken and it’s still a rare thing to see a player give up the chance at free agency, especially if they are coming off a solid year.  Players tend to crave stability and long-term deals, not one-year deals requiring another good season before getting back in the FA pool.  As Adam said, he can get similar money (at worst) and more guaranteed years from someone this winter.

3) Without Lance Lynn, you have Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, and a big question mark.  And that’s if you don’t think the Cards will move Wacha to the bullpen, which would seem like a reasonable thing to entertain even though the club probably won’t do it.  John Mozeliak told us that Alex Reyes would have started the 2017 season in the bullpen and it would seem unlikely that would not be the case after a year missed with Tommy John surgery (assuming he’s even ready to go by Opening Day, which is always a question), but you wonder if the thinness of the rotation might force their hand.  Jack Flaherty has proven that he needs more time in Memphis, in my opinion, and there’s nobody else ready to step in and take that fifth starter spot.

The club will probably go out and get a veteran “innings eater” that can go in the fifth spot to begin the year and move to the bullpen once Reyes looks ready, probably the All-Star Break.  It would be nice to see them go after a more established starter, someone that fits more to the front of the rotation, given all the question marks, but the front office seems focused on getting an impact bat (which is reasonable) and a high value closer (which is less so).

The final response was from Josh Gilliam of Pitchers Hit 8th:

Lynn will get a QO and promptly decline it in hopes that everyone ignored how quickly starting pitchers were yanked this month.

The last question is really the most important of the Winter in my opinion as other moves will dictate the answer. Cards have starting pitching depth today but have already stated will be looking for innings. Factor in Waino and Wacha for different reasons as well as no 180+ from Leake.

If one or two young starters are traded, the free agents from top to bottom will all be eyed under the Arch. It actually would not surprise me at all to see one FA signing as well as a controllable starter brought into the mix.

I have linked to the blogs of each person who responded to my question, so check out their blogs.  You might find a new favorite blog!  What are your thoughts about the Lance Lynn situation?  Post them in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Homestand Highlights – August 9-13, 2017

1987 anniWow!  The Cards have won 3 games in a row.  The bats are hot and so is the pitching.  The Cardinals actually won a series for the first time in quite a while.  Should I start getting excited?  Can the Cardinals keep up this momentum?  Let’s hope so.  The Cards come back home for a short homestand starting tomorrow. and let’s hope they beat the Royals in St. Louis like they did in Kansas City.

I’ll post the highlights shortly, but I didn’t want this news to get lost at the bottom of the post just in case you stop reading halfway through the post.  The United Cardinals Bloggers got some sad news last week.  Joe McBrayer, who writes for Cardinals Red Baseball, has been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.  Your prayers and good thoughts for him would be much appreciated. If you would like to support Joe financially as well as/in lieu of prayers and good thoughts, Daniel Shoptaw, the head honcho of the UCB, has set up a GoFundMe page for Joe.  The Cardinals have contributed a Lou Brock (how appropriate) package to give away.  To get in on the raffle for the prize package, you need to contribute $10 or more to the GoFundMe page.  Thank you for any support you can give Joe.  Here’s the link, in case you missed it:  https://www.gofundme.com/gotobatforjoe.

Without further ado, here are the highlights for the upcoming homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Wednesday, August 9—Sunday, August 13)

1987 NL Championship Anniversary Weekend and Billy Joel Night Highlight Tenth Homestand at Busch

 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., August 8, 2017 – The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium in the midst of a push towards the top of the N.L. Central Division.  The five-game homestand begins with a two-game interleague matchup against Show Me State rivals the Kansas City Royals (August 9-10) and concludes with three games versus the Atlanta Braves (August 11-13).  The tenth homestand of the year is highlighted by Billy Joel Night, Negro Leagues Tribute Night and a celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the 1987 National League Championship team.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Billy Joel Theme Night: In anticipation of his upcoming September concert at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals invite all Uptown Girls and Piano Men to Billy Joel Night. Fans that purchase a special theme ticket will receive a Billy Joel bobblehead and can enjoy pregame entertainment provided by Spanky’s Dueling Pianos in Riverview Corner.  Additionally, a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to Jazz St. Louis.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

Billy

Trevor’s Troops: Trevor Rosenthal will host a group from USO Missouri for tonight’s game as part of his Trevor’s Troops player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Trevor in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.  Presented by Scott Credit Union.

