Winter Warm-Up 2017 Report

img_0155-2The first day of Winter Warm-Up was canceled due to Winter Storm Jupiter (how ironic, considering the Cardinals hold spring training there) throwing down freezing rain. The Cardinals refunded autograph tickets and then, on top of that, offered a voucher for all pass holders for two free tickets for a game in the 2017 season.  They didn’t have to do that, but I thought it was a really nice gesture. My friend Kim was unable to go with us to WWU this year (I missed you, Kim 😦 ), so it was just my son and me.

1/16/17:

On Sunday morning, we decided to stop at Starbucks in the hotel because we needed some caffeine.  I looked up and there was Jenifer Langosch, the beat writer for the Cardinals. We chatted briefly and then she had to leave.

There was a line snaking through the lobby, so we joined it. We got a program and realized that the coat check was on the 4th floor, so we decided to go up the elevators to get there. Once there, we discovered that no one was allowed into the main hall from the elevator section until 9:15. To make matters worse, there were several fans in wheelchairs and with walkers for which this entrance was the only way they were going to get to the main hall since they could not use the escalators. Even with autograph tickets, they were not allowed in. I don’t know whose bright idea this was, but it had to be against ADA regulations.  I’m unsure if this was taken care of on Monday since we got there later. Hopefully, this will be fixed next year.

Phil and I rode the elevator back downstairs and by this time, the line was not as long. In fact, it didn’t appear that there were as many people at WWU than there was last year.  I wonder if the cancellation of Saturday’s events turned some people off enough that they decided not to come at all.  We stopped at the second floor and visited the vendor booths.  Rawlings had a booth and there was a real Gold Glove trophy on display.

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We then went upstairs and dropped off our coats. It was time to go to our first presentation of the day, a history of promo items and a 2017 preview of promo items with Megan Eberhart, the manager of Promotions and Events.  Megan asked about some of our favorite promo items.  She then talked about the process about how they come up with the promo items and when they start planning for the next season, which is before Labor Day.  She showed us some of the promo items that will be given away this year, which includes a 1980’s batting practice jersey, a Bruce Sutter garden gnome, and instead of a bat giveaway for the kids, they will get a Rawlings glove instead. Here are photos of some of the 2017 promo items:

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The new slogan for this year is “There’s Only One Cardinals Baseball.” Megan took questions from the attendees and then it was time to go.

Phil and I visited the Cardinals Care store.  They were offering a 2014 Cardinals Care Broadcast Auction Wacha Fan Pack for $20.00, which included a Michael Wacha bobblehead, a replica 2013 National League Championship replica ring, and a voucher for two tickets for the 2017 season.  That was a bargain I couldn’t pass up. I also bought a  Cardinals Care bag to carry it in, since it was in a heavy cardboard box.  We then visited the Cardinals Team Store.  They had lots of merchandise half price or less.  There were lots of items from the Winter Classics and closeout Matt Holliday items.  There was also some Star Wars Cardinals items.

It was time for lunch, so Phil and I left the Hyatt and walked down to Hardee’s for lunch. After lunch, we walked back to the Hyatt.  We went to the Main Stage seating area and were lucky enough to snatch two front row seats.

I left Phil at our seats and took a couple photos of Kolten Wong. They didn’t turn out well enough to post, however. I just got an iPhone and I’m still trying to learn how to take photos with it.  I will bring my digital camera again next year.

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John Rooney had Kolten come up on stage and they had a nice discussion.  Kolten admitted that the team sucked at home last year and they were hoping to do better this year.  John and  Kolten talked about how Kolten had spent the winter in St. Louis.  Rooney asked Kolten how many coats he had and Kolten said six, but he was still cold. I guess it’s hard to get used to a cold climate like St. Louis when you grow up in a tropical paradise like Hawaii.

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After Rooney and Kolten were done, it was time for the presentation I had been waiting for all day, the 1967 team retrospective with Rooney, Mike Shannon, Orlando Cepeda, Dick Hughes and Larry Jaster.  There were some wonderful stories told about the season, Bob Gibson, and the postseason.  Shannon was the best storyteller on the stage.  Rooney’s job was to MC the presentation to keep it rolling. I only wish I would have had the funds to attend the Baseball Writers’ Association dinner that evening to hear more of those stories.

There were 2 booths, sponsored by Ballpark Village and Fox Sports Midwest where you could get your photo taken in front of a green screen and your photo was merged via computer with a background.  Here are my photos:

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I wish I could be an announcer on Fox Sports Midwest.  There are a lot of female Cardinals fans and I’m sure they would enjoy hearing analysis from a female.

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At 2:00 PM, we attended a presentation by Brian Finch, the head of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, entitled “Ballplayers as Musicians – The Cardinals’ Mudcats Band of 1934.”  This presentation was very informative.  I knew about Pepper Martin and the Gashouse Gang, of course, but I never knew about the Mudcats.  I learned more about Pepper Martin than I probably ever wanted to know, including the fact that he went commando under his uniforms and that he wore the same 5 suits in rotation on road trips.  I am sure if the Mudcats were around today that they would be social media stars.  Brian also mentioned (and there is a display of this in the new Women in Baseball exhibit in the Hall of Fame and Museum) that the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is about a woman who wanted to go to the ballgame on a date rather than the movies.

I was really looking forward to Brian’s presentation on Stan Musial that was supposed to occur on Saturday.  Hopefully, he will save it for next year’s WWU.  Brian’s presentations are very informative and entertaining.  They are worth the price of a WWU pass alone.  Brian even sent me an email with the sources he used for his presentation, and I am passing them on to you in case you would like to read about Pepper Martin and the Mudcats:  Pepper Martin:  A Baseball Biography by Thomas Barthel and Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” by Andy Strasberg.  Click on the titles to order them from Amazon.  I am going to see if I can find them at my local library.

After the presentation, we went back to the main stage area to see Aledmys Diaz and Stephen Piscotty.   I snapped a couple of photos:

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Adam Wainwright was also signing during this time and he was very personable as always.  For those of you who love Randal Grichuk, here is a photo of him:

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We stopped by the Cardinals Magazine table and I purchased a very nice commemorative magazine about Busch Stadium II which was published in 2005, Busch Stadium II’s last year of existence.

Phil and I were getting tired, so we decided it was time to go home.

1/16/17:

Tom Lawless was the only free autograph I wanted to get in the morning on the 16th, and he was signing until 11:00 AM, so we decided to head to WWU a little later in the morning. The will call in the 100 N. Broadway building was empty, as we discovered when we went there first.  We then went to the hotel lobby to get an autograph ticket.  We stopped by the vendor with all the individual baseball cards and I found one of Tom for him to sign.  I wanted to find cards for Randy Flores and Kerry Robinson, but he didn’t have one for either player.

