The top 5 Cardinals stories of 2013

imageThe United Cardinals Bloggers’ December project is the top 5 stories are for the year. Here are my nominations:

1.  The death of Stan Musial. Stan was baseball’s perfect knight and an era ended with his death. It’s rare that a player spends his entire career with a team like Stan did. Much is made of the “face of the franchise” tag these days, but Stan was the epitome of the Cardinal Way. You can read my blog posts about Stan’s passing here and here.

2.  Chris Carpenter’s retirement.  Chris’ pitching led the Cards to two World Series championships.  He not only contributed with his arm, he worked with other pitchers and his larger than life personality lit up the bench.  He will hopefully accept  a position with the Cardinals’ front office.  You can read my blog post about Chris’ retirement here.

3.  Winning the National League pennant.  It was a grueling road to the pennant. It took all 5 games for the Cardinals to knock off Pittsburgh.  The Cards then took 6 out of 7 games to finish off the Dodgers.  The momentum, however, wasn’t enough to beat the Red Sox in the World Series.  But we Cards fans can still be proud of the NL pennant.

4.  Mo’s wheeling and dealing during the off season.  During the last couple of years, Cards GM John Mozeliak didn’t make many moves during the off season.  This year was an exception, however.  David Freese and Fernando Salas were traded for Angels CF’s Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.  Free agent SS Jhonny Peralta was signed to a  four year contract.  Mo finished up by picking up veteran Mark Ellis from the Dodgers to mentor and back up Kolten Wong at 2B.  And Mo did all this without having to give up any of our rookie pitchers.  Mo is a genius.

5.  The rise of Michael Wacha.  What a season it was for young Michael Wacha, one of the best of the Cards’ rookie pitchers.  After being called up, Wacha had a 4-1 record during the regular season, but he had 4 wins in the playoffs, and won the MVP award in the NLCS.  Only the loss in Game 6 of the World Series dimmed his bright rising.  It will be interesting to see how Wacha pitches next season.

The UCB mourned the loss of one of its writers last week.  Jerome “J.D.” Norton, who wrote the Bleed Cardinal Red With Me blog and later on Cards Conclave,  sadly took his own life on December 22 at the young age of 38.  Our prayers and condolences are with his wife and family.  His online obituary is here, should you wish to express your condolences. Folks, if you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or any other kind of mental illness, please get help!  The life you save may be your own.

Thanks for reading!  Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

Diane

 

Advertisements

2013 NLCS Schedule – All you need to know!

2013 NLCS logoThe Cardinals won the NLDS in an exciting fashion, with a complete game by Adam Wainwright, and home runs from David Freese (a/k/a  Mr. October) and Matt Adams.   It took 5 games, but the Cards made the Pirates walk the plank and go back to Pittsburgh.  Now the Cards face the Dodgers, who have old friends Mark McGwire, Nick Punto, and Skip Schumacher in their ranks.   The first game is tomorrow night in St. Louis, and below are all the logistical details you need to know about the NLCS.  Let’s go Cards!

cardinals_2013_logo

2013 NLCS at BUSCH STADIUM

St. Louis Cardinals – Los Angeles Dodgers

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

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (October 10, 2013) – After beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in a winner-take-all Game 5, the St. Louis Cardinals advance to the best-of-seven 2013 National League Championship Series that starts Friday in St. Louis against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the best record in the National League at the end of the regular season, the Cardinals have home field advantage throughout the series. The Cardinals are making their tenth appearance in the postseason since 2000 and the 26th postseason appearance in franchise history (#PostCards). A very limited number of NLCS tickets may be available. For updated ticket availability, visit cardinals.com/postseason. Here are details on how fans can enjoy postseason baseball in St. Louis.