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 Cardboard RoomDirt Road Addiction and Pogo Funk.  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.

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, August 10, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

 Negro Leagues Tribute Theme Night: Join us at the ballpark to celebrate the history of Negro League Baseball on Negro Leagues Tribute Night.  With the purchase of a special theme ticket, fans will receive a throwback St. Louis Stars cap, which represented St. Louis in the Negro Leagues from 1922-1931 and 1937-1943.  Fans will also be able to enjoy a traveling history exhibit and special pregame Q&A presentation with executives from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City in the Cunningham Corner.   Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.  (#CardsTheme)

Negro League

Tsunami Waves: Carlos Martínez will host a group from the Puerto Rican Society of St. Louis for today’s game as part of his Tsunami Waves player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Carlos in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions. Presented by Scott Credit Union.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Collinsville High School Cheer, Dupo High School Cheer, Jamestown Sapphires, Villa Grove High School Dance and Windsor High School Dance will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 4:45 p.m.

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, August 11, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (7:15 p.m.)

1987 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend presented by Heartland Coca-Cola

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Adult 1987 Road Gray Mystery Jersey Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a 1987 Road Grey Mystery Jersey featuring Tom LawlessJose OquendoTony PenaTerry Pendleton or John Tudor as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1987 National League Championship team.  Fans won’t know which player jersey they will receive until they enter the gates. (#CardsPromo)

1987 jersey

K Cancer Ceremony: Before tonight’s game, former Cardinals closer Jason Motte and Kolten Wong will participate in a check presentation to Cardinals Care on behalf of the Jason Motte Foundation.  In May, Motte and Wong teamed up to raise money for cancer research by hosting their annual Cornhole Challenge.  Fans can get free shipping on the Jason Motte Foundation’s “K Cancer” shirts purchased through August 26 by visiting jasonmottefoundation.org.

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 Kerry Robinson and Scott Terry 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 the 1987 World Series.  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 inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

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.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (6:15 p.m.)

1987 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend presented by Heartland Coca-Cola

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

Replica 1987 National League Championship Ring Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a wearable replica of the 1987 National League Championship ring. (#CardsPromo)

1987 ringTopps Baseball Card Pack Giveaway: 30,000 fans entering with a ticket will receive an exclusive pack of baseball cards, courtesy of Topps. (#CardsPromo)

1987 National League Championship Anniversary Ceremony: In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Cardinals 1987 National League Pennant, over 20 members of the 1987 team, including Ozzie SmithWillie McGeeWhitey HerzogTommy Herr and Jack Clark, will be honored in a pregame ceremony starting at 6:00 p.m.  Ozzie Smith will throw a ceremonial first pitch to Jack Clark.

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals outfielder Brian Jordan 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.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club 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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (1:15 p.m.)

1987 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend presented by Heartland Coca-Cola

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Cardinals Coaster Set Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a set of four Cardinals ceramic coasters, courtesy of Coca-Cola & Schnucks.  (#CardsPromo)

Coaster

 Prairie Farms Kids Run the Bases: Following the game, fans ages 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting).  Presented by Prairie Farms.

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.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club 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.

That’s all for now!  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

2017 United Cardinals Blogger Event Report – Part 2

UCB_11This report turned out to be longer than anticipated so I decided to break it up into two parts.