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Mike Leake was also signing. Mike, didn’t your mama ever teach you you’re not supposed to wear your hat inside?  LOL!

We then went to the main stage area and I got Tom’s autograph.  We then went to the Cardinals Care store and the Cardinals Team Store to see if they had any new merchandise or had marked down any items. I purchased a pennant for $3.00 to use for my afternoon free autographs. The CC store had marked down some of their items but they were still not in my price range.

At 11:00 PM, we went to a presentation given by team photographer Taka Yanagimoto titled “2016 – A Year in Photos.”  Mr. Yanagimoto presented a slide show of many excellent photos, both formally posed shots and candid shots.  He showed photos of Seung Hwan Oh when he signed with the team and when he stepped out of the dugout and onto the field for the first time. Everyone was amused by the photo of Jedd Gyorko and Brandon Moss sitting in lawn chairs on the field drinking beer next to a barbecue grill.  Mr. Yanagimoto showed us one of his favorite photos, which was taken on the roof of Busch Stadium.  He told us about how he gets up on the roof of Busch Stadium.  I’m not afraid of heights, but that’s too far up (and there are no handrails) for me.  Mr. Yanagimoto stated that the Cardinals are only one of three teams in MLB to have their own photography team.  It was an entertaining and informative presentation.

Both Phil and I were getting hungry, so we went to lunch at St. Louis Bread Company. I was pleased to discover that our order would be delivered to our table. The Bread Co. locations in Illinois don’t offer that service yet.

We went back to the hotel at 1 PM and got autograph tickets for Kerry Robinson and Randy Flores.  The sign with the ticket pick up information indicated that Yadi’s flight was delayed and he would not be at WWU to sign autographs until 3 PM.

My line ticket for Randy Flores was number 269 and they were only taking line tickets 1-50.  So we went to the food area to kill some time and we ran into Sally Rains of STL Sports Page. We had a nice conversation about some of the other Cardinals bloggers (don’t worry, I didn’t say anything bad at all about you).

Here are Randy and Kerry:

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I really wanted to stay to see Yadi, but I had to get home to put some leftover lasagna in the oven for dinner.  Maybe next year I’ll get to see Yadi.

It was great seeing all the guys.  It made me realize how much I missed baseball.  Pitchers and catchers report on Valentine’s Day. What an appropriate day!

I’m sorry it took me so long to post this.  I had to figure out how to get my phone photos downloaded where I could do something with them, and then I had to write everything up.   Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

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Home Opening Day is on Monday!

2016 Opening Day LogoToday is a travel day, and hopefully, the Cardinals will use the day off to review what went wrong in the last three games and recharge their batteries.  After a weekend series with the Braves, the Cards will finally be at home at Busch Stadium on Monday.  Will you be making the pilgrimage to downtown St. Louis to attend the pre-game festivities and/or go to the game?  Opening Day tickets are unfortunately not in my budget, but on Monday, I will occasionally sneak into the office across from my desk where I can look out the window and watch the activities on the video boards. For those of you coming downtown, there are details below on all of the Opening Day events. But even if you’re not coming to the game, read below about all of the new things that will be waiting for those who attend games at Busch this year.

ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 7, 2016 – A pre-game ceremony that welcomes home the 2015 National League Central Division Champions, honors the team’s Hall of Famers, and commemorates the great tradition of Opening Day in St. Louis will punctuate a day of activities celebrating the annual return of baseball to St. Louis on Monday, April 11th.  The Cardinals will take on the Milwaukee Brewers in a 3:15 p.m. game.  Following is a schedule of official activities and information to help fans enjoy the great tradition that is Opening Day in St. Louis (#OpeningDaySTL).

 2016 Opening Day in St. Louis

There is no stronger evidence that St. Louis is one of the greatest sports cities in the United States than experiencing a Cardinals Opening Day.  As the day dawns, fans can feel the electric atmosphere.  They breathe it in.  They rejoice.  Baseball is back in the ‘Lou!

 The young and old celebrate this special day.  It doesn’t matter who they are, where they live or what their status is.  On this day, we are all the same.  We are one community united.   Opening Day is an unofficial holiday.  Together, we share a passion and an unyielding love for the Cardinals, for St. Louis and for baseball.  While it is the players who proudly wear the birds on the bat on their chests, it is safe to say that the pulse of the team beats very strongly within the hearts of everyone within Cardinals Nation.  This Opening Day is particularly special as the Cardinals celebrate the 10th anniversary in Busch Stadium and the 2006 World Championship squad.

Current players realize that playing in St. Louis is special as they stare out from the field and watch a sea of red-clad fans descend to cheer on the Redbirds at home or on the road.  Former players know it—as they continue to return to the Gateway City year after year, some donned in iconic red sport coats, to celebrate this town’s greatest tradition.  Our owners surely know it—as Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. and his ownership group celebrate their 20th anniversary of taking control of the organization and continue to invest in the metropolitan community.  And the fans definitely know it—as more than three million fans have visited Busch Stadium every year since 2004.

St. Louis doesn’t need to do anything more to prove that it is one of the greatest sports towns in the nation—that’s what 11 World Championships, 19 National League Pennants, 13 Division Titles, 25 first place finishes and over 9,700 wins will do for your city.  Regardless of past success, St. Louisans will continue to make the annual pilgrimage to Busch Stadium for Opening Day to demonstrate why they are the Best Fans in Baseball and why St. Louis truly is one of the best sports cities in all of America.

Pre-Game Schedule

 11:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.    Opening Day Pep Rally at Ballpark Village:  Join former Cardinals players, FOX Sports announcers and DJ Todd Thomas at the Ballpark Village parking lot, next to the Busch II Infield, for the Cardinals Opening Day Pep Rally.  This event is free for all fans to attend and will proceed rain or shine.  Fredbird and Team Fredbird will also be on hand to give away Opening Day tickets and other Cardinals & Ballpark Village prizes.  Food and drinks will be available for purchase as well. 

12:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.    Opening Day Pre-Game Party at Cardinals Nation:  New this year, Cardinals Nation will host the Official Pre-Game Party of the St. Louis Cardinals.  This ticketed pep-rally style party will be located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in the Hall of Fame Club, two and a half hours prior to every Cardinals home game during the 2016 season.  The exclusive pre-game event includes a full buffet menu, all-inclusive bar and a DJ or live music all the way until first pitch.  Only 250 tickets will be allotted for each game, which fans can purchase at cardinals.com/pregame for digital delivery.  Tickets can also be purchased at any box office or at the Cardinals Museum in Cardinals Nation.  Opening Day tickets are currently sold out, but fans should continue to check cardinals.com/pregame.