Game Schedule & Highlights

NLCS Game 1 – Friday, October 11, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 7:37 p.m. CT (TBS)

  • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Live Music from That 80’s Band, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy and more
    • Former Cardinal pitcher and current FOX Sports Midwest broadcaster Rick Horton will sign autographs from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
    • Budweiser Clydesdales will be staged in the Ballpark Village Lot
  • Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Cardinals Rally Towel, courtesy of Phillips 66
  • Pre-Game Ceremony starts at approximately 7:00 p.m.
    • Budweiser Clydesdales will parade the warning track
    • Introduction of both teams to the line and introduction of Cardinals Hall of Famers
    • Colors presented by Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C Honor Guard
    • Cardinal Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and current Cardinals Jason Motte and Adam Wainwright will throw out the ceremonial first pitches. Each threw the final out of a Cardinals World Series Championship (Gibson ’67, Wainwright ’06, Motte ’11).
  • “God Bless America” will be sung by Generald Wilson, retired Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, during the 7th Inning Stretch

NLCS Game 2 – Saturday, October 12, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 3:07 p.m. CT (TBS)

  • Noon – 2:30 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Music by DJ Todd Thomas, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy and more
    • Former Cardinal pitcher Jason Simontacchi will sign autographs from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Gates open at 1p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Rally Towel, courtesy of Purina
  • Pre-Game Ceremony starts at approximately 2:45 p.m.
    • The two all-time winningest Cardinals managers, Red Schoendienst and Tony La Russa, will throw out ceremonial first pitches.

NLCS Game 3 – Monday, October 14, 2013 – Dodger Stadium – 7:07 p.m. CT (TBS)

NLCS Game 4 – Tuesday, October 15, 2013 – Dodger Stadium – 7:07 p.m. CT (TBS)

NLCS Game 5 – Wednesday, October 16, 2013 – Dodger Stadium – 3:07 p.m. CT (TBS) (If necessary)

NLCS Game 6 – Friday, October 18, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 7:37 p.m. CT (TBS) (If necessary)

  • 5 – 7 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Music, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy and more
    • A former Cardinal player will sign autographs
  • Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Rally Towel
  • Pre-game ceremony details TBD

NLCS Game 7 – Saturday, October 19, 2013 – Busch Stadium – 7:37 p.m. CT (TBS) (If necessary)

  • 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Pre-Game Pep Rally in Ballpark Village Parking Lot
    • Music, entertainment, prizes, Fredbird, Team Fredbird, 2011 World Series trophy and more
    • A former Cardinal player will sign autographs
  • Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
  • 40,000 fans receive a Rally Towel
  • Pre-game ceremony details TBD

Watching on TV

Fans can watch the National League Championship Series games on TBS.

  • Direct TV: TBS – Channel 247
  • DISH – TBS – Channel 139
  • U-Verse – Channel 112/1112 HD
  • Charter – Varies; consult your program guide

 Radio Coverage

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

Social Media

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

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

stl_postcards

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

Online Or On The Go

Fans can follow the games for free on cardinals.com using the Gameday program. In addition, fans can subscribe to Postseason.TV to watch live alternate angle online companion coverage of the 2013 Wild Card games, Division Series and NL Championship Series.

For just $4.99, fans receive Enhanced companion coverage with complete audio broadcast (full video broadcast feed excluded), and  can watch up to 4 alternate angles at once, choose from up to 10 different fixed camera angles, tune in for live batting practice, use the pitch by pitch widget, and view streaming tweets via Twitter.  The service is available to U.S. & Canada residents only on the computer and supported iOS and Android devices. Visit Postseason.TV for all of the details. MLB’s mobile app, At Bat 1, will provide mobile access to Postseason.TV on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as well as supported Android phones and tablets. At Bat is available for purchase during the Postseason at $3.99/one-time or $2.99/mo.

Driving to the Games

MoDOT has limited roadwork when the Cardinals are at home during the National League Championship Series. Currently, fans can expect no significant traffic impacts due to construction on Missouri interstates heading into Busch Stadium or heading home on Friday, October 11 or Saturday, October 12. Drivers may also use the new ramp from eastbound I-70 to Tucker Boulevard to get to the games, avoiding much of the downtown interstate traffic. Fans can take Tucker to Market Street to get to parking for the game.