IMG_0255Bill DeWitt, Jr., the vice president of the Cardinals, was the next speaker. Bill said he knew we were all here for the baseball stuff, but he wanted to give a report about the business side.  The Cards are having a good year.  The Cardinals are in the top 5  in attendance and they hope to have 3.3 million fans coming through the turnstiles.  The season ticket holder base is the basis for those sales.  Bill said that there are 22,000 season ticket holders, which is a really good base relative to the league.  The Cards are in the top 5 of clubs with attendance every year while being the 24th largest market in baseball.  The bloggers are part of this. The fans are hungry for information and they get it from the club, from the bloggers and everywhere.

Bill talked about Phase II of Ballpark Village.  He stated that the plans have progressed and they are being close to being finalized.  There will be a big residential tower between the Budweiser Brew House and Broadway with lovely views of the ballpark, the riverfront, etc. Bill expressed hope that some of us might be renters someday.  I thought, yeah, only if I won the Powerball.  There will be 29 floors of apartments above a platform with parking, retail stores, more restaurants and maybe even a health club.  On the other side of Ballpark Village will be an office tower with more parking and additional retail in a marketplace building.  Bill said that maybe there will be a hotel – they’re still working on that.  Bill stated they were hoping to start construction by the end of the year on Phase II.

Bill talked about the Cards’ ownership of the minor league teams.  He stated the team also owns a stake in Fox Sports Midwest.  Bill states that they continue to look more into data analytics.  Bill talked about the changes to the stadium such as the remodeling of the Family Pavilion, moving of the infield the netting out further, and updating some of the seating in various areas.  Bill stated the capital budget is about $10 million dollars a year.  Bill stated that the goal was to keep Busch Stadium III in good shape in hopes of not having to build another stadium anytime soon, unlike Atlanta.  There is also going to be a Phase III of Ballpark Village and you don’t build all that and then build a new stadium.  Bill stated there are lots of new things out there that they are studying to see if they would be a good fit for Busch Stadium, like no waiting concessions, and things the fans could do with the app now that there is wi-fi throughout the stadium.  Bill stated that the fans go to Busch Stadium to watch the game and they care about the game.  Bill said his job was to strike a balance between what’s on the field and the entertainment factor.  We should be in the middle.  The young people need to be engaged.

Bill then took questions from the bloggers.  The first question was about spring training and sharing our facility with the Marlins.  It was stated that there were some teams moving out of Florida and maybe there would be no spring training in Florida anymore because of the lack of teams.  Bill stated that question has been settled with the new ballpark with the Nationals and the Astros.  They have extended their lease with St. Lucie.  There are 5 teams in SE Florida and that’s enough.  The Cards have a good relationship with the Marlins.  Bill stated that the Cardinals have quite an impact down in Florida – every bar and restaurant has Cardinals gear in it.  The Cards in spring training are a good economic engine to south Florida and they are good to the Cards.  There will be some upgrades to the spring training facility in the next few years.  The players love where they are, but the facility is behind the curve when it’s compared to the Arizona facilities.

The next question was from Dathan Brooks about TV revenue. Dathan talked about how much he paid $157.00 a month for his DIRECTV bill and that he could get Hulu for $7.00 a month but he can get Cards baseball on both.  Surely that figures into the projections for revenue.  Bill thought some of the $157.00 was for internet.  Dathan told him no, just for TV.  Bill then replied that Dathan must have all of the movie channels, and everyone laughed.  Bill then talked about the new contract with Fox Sports Midwest and how the Cards had a stake in it now and how they want that model to last as long as possible.  The world’s changing, Fox knows, it and MLB knows it.  That’s why MLB is pushing the alternative viewing methods.  You can watch Fox Sports Go no your tablet or whatever.  Bill talked about how the model may change for viewing games, such as people cutting the cord and going to Internet-based programming options.  All of the streaming services have sports built in if you want them.  The rights still are with the club, they’re just coming through a different conduit.