 12:45 p.m. Gates open

 Budweiser Magnet Schedule Day:  All ticketed-fans, ages 21 and older, will receive a magnet featuring the 2016 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser.

 2:30 p.m.  Pre-game ceremonies begin with an appearance by the famed Budweiser Clydesdales.

Introduction of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Introduction of Fredbird and Team Fredbird.

Hall of Famers will be introduced via a Ford Motorcade around the warning track.  Each Hall of Famer will be riding in a 2016 Ford Mustang convertibles

Busch Stadium 10th Anniversary / Tradition Meets Today Video

Introduction of St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame members from the dugout (Mike Shannon, Jim Edmonds & Ted Simmons).

Introduction of the 2016 St. Louis Cardinals via Ford Motorcade.  The players will ride in 2016 Ford F-150s.

Introduction of the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals lineups.

Color Guard and American Flag in Center Field, courtesy of the service men and women of Ft. Leonard Wood.

Moment of silence for Joe Strauss and Joe Garagiola.

The National Anthem will be performed by Clayton Mathews, professional Opera singer and son of Cardinals front office employee Marilyn Mathews.

Tentative fly over by U.S. Air Force (two T-38 supersonic jet trainers).

 Ceremonial First Pitch by Hall of Famer Lou Brock.

 3:15 p.m. Game Time!

Watching on TV

Fans can watch the game and pre-game ceremony in High Definition on FOX Sports Midwest beginning at noon.  The game will also be broadcast nationally on MLB Network.

Radio Coverage

Fans can tune into KMOX (1120 AM) or one of the 141 stations in the Cardinals Radio Network to hear Mike Shannon and John Rooney call the game.  The expanded pre-game show starts at 1:40 p.m.

 Online or On The Go

Fans may also follow the game for free on cardinals.com using the Gameday application or via the team’s Twitter account, @Cardinals.  From mobile devices, fans can keep tabs on the score using MLB’s mobile app, At Bat 16.

New for 2016, fans who are customers of a participating pay-TV provider will be able to stream FOX Sports Midwest’s Cardinals telecasts on the FOX Sports GO app.  To stream games, users will need to verify their credentials by signing in with their pay-TV provider’s User ID and Password.  There is no additional charge to use FOX Sports GO.  Visit FOXSportsGo.com for more information.

Getting To The Game

MoDOT will have several lane closures on I-44 inside the city limits on Opening Day.  The department will have one lane closed in each direction on I-44 between Jamieson and Kingshighway.  In addition, the department will have one lane closed on the ramp from eastbound I-44 to northbound I-55.  Outside of the city, one lane will be closed around the clock on northbound and southbound I-55 at Reavis Barracks Road.  Fans heading to Opening Day activities should consider using I-70 or I-64 to get downtown, or allow themselves extra time to get through the work zones on I-44.  As usual, Clark Street will be closed in between the stadium and Ballpark Village.

Alternative Transportation

MetroLink is a convenient alternative to driving.  To avoid the traffic congestion and the cost of parking on game days, fans can use one of 21 free Park-Ride lots along the MetroLink line and take the train to Stadium Station, right across the street from the ballpark.  The Stadium Station has been updated since the off season and the Spruce Street Bridge has been replaced.  New stairs have been added to the south side of the station and the overpass will be open to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic with the exception of the south sidewalk, where construction will continue into the summer.  Check the Metro website MetroStLouis.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 2½ hours before the game and runs approximately every 3-5 minutes.  On Opening Day, the RedBird Express will start running at noon.  MetroBus is another great option for getting to downtown St. Louis on Monday.  Fans can catch the #40 Broadway or #99 Downtown Trolley, which both have stops near Busch Stadium.

#CapsOn for Opening Day

The St. Louis Cardinals & MLB are celebrating the unofficial holiday of Opening Day by encouraging all baseball fans to wear caps on Opening Day whether they are attending a game, going to school, working in the office or watching from home.  The Cardinals are asking all fans to show their support for the Redbirds on April 11th by wearing your cap no matter where you are and posting a photo to social media with the hashtag #CapsOn.

Ballpark Improvements for 2016

Fans will immediately notice two major improvements to Busch Stadium as the team celebrates its 10th Anniversary at the ballpark: HD video boards and expanded backstop netting.  Additional upgrades, such as WiFi connectivity will be coming to Busch Stadium later this season to improve the fan experience.

All 11 stadium-facing LED scoreboards were replaced as part of the team’s multi-million dollar investment in the new state-of-the art high definition video boards; a series of improvements three years in the making.  The main video scoreboard is now one complete full-color LED screen replacing the previous LED screen, tri-visions, and 2-color matrix boards and line score.  The new video board occupies the entire 120’ x 40’ space that all the other equipment occupied, and is approximately three times larger than the previous video board with twice the resolution and brightness thanks to the more compact placement of the LEDs.  The new World Championship Board (Out of Town Board) replaces some backlit signage and a tri-vision board for an entire full-color LED area of 81’ x 40’ with 13 mm spacing; approximately two and a half times larger than the previous video board.  In addition to the two main scoreboards, all other stadium-facing Fascia Ribbon Board Displays including first base, third base, centerfield, bullpens, and speed pitch were replaced adding more than twice the resolution of the previous boards.

The new scoreboards and new scoreboard equipment will make every display High Definition.  The new equipment will also enhance the club’s capability to show more replays from more angles, add more roaming or wireless HD cameras in the fan entertainment experience, more options and abilities to create new layouts with more stats and entertainment elements as well as more dynamic signage abilities for sponsors.  The upgrade also includes some re-working of the stadium audio system with new amplifiers and control software to provide fans an enhanced audio experience.  The team upgraded all of the control and production equipment to take advantage of the new system as well.

The effort to equip Busch Stadium with WiFi throughout the stadium later this season is part of Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s (MLBAM) $300 million, multi-year plan to bring WiFi and improved cellular connectivity to every major league ballpark.  Busch Stadium is the largest installation of all the MLBAM WiFi projects to date.  Over 740 WiFi access points are being installed to accommodate fans in all locations of the stadium, including in the AT&T Rooftop, Budweiser Brewhouse rooftop deck and Busch II Infield at Ballpark Village.  As part of the WiFi installation, the equivalent of 30 miles of Cat6a Ethernet cabling, 11 miles of 6-strand optic cabling and two miles of conduit were laid.  The installation project will take more than 10,000 man hours to complete.  Barring any setbacks, in-stadium WiFi should be available for fans to access beginning in May.  Additional stadium improvements include:

The backstop safety netting behind home plate to each team’s dugout step. The netting is 30 feet tall and exceeds the minimum guidelines established by MLB.