Alternative Transportation

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

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

The St. Louis Cardinals are encouraging local businesses, schools and other organizations to help kids in our community while supporting the team by participating in Cardinals RED for Kids (#RED4kids). RED stands for Rally Everyone Day.  Piloted during the 2011 postseason, Cardinals RED for Kids is the team’s version of an office “dress down” day in which participating organizations make a donation to Cardinals Care in exchange for the opportunity to sport their Cardinals clothes at work or school.

To participate, fans should go to cardinals.com/red and register their organization. While the Cardinals would like businesses to help raise money while showing their team spirit, schools are not required to make a donation to get involved. Participating schools, businesses and organizations are also encouraged to submit photos via the team’s website and social media showing their Rally Everyone Day (#RED4kids) spirit.

2013 Postseason Merchandise Available

  • Busch Stadium Team Store: The Team Store will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the NLCS. On game days, the store will close briefly 30 minutes prior to gates opening for 30 minutes. In addition to standard merchandise, the store will carry general postseason and Central Division Champions merchandise as well as new NLCS dueling/matchup items including hats, t-shirts, balls, pennants, pins and more. The official locker room t-shirt is in stock and also available in ladies and youth sizes as well as fleece. Fans can also buy official t-shirts and hoodies, just like the players wear. Fans will enjoy Beat LA t-shirts, available in unisex, ladies and youth sizes, as well as the STL OCT t-shirt, both pictured below.

M952-0484-SCW-EBX M952-0484-SCW-EBW

  • Cardinals Authentics: Fans will want to stop by the Cardinals Authentics store in Ford Plaza, the only place to get official, game-used, limited edition and autographed Cardinals memorabilia directly from the team. Featured items include game –used equipment from the 2013 season, 2011 World Championship themed items and more. Cardinals Authentics has a variety of items to fit every budget.
  •  Cardinals Magazine & Cardinals Yearbook: Two of the most sought-after releases of the 2013 season by Cardinals Publications are on sale now for the League Championship Series. The Official 2013 Cardinals Yearbook celebrates Stan Musial’s baseball brilliance and exemplary character—packed with details of all the big games, record-setting performances and off-the-field experiences that distinguished Stan’s remarkable career. This keepsake publication is loaded with tremendous photography from baseball’s best image collections and captures the extraordinary impact of his legacy unlike anything ever presented before. And the new issue of Cardinals Magazine highlights the MV3 of Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig, who helped propel the Redbirds to a 12th division title and a 97-win regular season. Both publications are on sale at 314.345.9303 or at cardinals.com/publications.

2013 YB Cover JPEG   Issue 6 Cards Magazine

New Postseason Menu Items

Delaware North Companies Sportservice, the St. Louis Cardinals’ concessionaire for more than 50 years, is offering more new items for the NLCS.

In addition to the items below, introduced during the Division Series, Sportservice will be offering Wasabi Sushi Rolls. Sushi chefs from Wasabi Sushi Bar will be on site at the Asian Cafés in the Redbird Club and near Gate 1 to make and roll sushi options including California Rolls, Philadelphia Rolls, and Vegetable Rolls. Wasabi currently operates 5 local restaurants and provides catering for Washington University.

Sportservice will also have a new souvenir beer and soda cup for the NLCS. As the weather turns colder, Sportservice will also offer a variety of gourmet hot chocolate and apple cider recipe cocktails. Following is a list of new items exclusive to postseason games at Busch:

  • All American Grilled Cheese (Section 141): An American Classic. White American and Swiss cheeses melted on giant butter-toasted sourdough loaf.
  • Grilled Cheese Supreme (Redbird Club): Cheezy Heaven! Melted White Cheddar, Monterey Jack, White American, and Swiss cheeses topped with Heirloom tomatoes and Pecan Wood Smoked bacon all on a giant butter-toasted sourdough loaf.
  • Pecan Bacon Dog (Section 599): An all-beef Hunter hot dog wrapped with 2 pieces of sweet, thick-cut Pecan Wood Smoked Bacon on a fresh-baked hoagie roll, topped with jalapeno black bean & corn salsa and tangy Tequila BBQ sauce.
  • Pepper Bacon Dog (Section 599): An all-beef Hunter hot dog wrapped with 2 pieces of fiery, thick-cut Pepper Bacon on a fresh-baked hoagie roll, topped with jalapeno black bean & corn salsa and tangy Tequila BBQ sauce.
  • Double Dog Dare Ya (Section 599): Heaven on a Bun! Combine the sweet Pecan Bacon Dog with our fiery Pepper Bacon Dog all on the same hoagie roll! It comes with a double dose of jalapeno black bean & corn salsa and as much Tequila BBQ sauce as fans want.