The next question was about the baby blue jerseys (circa the 1980’s) and whether they would be offered as a road alternative jersey. Bill stated that the players liked the baby blue jerseys but there were no plans to put them into the rotation at this time.  Even though there are different looks for different eras, the Cardinals logo brings continuity. The baby blue uniforms always bring the 1980s club to mind for Bill.  Bill feels that if the baby blue uniforms are brought back on a permanent basis, that it’s somehow disrespectful to the memory of the 1980’s teams.  Bill said he would keep an open mind, but he thinks the baby blue uniforms should stay where they are.  Bill said they were going to do a lot of turn back the clock stuff,

Bill thought that the Cards really looked bad in Colorado with the military uniforms and that the camo theme didn’t look like the Cardinals.  The birds on the bat was camo and it didn’t match up with the red batting helmet.  Nothing against the military, Bill said.  It could be done in a way that tips your hat to the military but doesn’t makes the look of the uniform go off of the reservation.

There was a comment made about all the special jerseys MLB has, i.e., Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc., so that MLB can sell jerseys.  Bill stated that the jersey sales are a fundraiser for the various charities.

Someone then talked about how the Memphis club has taken the baby blue jerseys and modernized them.  Bill stated that Memphis has updated their logo as well with the neon and it looks really nice.  Bill again stated that he had an open mind and we’ll see.

The next question was whether the Cards pay attention to the public valuation of MLB franchises.  There was more to this question but I couldn’t hear it well on the video.  Bill said if they were thinking about selling the team that they would be looking at the public valuations very closely, but they’re in it for the long haul, so the Cards can balance short term and long term thinking for the roster and the business. When he sees those things, he wonders why someone would pay attention to that at all.  Bill joked about the Marlins’ premium cash flow.  He stated that the Marlins could turn things around and improve.

Someone asked if there was anything that Bill’s seen in other stadiums that he would like to have at Busch, either of an entertainment or a technological standpoint, Bill said a couple of stadiums have what he called the grab box, where you order food on your smart phone and when your food is ready, you get a text with the location of your food with a code to open the box that your food is in and you go pick it up.  Three teams are doing this but it’s not working well for 2 of the teams.  It’s not always best to be the first to try new technologies.  Bill asked how many of us had purchased the monthly pass with standing room admission to every home game.  They looking at maybe finding a space in the stadium to have all the monthly pass people stand to watch the game.

Mary Clausen of MLBVoice was brave enough to ask about what Bill thought about Mike Matheny.  Bill said he looks at the manager’s job a little differently. He thinks other focus more on X’s and O’s and game day strategy. A manager has to deal with the players and get their respect.  The manager has to deal with ownership and the management and the media.  If a manager does any of those things badly, they’re probably on the way out. Mike is really good at all of these categories.  Bill  thinks Mike is a well-rounded guy.  It’s more than having a perfect lineup card.  Bill thinks Mike has room to improve and he’s a young guy and he hopes Mike has a long managerial career like Tony LaRussa, etc.

Bill thanked us for being at the event and everything stopped while the National Anthem was sung by a high school choir – and very well sung too.

IMG_0258The next report was from Chuck, the team store supervisor.  He spoke about the remodeling of the team store over the past year.  They updated the hat line and are coming up with some different hats with more pastel colored hats for ladies to wear outside game day.  There are over 1200 hats styles throughout the stadium.  They are selling more business casual clothes such as  polo shirts for men and for women that can be worn to work and to the game. There are pastel shirts to go with the pastel hats.  There was a display table with some of the new items, but I didn’t get over there to take a photo before it was taken away.  All of the special holiday jerseys (Memorial Day, Father’s Day, etc.) are available in the team store.  Chuck talked about Star Wars Night and how some of the merchandise was available for May the Fourth (Force).  There will be a Grateful Dead t-shirt and pin for that theme night.  There is also 125th anniversary merchandise available for purchase. There are also Cardinals fidget spinners available in the team store, which are wildly popular.