8th Street Market, a new grab-and go concept, has been added behind home plate in the location Build-A-Bear Workshop previously occupied.  The self-serve, pay at the register store will give fans the option to purchase a variety of soda, beer, water, dry snacks, novelty ice cream, and premade sandwiches and salads in a quick and efficient manner without having to wait in concession lines.

The Build-A-Bear Workshop has relocated its store within Busch Stadium to inside the centerfield Ford Plaza.  The new 600 square-foot store is actually a converted shipping container that features the company’s signature stuffer and refreshed branding.  Fans will be able to choose from an exciting variety of licensed accessories and make their own furry friends, including a St. Louis Cardinals Bear, a St. Louis Cardinals Bunny, Fredbird and a Clydesdale horse.

Some of the premium ticketed areas have seen improvements as well including: installation of new Green Seats behind home plate, renovation of five Luxury Suites, and the installation of televisions that show the scoreboard display in the Champions Club and Legends Club.

New HD televisions have been installed in various locations throughout the stadium.  This completes an effort to upgrade over 600 televisions in the stadium over that past three years.

New Concessions for 2016

Delaware North Companies Sportservice, the St. Louis Cardinals’ concessionaire for more than 50 years, is preparing to welcome fans back to Busch with a starting lineup of food to please every fan’s unique taste.  Delaware North Executive Chef Larry Johnson and his culinary team have developed a wide array of new menu items for both concessions and suites.  Following is a list of the new concession menu items:

  • Meatball Cone – Custom made on “The Hill” for Busch Stadium, meatball and marinara sauce served in a six-inch Italian bread cone and topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  (Section 152)
  • Meatball Hoagie – Custom made on “The Hill” for Busch Stadium, meatballs served on a bakery fresh Italian hoagie topped with marinara and shredded mozzarella.  (Section 152)
  • Italian Sausage Hoagie – Custom made on “The Hill” for Busch Stadium, seven-inch Italian sausage served on a bakery fresh Italian hoagie topped with peppers, onions and shredded mozzarella.  (Section 152)
  • Smoked Brisket Italian Beef Hoagie – House slow smoked beef brisket, shaved and marinated in au jus; served on a bakery fresh Italian Hoagie and topped with giardiniera vegetables.  (Section 152)
  • Chicharrón – House fried pork rinds topped with either taco beef or BBQ pulled pork, nacho cheese, and your choice of ingredients including: salsa, jalapenos, banana peppers, diced onions, green onions and sour cream.  (Sections  131, 152, 450 & Redbird Club)
  • House Smoked Meats – Turkey, Brisket, Sausage, and Pork served on a bakery fresh bun with house fried chips for Basket or with coleslaw and potato salad for a Platter.  Half rack house smoked Saint Louis Style ribs available on Platter only.  (Broadway BBQ Stand – Section 109)
  • Dinger’s Donuts – Fresh fried mini donuts, served warm in a Dinger Dozen (14 each) or Cardinal’s Helmet (50 each), topped with your choice of toppings including: chocolate, maple, or vanilla glaze, chopped nuts, sprinkles, or cinnamon sugar.  (Section 145)
  • Berry Brownie Skewer – Fresh strawberries and fudgy brownies layered on a twelve-inch skewer and drizzled with white and milk chocolate.  (Section 145)
  • Turkey Burger – Charbroiled turkey patty on split top bun with arugula and pico de gallo; served with house fried tortilla chips.  (Section 135 & 458)
  • Vegan Burger – Malibu vegan patty on split top bun with arugula and sliced tomato; served with house fried tortilla chips.  (Section 135 & 458)
  • Gluten Free Chicken Tenders – Four gluten free chicken tenders served a la cart or as a basket with tater tots.  (Section 135 & 458)

New Suite Menu Items

In suites, Delaware North is adding some unique options that will provide even greater variety for fans.  Meatloaf Cupcakes (meatloaf wrapped in bacon and topped with mashed potatoes, green beans and bacon-onion jam) along with Turkey Sliders served on pretzel buns highlight the new menu offerings.  Local inspired choices such as Cherokee Street Tamales (traditional pork tamales, steamed in corn husk and served with enchilada sauce and sour cream) and house-smoked St. Louis Style Ribs are also newly available this year.  Additional new entrée selections include Chicken Spiendini Alfredo and Legends Baked Italian Chicken.  Other new suite menu items include a Spinach Cobb Salad, a Strawberry Pecan Salad, Sausage Florentine Pizza, a Vegetable Wrap, and a Skillet Cookie and Seasonal Crisp for dessert.

New Retail for 2016

New Cardinals-branded apparel and merchandise for 2016 is available at the Cardinals Team Store and other locations within the ballpark.  New items include Authentic Jerseys by Majestic with new Flex Base Fabric and Batting Practice Hats by New Era.  New men’s and women’s apparel lines from SustainU (100% recycled apparel, made in the USA) and Hands High (created by Jimmy Fallon) are also new arrivals this season.

Other new retail items include “One Nation” apparel (combination design of Cardinals and Blue logos), brown leather Dooney & Bourke handbags, expanded Columbia outwear selection and more co-branded merchandise headlined by Marvel, Star Wars and local collegiate teams.

Cardinals Authentics Shop

Fans can visit one of the two Cardinals Authentics locations (first floor of Cardinals Nation inside Ballpark Village and Busch Stadium in Ford Plaza north of Gate 6)  to shop for authentic Cardinals gear and to take home a piece of the game.  Cardinals Authentics specialize in official, game-used, limited edition and autographed memorabilia direct from the club.  Both shops offer a great selection of current and vintage Cardinals apparel, as well as one-of-a-kind collectibles.  The Cardinals Nation location is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (April-October) and 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (November-March) on game nights, the Busch Stadium shop will remain open 30 minutes after last pitch while the Cardinals Nation shop will remain open for one hour after last pitch.

Fans should stop by the Authentics Store to pick up autographed items from a variety of Cardinals players, including Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Seung Hwan Oh, Tommy Pham and Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Alex Reyes.  Cardinals Authentics also features a wide selection of Yadier Molina autographed and game used memorabilia.  Cardinals Authentics will continue to offer game-used memorabilia such as baseballs and bases available for purchase before the end of the game throughout the 2016 season as well.