Matchup History

  • The Cardinals have faced the Dodgers 3 times in the postseason; 1985, 2004 and 2009.
  • The Cardinals last faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in 1985, where the Cardinals won the series 4 games to 2, to advance to the World Series.
  • The 2004 and 2009 postseason meetings were both in the Division Series round. In 2004, the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 3 games to 1, but were swept by the Dodgers in 2009.
  • During the 2013 regular season, the Cardinals won 3 of 7 games against the Dodgers.

2013 Season Highlights

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

Ford C. Frick Award

Ten of baseball’s iconic voices – including the Cardinals’ own Mike Shannon – have been named as the finalists for the 2014 Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The annual award is named in memory of Hall of Famer Ford C. Frick, renowned sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner. The winner of the 2014 Frick Award will be announced on December 11 at the Baseball Winter Meetings and will be honored during the July 26 Awards Presentation as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2014 in Cooperstown.

Hank Aaron Award

Cardinals’ second baseman Matt Carpenter is a finalist for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award given to the top offensive player in each League. For the fourth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999. To view the finalists and cast your vote, visit mlb.com. Voting ends today, October 10th.

 BUSCH STADIUM – POLICY REMINDER

Bag Inspections Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exit/Re-entry Policy

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

No Smoking Policy

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

Players who really need the All-Star break

Summertime, for most of us, means vacation time.  For kids of all ages who attend school, summer is a roughly two-and-a-half month break from book work.  For those of us who work for a living, summer means time for a vacation to get away from the workplace and relax.   For baseball players, the All-Star break is their vacation unless, of course, they have been selected to play in the All-Star game.

There are 5 Cardinals who are going to the All-Star Game this week.  They have played an excellent first half and deserve to go.  Despite the Cards having one of the best records in baseball, there are still some issues with certain Cards players.  These players need to take the All-Star break to rest, regroup and/or rejuvenate.

1.        Matt Holliday –  Matt’s right hamstring cramped up on him while running to first base during a game last week.  He has been on a day-to-day basis since then.  The All-Star break will help him rest his hurting hammy and hopefully avoid a trip to the disabled list.

2.       David Freese – Freese has looked terrible at the plate lately.  He will not take a walk.    It doesn’t matter how you get on base, just that you do get on base.  If you don’t get on base, there is no possibility of a run, and without enough runs, you don’t win.

3.       Jon Jay – Jay doesn’t look so great at the plate either.  If it weren’t for Jay’s errorless streak, Taveras comes up from Memphis (that is, if his ankle holds up).

4.       Lance Lynn – Lance can’t win on the road.  There is always one inning where opposing batters seem use him for batting practice.  That’s okay if our offense can make up the runs given up.  A short break may help him get his head together.

Even with the minor difficulties listed above, the first half of the season has been great.  The Cardinals have nothing to be ashamed of.  They had the best record in baseball for a while.  The Cards had a June swoon that appears to be reversing itself.  The interleague series did not go well this year, unfortunately.

I’m looking forward to the second half of the season.  The possibility of Chris Carpenter returning is intriguing.  With the exception of a long road trip at the end of July (Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati), most of the remaining games are at home, and the Cards play best at home.  And is John Mozeliak done wheeling and dealing?  The trade deadline is July 31.

For those of us who love Cardinals baseball so much that we don’t know what to do with ourselves when a game isn’t being played, the All-Star break is too long.  But for those players not participating in the All-Star festivities, it’s time to go for them to go home to their families and enjoy a little R&R time so they’re ready to go for the second half of the season and hopefully, a playoff run.