The next report was from Larry Johnson, the team chef.  He turned it over to Shaun Baker and he spoke briefly about the Cardinals Nation food truck. It opened on March 20.  The food truck goes to parks, etc.  There are 10 entrees from Cardinals Nation offered at the food truck.  Shaun mentioned all of the social media accounts so you can keep up with where the food truck is going to be.  The food truck is also available to be booked for social events and gatherings.

The microphone went back to Larry.  Larry spoke about the hydroponic garden in Section 228, third floor.  Rooftop Urban Community is helping with the hydroponic garden.  They consume a lot of produce at Busch Stadium.  They are growing herbs, flower petals for cocktails, etc.  Whatever is not used at the stadium is given back to Rooftop Urban and they give it to the homeless. I thought that was very nice.  In section 148, you’ll see the double slider burger.  In section 148, there is eco-grilling.  You can pick your own sausage or hot dog before it’s cooked and you can pair it with tater tots, etc. There is a new market on the Broadway side of the stadium just like the 8th Street Market.  There is also a new barbecue stand next to the new market.  There is a Kids’ Kitchen with healthy snacks.  Nachos is the number one food sold at the stadium.  The priority is to sell guests fresher, faster, and more consistent food products.  They are shooting for serving you in 35-40 seconds rather than a minute and a  half so you can get back to your seat faster.  Some of the locations don’t carry everything – that creates a bottleneck.  If you just want a beer, go to a beer vendor.

Ron Watermon took the mike back.  Mary Beth Rea finally showed up and Ron called her the Jose Oquendo of the communications department.  If you don’t get that reference, you haven’t been a Cardinals fan for long enough.  Ron did a plug for the Rat Pack campaign, which is about Whitey Herzog from his birth in New Athens to the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  Ron then thanked us for coming.

After listening to all of this talking, I was thirsty.  I needed a beer.  So I bellied up to the bar and the bartender asked if I wanted Bud, Bud Light, or a Shock Top. Shock Top? Really?  It turns out there was an auxiliary bar outside where we could get free Shock Top beer (in 16 oz. cans) or free mixed drinks. I was impressed.  There was a bag of what looked like wooden nickels on the bar.  I asked the bartender what they were for.  It turned out that they were for a free meal from the Cardinals Nation food truck. Everyone got a chip. I used the chip on Friday and the food was very good.

It was then time for food (glorious food).  Here are the items that were offered:

Premium Food Items:  Mediterranean Dip, pasta salad, strawberry pecan salad, Hill subs, Nacho Grande, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and Chef Lynn’s Pasta.  Of these, the only things I tried were the nachos (cheese and taco meat only) and the brownies.

Concession Food Items:  Stand 271 (Bowtie Bar) – Double Stack Burger sliders with beer cheese.  I liked this so much I had 2 of them.  These also had grilled onions.  Stand 148 (Double Play) – chorizo sausage with peppers and onions and Italian sausage  with peppers and onions. I skipped the peppers and onions and just tried the sausages.  the Italian sausage was great. but the chorizo sausage was too spicy for me.

The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up with old friends such as Bill and Angela Ivie, Bob Netherton, Tom Kruppel, Josey Curtis and Dathan Brooks, and meeting new friends like the STL Cardsgals (they are podcasters).

The game was pretty good, too.  Dexter Fowler hit a home run for us.  It wasn’t one of Waino’s best pitching outings (although it was much better than yesterday’s game), and the Cards won the game.

As usually happens, a group photo was taken before the game ended.

IMG_0269

 

Sorry it took me so long to get the second part of this report up.  I had a very busy weekend.  Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Homestand Highlights 4/25/17-5/4/17

Twenty-three days of the 2017 season have already gone by, and a lot has happened.  I have been to two games already this season, and the Cardinals have won both of them.  (Perhaps the Cards’ front office needs to give me season tickets?) The pitching has been stellar, for the most part, but the defense is sloppy, like last year. Tonight, however, the boys are back in town for nine games.  Here’s hoping they play better at home than they did last year.