Ballpark Village

Ballpark Village is the place to be before, during and after the game!  Since opening in March of 2014, Ballpark Village has hosted more than 10 million visitors of all ages from across the country and brought hundreds of great events to downtown St. Louis.  As Ballpark Village enters its third year, several additions and improvements are underway.  The brand new Prairie Farms Dugout will serve up Prairie Farms hand-dipped ice cream, North Star frozen novelties and cold beverages on the turf of the Busch II Infield.  Inside fans can catch the pre-game pep rallies in FOX Sports Midwest Live! featuring emcee Todd Thomas and live post-game music by the region’s greatest bands.  When the Cardinals are away, Ballpark Village has fans covered with the return of the Official Away Game Watch Parties featuring premium giveaways like branded snuggies, tank tops, hats and more!  Mark your calendars for major summer festivals for families, barbeques and music!  For all upcoming events please visit stlballparkvillage.com.

Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar

New this year, Cardinals Nation will host the Official Pre-Game Party of the St. Louis Cardinals.  The ticketed pep-rally style party will be located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in the Hall of Fame Club, two and a half hours prior to every Cardinals home game during the 2016 season.  The exclusive Cardinals Nation pre-game event includes a full buffet menu, all-inclusive bar and a DJ or live music all the way until first pitch.  Only 250 tickets will be allotted for each game, which fans can purchase at cardinals.com/pregame for digital delivery.  Tickets can also be purchased at any box office or at the Cardinals Museum in Cardinals Nation.

Cardinals Nation is proud to offer the Loyal Fan Program with special benefits at Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar in Ballpark Village.  Card holders will receive one (1) point for every dollar spent on every visit and every purchase at Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar.  One hundred (100) points is equal to a $10 credit on your loyalty card.  To join the Loyal Fan program, fans should visit Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar to receive their card, then go online to register and activate it. Once their card is activated they will receive a 100-point registration bonus.  Members will receive notification when special offers such as double points are available.

Open daily, Cardinals Nation is the year-round home to Cardinals fans offering a variety of weekly programming and special events.  Offering an expansive menu that recently added 17 new menu items, Cardinals Nation has something for everyone.  Known for putting a spin on traditional favorites, the Cardinals Nation menu boasts the right mixture of everyday picks and unique novelties.  Fans will want to check out the G&W Grill, Dinger’s Donuts and Gus’ Pretzels carts on game days in front of Cardinals Nation on Clark Street.  The G&W Grill features St. Louis’ own G&W Sausage Company Bratwursts and Hot Dogs.  Dinger’s Donuts will serve fresh, warm mini donuts with a variety of toppings.  The restaurant will also continue to offer the Homerun Brunch every non-game Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. that features the best Bloody Mary in St. Louis.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum at Cardinals Nation

In January, Chris Carpenter, Keith Hernandez, Jason Isringhausen, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, Scott Rolen and Joe Torre were revealed as the eight players nominated for possible induction into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.  The eight modern ballot nominees selected by a “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process appear on the Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot online at cardinals.com/HOF presented by Edward Jones (#CardsHOF).  The two players with the most fan votes after voting concludes on April 20th will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this August.

The Cardinals are proud to continue to offer the Hall of Fame & Museum Membership Program for fans in 2016.  Individual ($50) or Family Membership ($85) options are available and membership benefits include unlimited museum admission for one year, guest passes, limited edition bobbleheads of Ken Boyer and Willie McGee, discounts to the Cardinals Authentics Shop & Cardinals Nation Restaurant, and access to select presales and member-only events.  Visitcardinals.com/membership for more information.

Celebrating the rich history and heritage of one of baseball’s greatest franchises, Redbird Relics: Treasures from the St. Louis Cardinals Museum is a 144-page hardbound book that takes fans inside the incredible collection of memorabilia from the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  Featuring an abundance of items in rich, full-color photography with accompanying essays, it’s the next best thing to being at the Cardinals Museum.  This book is available exclusively through the Cardinals online at cardinals.com/book, at the Busch Stadium Team Store, The Cardinals Authentics Shop at Ballpark Village or any of the Cardinals Clubhouse locations.

Saturday Signings at the Museum is a new program held exclusively in the Cardinals Museum before each Saturday home game during the 2016 season where fans can get an autograph from a former Cardinals player with valid admission to the Museum.  The player will sign for two hours prior to game time.  In addition to having a valid admission to the museum, fans must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and will be distributed on the day of each Saturday signing.  The first Saturday Signing will be held on April 16th when franchise saves leader Jason Isringhausen signs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/museum for the full schedule and additional detail.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum within Cardinals Nation features the largest team-held collection in baseball.  The collection is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 20,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archival photographs.  This year’s special exhibition is “Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball” which celebrates the rich history of the franchise’s minor league system.  The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and remains open through the seventh inning on home game nights.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

Club Launches Cardinals Insider TV Show

On March 6th, the Cardinals premiered Cardinals Insider, a weekly half-hour news magazine television show and companion online news site on cardinals.com that will provide fans with the ultimate behind-the-scenes view of the entire St. Louis organization.  The half-hour TV show features a mix of news, player profiles, exclusive interviews, in-depth features, and a look back in team history with exclusive content from the team’s large archive and extensive museum collection.  In addition to offering fans an unprecedented view behind the scenes of the team, the show also places a strong emphasis on fan engagement and leveraging the team’s social media to enrich the viewer experience.  The Cardinals production of a television show, as well as the team’s commitment to consistently producing streaming video content throughout the year, is a major milestone in the expansion of the team’s brand journalism which began more than two decades ago with the publication of Cardinals Magazine.

2016 Video Engagement Initiative For Fans (#CardsFanFlix)

#CardsFanFlix is the St. Louis Cardinals’ ongoing fan engagement initiative developed to encourage fans to create videos that celebrate the team.  Throughout the season, the Cardinals will be sponsoring a variety of promotions, contests and campaigns under the umbrella of #CardsFanFlix to encourage fans to creatively use video to demonstrate their enthusiasm and support of the team while also having some fun!

The team recently launched #PlayBallLikeACardinal, a youth-focused video engagement seeking out young people who have a passion for the Redbirds and are incorporating that passion into how they play the game.  Fans are asked to post short video clips of their children imitating their favorite Cardinals players to their preferred social media platform (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) using the hashtag, #PlayBallLikeACardinal, or share a link to a video they have posted to a public video platform like YouTube directly with the Cardinals at cardinals.com/playball.  The Cardinals intend to share videos of children playing ball like Cardinals on the team’s television broadcasts such as Cardinals Insider, within Busch Stadium on the new high definition scoreboard or online via cardinals.com, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

For the second year in a row, Reverend Robbie Sondag, a Cardinals fan from Fort Wayne, Indiana, will enjoy the Ultimate Opening Day experience with tickets to the President’s Box as he won the Cardinals Second Annual Ultimate Fan Video Contest with his Everything Is Great Ultimate Cardinal Fan Video.