I’ll enjoy tonight’s game, hoping to see Adam Wainwright pitch another masterpiece.  The All-Star break will help me look even more forward to Friday night’s game and the resumption of the season.  I hope it will for you too.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Christian Day at the ballpark

Christian DayThe Cardinals have held a Christian Day event once a year for the last few years.  An organization named Christian Family Day used to organize this event, until the Cardinals organization decided they wanted to take care of it themselves.

I have always wanted to go to a Christian Day game, but hubby balked until this year, when we found out that the guest speaker was going to be Willie Robertson, star of the hit A&E TV show Duck Dynasty.  We are big DD fans at our house (don’t judge, OK?) and thought it would be great to hear Willie in person.

A lady at the church we attend is a big DD fan too, so we decided to purchase group tickets for the game and make them available to the members of our church to purchase.  We purchased the group tickets online.  There was a 30% discount on group tickets for this game, which was great.

We got to our seats just in time to see Willie throw out the first pitch to Adam Wainwright.  We weren’t close enough to see whether he threw a strike or a ball, but at least he didn’t bounce it to home plate like some first pitch throwers do.  Willie’s dad Phil was the starting quarterback at LSU (amazingly, Terry Bradshaw was second string), so he surely inherited some athletic ability.

After the game, we were instructed to go sit in the seats behind the Cardinals’ dugout for the speeches.  From looking at the stands, it appeared that most of the first level of the stadium was filled, which I thought was great considering how hot it was.

I tried to tape the presentation on my phone, but I didn’t get the first part of the presentation.  Hubby and I got separated and he called me when Adam Wainwright started speaking and the camcorder turned off.  I thought I had it back on for Mike Matheny and Willie’s speeches, but it wasn’t.  😦 Can I blame the heat?  LOL!

Jason Motte spoke first.  Matt Carpenter spoke about a passage in the book of Matthew that really spoke to him.  David Freese shared his favorite Scripture and spoke about needing brothers in Christ such as Adam Wainwright, Matt Holiday and Mike Matheny to help him in his Christian walk. Matt Holliday has his favorite Bible verse, Job 38:4, tattooed on his arm, and Adam Wainwright spoke about his childhood and his wild lifestyle before he was saved.  Mike Matheny was the last Cardinal to speak.

Willie at Busch

Then Willie was introduced, to thunderous applause.  Willie spoke about the success of Duck Dynasty.  He then spoke at length about Si, Phil, and Miss Kay (uncle, dad and mom, respectively).  Willie called Si one of the godliest men he knew.  He mentioned that if Phil hadn’t turned his life over to the Lord that there would be no Duck Dynasty.  Willie said that Miss Kay is the nicest woman in the world.  Willie then spoke about the philosophy that shapes the family’s lives – faith, family, ducks – in that order and that it would never change.

For more information about some of the Christian faith of some of the Cardinals, read the book Intentional Walk: An Inside Look at The Faith That Drives the St. Louis Cardinals by Rob Rains. For more information about Willie Robertson, read The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family and Ducks Built an Dynasty, a book Willie wrote with his wife Korie.

Oh, yes, there was a game yesterday too.  It was a nice outing by Lance Lynn, with no blow out inning(s) like some of the last games he’s started.  Matt Holliday hit a home run, which is always good to see. Carlos Beltran stole home for the winning run, and he also made a very nice acrobatic catch in the top of the 9th inning.  We were sitting in section 232, not far from where Carlos patrols the outfield, and we cheered for him when he made that great catch. He’s 36 years old?  Really? He plays like he’s 10 years younger. Carlos, if you have found the Fountain of Youth, please share.  The Cardinals also swept a series at home for the first time this season.  It was a good day all around.

A note to the Cardinals organization – Christian Day is great, but can you please hold it in April, May or September when it isn’t so doggone hot?  There might have been even more people who would have stayed for the presentation if it hadn’t been so hot.  Also, this event used to be held on Saturdays.  A Saturday event would be better so as not to interfere with church services. Depending on how far folks traveled to get to the game, they didn’t get to attend church on Sunday.  Thanks!

Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

The lady Cardinal fan’s guide to finding a mate

Watching Cardinals games is great, but like most other things, it’s better when done with a friend.  What’s even better is finding a mate that is also a Cardinals fan, like I did (see my last post).  Here are some helpful hints for you to find that special someone:

When you’re out and about, eavesdrop on guys’ conversations.  If they are guys who love Cardinals baseball, they will be talking about the game, the players, etc.  Wait for an opportune moment (guys do run out of things to say eventually), and then sidle up and say, “I couldn’t help but hear what you were saying about ______” and then add a comment that makes them think you know your stuff about Cardinals baseball.  Don’t talk about how cute Mike Matheny or David Freese is (save that conversation for your girlfriends), talk about RBI’s or ERA’s.  Their jaws will drop and you will have just made some new guy friends. One of them may be your eventual mate.  By the end of the conversation, one of them may ask for your phone number.  Leave him hanging – tell him you’ll meet up with him tomorrow night, same time, same place.  You need to keep them in suspense.

Are you on one (or more) of those dating sites?  Don’t forget to list the Cardinals (and baseball in general) as one of your interests.  You can weed out those who don’t like baseball and the Cards that way.  Don’t forget to list Cardinals baseball as one of your interests on Facebook as well.  Facebook will “suggest” friends who share your interests and you may find someone interesting that way.

Don’t date or marry a guy who roots for a rival team, especially a guy who’s a Cubs fan.  Paul was speaking to us Christians when he said that we should not be yoked with unbelievers, but I think this applies to baseball fans as well.  When the Cards and Cubs play each other, I do see couples in the stands representing both teams. That would be really hard, especially since the Cubs are perennial losers and the Cards are winners. Can’t you just hear the taunting?  “My team’s better than your team!” “When was the last time the Cubs won the World Series?”  Besides, if he’s a Cubs fan and you’re a Cardinals fan and you have kids, what team will they cheer for? Why would you have them make that painful choice?  But as for me personally, there’s no way I could be married to a Cubs fan.

If your cousins or brothers are Cardinals fans, ask them if they have any eligible friends who are Cards fans.  They might have friends that have pined for you from afar, but are too shy to ask you out.  (Don’t laugh; it’s happened.)  Your brother(s) or cousin(s) can act as a go-between.

Now you must be careful to differentiate between the guy who really is a Cardinals fan or a guy who says he’s a Cardinals fan just so he can ask you out.  When you meet a guy and he says he’s a Cards fan, be sure you have a difficult Cardinals trivia question to ask him. And when the Cardinals last won the World Series is not a difficult question. The true Cardinals fan will either know the answer right away or know where he can find it (and he’ll tell you that), while the fake Cardinals fan will hem and haw and mumble that he doesn’t know the answer.

Don’t forget, friendship first!  That really is the best way to start a relationship.  My husband and I were friends for 2 years before we started dating.  We were together 2 more years before we got married.  So go to a few Cards games together.  Talk on the phone about baseball and other things every night.  If it’s meant to be, you’ll know it and you’ll feel it.  You’ll know when it’s time to make the next move.  If it doesn’t work out, well, you still have a great guy friend you can talk about Cardinals baseball with.  So get out there girl, and find yourself a guy who’s a Cardinals fan, fall in love and live happily ever after!

I’d like to dedicate this post to my friend Dathan Brooks and his lovely bride Amy, who were married last Saturday and spent their wedding night at the Hilton at the Ballpark, with a window overlooking Busch Stadium. (No, I wasn’t there – I saw the photos on Facebook.) The only thing better than that would be to get married at Busch Stadium, which probably wasn’t in their budget.  I also want to give a shout out to Bill Ivie of I-70 Baseball and Angela Weinhold of Diamond Diaries, who will be getting married in July.  Now Bill is also a Royals fan (hence the title of his blog), but since the Royals are in the “other” league, which makes it an intrastate rivalry instead of an intradivision rivalry, I like him anyway.  LOL!

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

Diane