There’s a lot going on at Busch Stadium for the next nine days, so here are all the details:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Tuesday, April 25—Thursday, May 4)

Green Week, Law Enforcement & Firefighters Appreciation Nights Highlight Third Homestand at Busch

ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 25, 2017 – After taking three of four games from the Brew Crew in Milwaukee, the Redbirds return to Busch Stadium for the first of two 10-game homestands in 2017—their longest of the season.  The homestand kicks off with a three-game interleague matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays (April 25-27), continues with three games against the Cincinnati Reds (April 28-30) and concludes with a four-game series versus the Milwaukee Brewers (May 1-4).  The homestand is highlighted by annual Green Week festivities, the 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class announcement, Photo Day and a Carlos Martínez and Matt Carpenter double bobblehead.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Lou Brock Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Lou Brock mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 World Series Champion team.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#BudBash). Lou was supposed to attend, but unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. Your continued thoughts and prayers for Lou would be appreciated, I’m sure.

Redbird Rookies Rawlings Gold Glove Ceremony: Six children from the club’s Redbird Rookies community program will be honored on the field before tonight’s game.  In order to qualify for the Gold Glove Award the children had to attend all four Redbird Rookies off-field events and complete an application that included specific tasks for different age groups.  The applications were evaluated by Cardinals Care staff and two participants in each of the three ages groups were selected as winners.  Each winner received four Field Box tickets to tonight’s game, an opportunity to meet a Cardinals player and will be presented with a personalized glove from Rawlings. (#CardsCare)

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, April 26, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m. My family will be at tomorrow night’s game.  I’m hoping for another win.  🙂

Law Enforcement Appreciation Theme Night: The Cardinals and Major League Baseball are teaming up to honor law enforcement officers and their families for Law Enforcement Appreciation Night.  Fans who purchase this special theme night ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals Law Enforcement hat.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  Tickets are currently sold out.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/lawenforcement. (#CardsTheme)

 

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside Busch Stadium gates before the game.  Fans are asked to clean out their closets of any unwanted, gently-used shoes, tie or band them together and drop them in the designated shoe collection bins.  Shoeman creates clean drinking water for those in need by selling shoes to exporters for resale and then using the money generated from those sales to purchase well-drilling rigs and water purification systems in developing countries.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Green Week – Operation Food Search Presentation: In a ceremony prior to the game, Operation Food Search will recognize the Cardinals and the team’s concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice.  Together, the Cardinals and Delaware North Companies have diverted nearly 79,000 pounds of unused food from concessions stands in Busch Stadium to Operation Food Search since 2010, which reduces the amount of waste going to landfills.  When food decomposes in landfills, it becomes a source of greenhouse gas emissions.  The Cardinals are exceeding their food recovery goals, which results in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change while contributing to Operation Food Search’s efforts of feeding 200,000 of our neighbors in need  (#4AGreenerGame).

 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 The Faded Truth and The Revolutioners.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:45 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.

Piscotty’s Pals: Stephen Piscotty will host a group from the Down Syndrome Association for tonight’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.

 Thursday, April 27, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside Busch Stadium gates before the game.  Fans are asked to clean out their closets of any unwanted, gently-used shoes, tie or band them together and drop them in the designated shoe collection bins.  Shoeman creates clean drinking water for those in need by selling shoes to exporters for resale and then using the money generated from those sales to purchase well-drilling rigs and water purification systems in developing countries.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to the Ford Plaza for Great Clips’ Charity Haircuts.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips—who sponsors the event every weekday afternoon game during the season—will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care.

Friday, April 28, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Bruce Sutter Garden Gnome Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans ages 16 and older will leave with an exclusive Bruce Sutter garden gnome.  (#CardsPromo)

Cardinals 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Announcement: The fourth elected Cardinals Hall of Fame induction class will be revealed on FOX Sports Midwest tonight during a 30-minute pregame television special at 6:00 p.m. CT.  The 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 26.