In December, the Cardinals launched a High School Video Challenge initiative offering high school students in the St. Louis Metropolitan area an opportunity to compete for the chance to create a video with the team at the students’ school featuring both Fredbird and Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.  Students were asked to develop an original video that promotes the St. Louis Cardinals and the students’ high school while including a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design and Math (STEAM) curriculum connection.  Eight finalists were announced and fans voted online for their favorite student produced rough cut video to determine the winner.  The winner will be announced on Opening Day.

To recognize fans for extraordinary achievement in the developing art-form of online video, mobile based entertainment and social media posts that celebrate and promote the St. Louis Cardinals, the club announced the creation of the ‘For Really Entertaining Digital Award’, nicknamed the FRED award.  The team plans to bestow the award each week on the team’s weekly news magazine television show Cardinals Insider, online on the team’s website at cardinals.com/FREDaward and through the team’s various social media platforms.  Winners will be awarded the pictured statuette.

Cardinals Magazine Kicks Off 25th Season With Fantastic Season-Opening Edition

Cardinals Magazine opens its quarter-century season with a pair of exclusive Q&A’s featuring primary figures who have helped make the Cardinals one of the game’s model franchises.  The April cover story brings together cornerstone players Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright for a wide-ranging interview about their decorated careers wearing the birds-on-the-bat and their desire to secure another world championship for the Cardinals.  Cardinals Magazine also sat down with the father-son duo who has guided the organization through an unprecedented run of achievement since taking ownership in 1996: Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and club President Bill DeWitt III.

Fans will enjoy the breadth of stories in the season-opening edition starting with the first installments of our season-long 10th anniversary celebration of the historic 2006 season, which marked the opening of Busch Stadium III and the club’s 10th World Championship.  The magazine highlights the best moments from the first month of action at the sparkling new ballpark, as well as one of the key role players from the ’06 club, fan favorite So Taguchi.  Additionally Cardinals Magazinereaders will see 16 reasons why the Cards-Cubs rivalry will be white-hot in 2016.  Other issue highlights include the debut of our monthly #AskCarlos department where the All-Star pitcher answers questions from fans, our focus on the 12 prospects who could soon be making a difference for the parent club, and much more!

Cardinals Magazine is on sale for just $5 at Busch Stadium vendors inside each stadium gate, team store locations and Cardinals Authentics stores in Ford Plaza and Ballpark Village.  Throughout St. Louis, the magazine is available for purchase at major retailers like Cardinals Clubhouse, Dierbergs, Schnucks, QuikTrip and Walgreens.  Print and digital subscriptions are also available at cardinals.com/magazine or 314-345-9000, and if you sign up today, you’ll receive 2 FREE tickets to a 2016 home game.  Also, new this season, you can follow Cardinals Magazine on Twitter @CardsMagazine for breaking team coverage, special offers and much more!

2016 Official Scorecard Celebrates 10th Anniversary Of Busch Stadium III

One of the longest-standing collectible souvenirs in baseball, the scorecard represents much more than a means to keep track of the hits, runs and outs that occur over the course of a game.  It’s a tangible keepsake commemorating a game that might be memorable for any number reasons—a fan’s first game, a couple’s first date or a record-setting performance.

It’s no wonder that the first order of business at Busch Stadium for baseball’s best fans is a stop at a Cardinals Publications vendors cart inside each gate entrance to purchase the Official 2016 Cardinals Scorecard—sold individually or included with each copy of Cardinals Magazine.

This must-have keepsake features the striking artistic designs of local artist Mike Right, who has been creating the timeless Cardinals scorecard imagery since 2003.  Inside, the scorecard also teaches fans how to score the “Cardinal Way”—a storied tradition by club officials that dates back to the 1940s.   Be sure to purchase your 2016 Scorecard at the ballpark this season!  Copies are also available online at cardinals.com/scorecard.

2016 Official Team Media Guide

The St. Louis 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 entire Cardinals organization, along with the definitive history of the club since its inception, the 2016 Media Guide is the best and most comprehensive book about the Cardinals.

The Cardinals annual media guide is a great collectable, with the cover each season highlighting a moment in Cardinals history.  New this season, for every Media Guide purchased at the team store, Cards Authentics store or stands around the ballpark, fans will receive an exclusive poster featuring all 11 media guide covers at the new ballpark, along with the 2016 schedule.

The 2016 Media Guide is available for $20 at the Team Store, Cardinals Authentics or cardinals.com/mediaguide.

2016 Economic Impact Analysis

Based on a projected Cardinals regular season attendance of 3.4 million fans, the St. Louis Regional Chamber projects that the team will generate an estimated $184.1 million in direct impact and another $160.1 million in indirect spending.  These impacts reach a total of $344.2 million in regional economic activity.  The Chamber’s analysis uses the economic impact model, IMPLAN, which measures how spending tied to an event has multiple impacts and spreads throughout a region, thereby benefiting households and firms within the region.  This figure is based on estimates of visitor spending and operations expenditures at Busch Stadium.  Historically, out-of-town visitors constitute about 40% of game attendees and visitor spending on dining, lodging and shopping provides a significant boost to the regional economy.

BUSCH STADIUM – POLICY REMINDERS

Bag Inspections Policy

  • The standard game-day bag inspection policies for Busch Stadium will be in effect.  Bags must meet Major League Baseball’s standard size restriction (16” x 16” x 8”), and all bags will be inspected prior to entry. 
  • Fans will be permitted to bring small personal cameras and will be subject to inspection.  No professional-sized photography equipment will be allowed except for members of the media with proper MLB credentials.

·         Fans can bring their own food & drinks into Busch Stadium for all 81 games.  Food & beverages from the outside will not be permitted in the Cardinals Club, Luxury Suites, Party Suites or any of our other All-Inclusive areas.

  • Non-alcoholic beverages such as water and soda in open cups or in clear plastic bottles no larger than two (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

Standard Exit/Re-entry Policies are in effect.  Guests wishing to leave the stadium, but planning to return during the same game must present their ticket, obtain a re-entry card, and have their hand stamped at Gate 4 as they exit the stadium.  Guests must show their ticket, re-entry card and hand stamp as they pass through the metal detectors upon re-entry.