Green Week – Redbird Garden: The Cardinals and Delaware North Sportservice, in collaboration with Urban Harvest STL, will commemorate the newly installed Redbird Garden during a pregame field ceremony.  The hydroponic garden, located in the Level 3 elevator landing above Gate 6, features herbs (Thyme, Sage, etc.) and fresh greens (Kale, etc.) that Sportservice chefs will harvest for use in salads at Busch Stadium. (#4AGreenerGame)

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest: Nathan’s Famous will host a local regional qualifier for their Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at 6:00 p.m. in the Ford Plaza.  The top male and female finishers in this event will qualify for a seat at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn where they will face reigning champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo.

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 item relates to the Marvelous Musical Mississippi Mudcat Band.  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, April 29, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Carlos Martínez & Matt Carpenter Double Bobblehead Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a one-of-a-kind Carlos Martínez and Matt Carpenter double bobblehead highlighting the Cardinals’ post-home run, water splash celebration.  Presented by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital(#CardsPromo)

Photo Day: Prior to the game, fans will be allowed on the field to get up-close and personal photos of their favorite Cardinals players, coaches and Fredbird.  Field access is on a first-come, first-served basis and will begin approximately 10 minutes after gates open.  Weather permitting.  Fans are encouraged to share their photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat using #CardsPhotoDay.

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside Busch Stadium gates before the game.  Fans are asked to clean out their closets of any unwanted, gently-used shoes, tie or band them together and drop them in the designated shoe collection bins.  Shoeman creates clean drinking water for those in need by selling shoes to exporters for resale and then using the money generated from those sales to purchase well-drilling rigs and water purification systems in developing countries.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals outfielder Ken Oberkfell will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 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.

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, April 30, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

 Carlos Martínez Kids Home White Jersey Promotional Giveaway: All kids ages 15 and younger will receive a replica Carlos Martínez home white jersey, courtesy of Powerade and Shop ‘n Save.  Size exchanges can be made at the Riverview Corner kiosk until 2:45 p.m.  (#CardsPromo)

Home Run Against Hunger Food Drive: The Cardinals, in partnership with Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance and Feeding Missouri, are hosting a food drive in the Ballpark Village parking lot before today’s contest from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Fans who bring a non-perishable food donation or make a monetary donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming 2017 Cardinals game.

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside Busch Stadium gates before the game.  Fans are asked to clean out their closets of any unwanted, gently-used shoes, tie or band them together and drop them in the designated shoe collection bins.  Shoeman creates clean drinking water for those in need by selling shoes to exporters for resale and then using the money generated from those sales to purchase well-drilling rigs and water purification systems in developing countries.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Green Week – Volunteer Recognition: During pregame ceremonies, the Cardinals will honor our outstanding Green Team volunteers.  During Green Week, and all season long, the St. Louis Cardinals Knight FM Green Team walks down the aisles of the seating bowl in-between innings and collect recyclables from fans while promoting recycling at Busch Stadium.  In exchange for their services, they are able to watch the game in standing room only sections of Busch Stadium.  For more information, visitcardinals.com/green (#4AGreenerGame).

Honorary First Pitch: World War II Veteran & Pearl Harbor survivor Lieutenant Jim Downing will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before today’s game.

Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, will receive a free ticket voucher for a 2017 home game courtesy of Ritz.

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 ice cream (while supplies last).

Prairie Farms Kids Run the Bases: Following the game, fans ages 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting).  Presented by Prairie Farms.

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.

Monday, May 1, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

 St. Louis Blues Themed Batting Practice Jerseys Auction:  Online auctions for 39 autographed Blues-themed batting practice jerseys worn by Cardinal players prior to last year’s Blues Theme Night on September 28, 2016 begins today.  The auctions will end on Sunday, May 7, at 8:59 p.m.  Proceeds from the online jersey auction will benefit Cardinals Care.  Fans can bid at cardinals.com/community.