No Smoking Policy

Standard Busch Stadium Smoking Policy is in effect.  Busch Stadium is a smoke-free facility, including “smokeless” cigarettes.  Exit/Re-entry turnstiles will be set up at Gate 4 to allow fans access in and out of the stadium if they wish to smoke.  Guests must show their ticket, re-entry card and hand stamp as they pass through the metal detectors upon re-entry.

 Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame induction ceremony notes

2015-08-15 02.01.04My son and I attended the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame induction ceremony yesterday.  The ceremony took place inside Fox Sports Midwest Live! at Ballpark Village.  Since the doors opened at 11 AM, I told my son that we needed to get there when the doors opened to get a good place to sit.  He didn’t think I knew what I was talking about until we got there and we had to share a table because the place was packed.  Mom does know best, doesn’t she?  A shout out to my new friends Bill (who came all the way from Iowa), Calvin and Chad – thanks for sharing the table with us and thanks for the great conversation! Whenever you meet fellow Cardinals fans, it’s like meeting new family members for the first time. You always have something to talk about!

I ran into Lindsey Weber of the Cardinals communications department.  I know her from the blogger events.  I told her that someone from the United Cardinals Bloggers had to represent at this important event.  She was busy putting out fires, but she came back later and we spoke at length. I told her that I just had to be there because I had plugged Ted Simmons on my blog for the fans to vote into the Hall.

Before the ceremony, Frank Cusumano of KSDK interviewed Jon Hamm of TV’s Mad Men, who grew up with Ted Simmons’s son.

Jon Hamm

Dan McLaughlin of Fox Sports Midwest was the master of ceremonies. The ceremony started with the late Stan Musial playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the video screen.

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Dan then introduced each Hall of Famer individually.  Here’s some photos of the Hall of Famers:

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The only Hall of Famer not present was Tony LaRussa, who was in Japan for a previously scheduled engagement that he could not get out of.  Dan read a statement from Tony sending his regrets.

Then this year’s inductees walked on to the stage and were introduced.  Here are some photos:

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Dan then introduced Bill DeWitt, Jr., Bill DeWitt, III and John Mozeliak of the front office.  The DeWitts spoke about the Hall of Fame and the Museum.

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Before every candidate’s induction, there was a video clip of the candidate.  Mr. DeWitt, Jr. then read the inscription on that person’s plaque, and the candidate’s representative(s) or Ted Simmons was introduced.

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The first inductee was George Kissell, the long-time minor league instructor who influenced Cardinals players for generations.  George passed away in 2008 due to an automobile accident, so his son, Dr. Richard Kissell, accepted the honor on his behalf.  Dr. Kissell spoke about George’s influence on the Cardinals he worked with.  He mentioned that George was a devout Catholic that went to Mass every morning, and that he knew where the closest Catholic church was to every ballpark.

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Cardinals broadcaster Mike Shannon then came to the microphone to speak about George.  Mike was so emotional when he started speaking that he had to stop for a moment to regain his composure.  After he recovered, Mike regaled the crowd with stories about George.

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The next inductee was Curt Flood.  Curt passed away from cancer in 1997.  His representatives were his wife Judy Pace Flood and his daughter Shelly Flood.The inscription on Curt’s plaque described his challenge to the reserve clause  Shelly spoke first.  I found it interesting that she read her speech from her cell phone.  2015-08-15 02.39.36

Curt’s widow Judy Flood spoke next.  She was very articulate and well-spoken. I discovered when I read the Wikipedia page on Curt Flood that Judy was an actress. No wonder she was a great speaker!  She entertained the crowd and thanked the fans.  She said that now Curt had been welcomed back to St. Louis.

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Lou Brock then came to the podium to speak about his memories of Curt.  Lou mentioned that when other fielders tried to catch a ball like Curt, they would break their wrists.  Lou shared other stories about Curt.

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The next inductee was Bob Forsch.  Bob passed away in November 2011 from an aneurysm, a week after throwing out the first pitch at game 7 of the 2011 World Series.  Bob was represented by his daughters Kristen and Amy.   Amy was the speaker.  She spoke about how Bob loved playing in St. Louis and how pleased he would be that the fans voted him into the Hall, since he loved the fans so much.

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Then Bruce Sutter stepped up to the microphone and told great stories of rooming with Bob, and other stories.

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Then last, but not least, it was Ted Simmons’s turn to be inducted.  The video clip started playing and the tears started streaming down my face.  I remember watching Ted play in the 1970’s when I first became a Cardinals fan.  He was my favorite player.  I remember watching him run the bases with his long black hair blowing in the wind.  (Long hair was cool back then, you know.)  It was like reliving my childhood and I wished my dad had been there, but he passed away in 1980.

The audience gave Ted a standing ovation as he made his way to the podium. Ted saluted the crowd.

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Last year’s fan inductees, Willie McGee and Jim Edmonds, assisted Ted in putting on his Hall of Fame red jacket.

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Ted looking dapper in his new red jacket:

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Then Ted got up to the podium and spoke for about a half hour.  He thanked the coaches and managers that helped him along the way.  He spoke about his time in St. Louis and thanked all the fans for their support.  He mentioned that he had toured the Hall of Fame Museum and it was a great walk along memory lane.

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After Ted’s speech, Dan McLaughlin came back up to the podium to close out the ceremony.  All the Hall of Famers left the stage and the ceremony was over.

I was so thankful to be able to attend the induction ceremony.  I had a great time (thanks for buying us lunch, Phillip!).  I look forward to seeing who will be inducted next year.  If you get the opportunity to attend the induction ceremony next year, you should really attend. This ceremony was magical. The Cardinals have such a rich history and they honor the history the right way, with the Hall of Fame Museum, the Hall of Fame inductees and the various theme nights remembering World Series wins.

You can watch the induction ceremony on Fox Sports Midwest at 5 PM CST on Monday, August 17, so set up your DVR’s to watch the ceremony at your convenience.

Thanks as always reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Pomp but no circumstance

Opening Day 2015Yesterday was the Cardinals’ home opener, and as always, expectations ran high.  It poured down rain Monday morning, but by 10 AM, the rain had stopped.  The sun did its best to break through the clouds, but it unfortunately didn’t succeed.  The overcast weather, however, didn’t keep the citizens of Cardinals Nation from flooding into downtown St. Louis to all the pep rally locations, even if they didn’t have tickets to the game (like me).  Opening Day is an unofficial St. Louis civic holiday.  The boys are back in town and all is well with the world.