 All-Star Balloting Launch: Online balloting for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game launches today at cardinals.com/vote.  The 88th edition of MLB’s Midsummer Classic will take place at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11 and is set to be the first since 2002 where the outcome does not determine home-field advantage for the World Series.

Live from the UMB Champions Club: KMOX will perform tonight’s radio broadcast from Busch Stadium’s premier all-inclusive ticketed area, the UMB Champions Club.

Trevor’s Troops: Trevor Rosenthal will host a group from Walker Scottish Rite for tonight’s game as part of his Trevor’s Troops player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Trevor in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

College Theme Night II: The St. Louis Cardinals invite students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to the second of two College Nights of the season.  Fans who purchase the $20 theme night ticket receive a Cardinals College Night t-shirt.  Fans must present the special theme night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

Tom Pagnozzi Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Tom Pagnozzi 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 Pags.  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).

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athletes: Over 150 high school senior athletes, recognized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for their excellence in the classroom and on the field, will take part in a pregame parade around the warning track before tonight’s game.

Spanish Audio Broadcast: The Cardinals will stream eight Spanish language home audio broadcasts via cardinals.com and the MLB.com At Bat mobile app in 2017.  The club will produce the game’s broadcast in cooperation with La Ke Buena Spanish internet radio to provide game play-by-play from announcer Polo Ascencio and color commentary from former Cardinals Assistant Hitting Coach Bengie Molina.

Live from the UMB Champions Club: FOX Sports Midwest will broadcast this evening’s game from Busch Stadium’s premier all-inclusive ticketed area, the UMB Champions Club.

Fowler’s Friends: Dexter Fowler will host a group from Urban Future for tonight’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.

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, May 3, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Cardinals Care Spring Grant Ceremony: In an afternoon ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $135,000 to 77 area nonprofit groups that support local kids.  A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event (#CardsCare).

Firefighters Appreciation Theme Night: The Cardinals are partnering with The Hartford and the company’s Junior Fire Marshal program to celebrate our brave men and women in uniform and their families for Firefighters Appreciation Night.  Fans who purchase this special theme night ticket will receive a unique Cardinals firefighter t-shirt. Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  Additionally, children can visit The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal booths in the Ford Plaza or Riverview Corner to receive a free Junior Fire Marshal helmet and fire safety educational materials.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to The Backstoppers, Inc.  To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit cardinals.com/firefighters. (#CardsTheme)

Boy/Girl Scouts Theme Night II: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their families to enjoy Scout Night at the ballpark.  This is the second of three Scouts Nights for the 2017 season.  For just $14, each scout receives a ticket to the game as well as a voucher which can be exchanged for a Cardinals scout patch.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). 

Spanish Audio Broadcast: The Cardinals will stream eight Spanish language home audio broadcasts via cardinals.com and the MLB.com At Bat mobile app in 2017.  The club will produce the game’s broadcast in cooperation with La Ke Buena Spanish internet radio to provide game play-by-play from announcer Polo Ascencio and color commentary from former Cardinals Assistant Hitting Coach Bengie Molina.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Dance Experience Performing Arts, Meghan Torno School of Irish Dance and the Vineland Dragonettes & Dragon Dudes will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 5:45 p.m.

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, May 4, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to the Ford Plaza for Great Clips’ Charity Haircuts.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips—who sponsors the event every weekday afternoon game during the season—will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care.

The photo at the top of the post is Flat Yadi, like Flat Stan from a couple of years ago.  If you would like a Flat Yadi of your very own, go to http://www.cardinals.com/yadi and print your own, then share on social media using the hashtag #YadiYadiYadi. I shared on Instagram.

That’s all for now! (And it’s quite a lot!)  See you next time and thanks for reading!

Diane