There were long lines to get into Busch Stadium yesterday due to the new metal detectors that were installed in the off-season. There was plenty of advance notice about the new metal detectors – maybe folks should have gotten moving to the stadium sooner. The on-field pre-game festivities began promptly at 2:30, whether you were in your seat or not. Various civic personalities were introduced.  The beloved Clydesdales made their annual trip around the warning track.  Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Tony LaRussa, Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, and Red Schoendiest were introduced.  Then the St. Louis Cardinals Museum and Hall of Famers Willie McGee, Mike Shannon, and Jim Edmonds that were there were introduced.  Why do I always tear up during the introduction of the Hall of Famers?  Is it just me? Or am I just a sentimental female?  I tear up as well during the Cooperstown Hall of Fame ceremonies when they introduce the players. I can’t blame it on the hormones anymore – I’m too old.  😦

All the current players then made their way around the warning track to home plate.  They all greeted the Hall of Famers (except for Jason Heyward, who forgot) and took their place along the first base line.  Lance Lynn showed a lot of class and respect for the Hall of Famers by removing his cap when he shook their hands.  That man’s mama raised him right.

An American bald eagle was released and he flew around the stadium for a good 5 minutes. I didn’t think he would ever go back to his handler.  The poor bird probably enjoyed his temporary freedom.  I understand he got a mouse for a treat.  He was probably hungry after all that flying around.

Then came the beautiful video tribute for Oscar Tavares, and a moment of silence for Oscar, his girlfriend Edila and Post-Dispatch sports writer Bryan Burwell, who passed away last winter.  The Cardinals did a classy thing and left a spot and a press pass in the press box for Bryan.  Lynn was seen putting his arm around Carlos Martinez’ shoulders during the Oscar tribute, a gesture of support and empathy.

The National Anthem was performed awesomely by Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson.  What a voice! It gave me goosebumps.

The Opening Day ceremonies went off without a hitch (with the exception of Heyward’s faux pas), but the game itself was not without its problems.  The Brewers scored a run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit.  Wainwright’s pitching was inconsistent, and it could be that there was too long of a time between starts for him, due to the days off on Tuesday and Thursday last week.  Wainwright had to pitch a longer game yesterday, because Matheny used 5 bullpen pitchers in Sunday’s game.  Kolten Wong’s defense was sloppy – he made two errors, and brave Kolten tried to take the brunt of the loss upon himself but there were other factors that led to yesterday’s loss.

The Cardinals got within one run, but they lost the game, 5-4. Tradition met today, but today was sadly lacking. I know we’re only 6 games into the season, but the lack of offense, continuing over from last season, is concerning.  Lance Lynn pitches tomorrow evening and I will be attending my first game of the season.  I hope to bring home a win.

My next post will be after the annual blogger event next Sunday evening. See you then! Thanks for reading!

Diane

The Cardinals game I would like to have attended

1968 WS scorecardThe United Cardinals Blogger project for this month is to post about a Cardinals game in the past that you 1968 WS G1 ticketwould have liked to have attended.  My selection is the October 2, 1968 game in which Bob Gibson set the record for most strikeouts in a World Series game with 17 strikeouts. I was in second grade when this game occurred, so technically, I could have attended the game.  I will write about the game like I had actually been there, through the eyes and words of a second grader.

My dad had started taking me to Cards games that summer.  He taught me how to keep score on a scorecard.  I loved spending time with him and watching baseball with him.  We would watch games on TV or listen to games on the radio at home.  I could only listen to West Coast games during the summer when I didn’t have school.

I was so excited when Dad came home from work and told me that his boss gave him his tickets to the game because he had a meeting and couldn’t go to the game. I thought that was really nice of Dad’s boss to give him World Series tickets.  Mom wrote a note to the teacher to get me excused from school.  I couldn’t hardly sleep the night before because I was so excited that I was going to the game.

It was the first game of the Series.  The Tigers were playing the Cardinals. Bob Gibson was pitching for the Cards and Denny McLain was pitching for the Tigers.  Gibby was my dad’s favorite pitcher because he pitched quick.  The batters were always scared of Gibby too.  He threw inside when he had to, to move the batter off the plate, my dad said.

After what seemed like forever, the game finally started.  My scorecard was on my lap and I was ready to keep score.  My dad would help me with scoring if I asked him.

In the top of the first, Dick McAuliffe was the first batter and Gibby struck him out.  Mickey Stanley  got a single, but Tim McCarver threw him out when he tried to steal second.  The crowd cheered.  Gibby struck out Al Kaline to finish the inning. Gibby had 2 strikeouts.  The Cards didn’t score in the first.

In the top of the second, Gibby struck out all three Tigers batters he faced. 5 strikeouts for Gibby.  In the bottom of the second, Orlando Cepeda hit a fly ball to center field.  McCarver hit a triple, but Mike Shannon and Julian Javier struck out.  No score yet.

In the top of the third, Bill Freehan struck out, but then Don Wert hit a single to center field.  Gibby struck out McLain, and then McAuliffe grounded out. 7 strikeouts for Gibby.

In the bottom of the third, Dal Maxwell walked.  It was the first walk of the game.  Gibby bunted Maxwell over to second.  Lou Brock got on base by a fielder’s choice and Maxwell was out at third.  Lou twisted his left ankle when he stole second, but he got back up and kept playing.  Whew! I sure was worried he was hurt bad.  Lou went to third on an error by the second baseman. Lou didn’t get to score because Curt Flood hit a pop fly to the shortstop.  Still no score.

The Tigers didn’t score in the top of the fourth, as Stanley and Norm Cash both flew out and Al Kaline struck out.  I counted Gibby’s strikeouts on my scorecard again as the half inning ended. There were 8.  That was a lot of strikeouts.

The Cards finally scored in the fourth. McLain walked Roger Maris and McCarver.  Mike Shannon hit a single and Maris scored.  Shannon went to second and McCarver went to third when Willie Horton booted the ball.  Julian Javier got a hit and Shannon and McCarver scored. The crowd went wild. The score was 3-0, Cards.

In the top of the fifth, Horton hit a pop fly and Northrup lined out to the shortstop.  Freehan walked, but Don Wert struck out looking.  Nine strikeouts for Gibby.  In the bottom of the fifth, Brock grounded out and Flood hit a pop fly to the second baseman.  Maris reached on an error by the first baseman, but Cepeda lined out to the left fielder. The score was still 3-0, Cards.

I thought the Tigers might score in the top of the sixth.  Tommy Matchick pinch hit for McLain, but he grounded out. McAuliffe singled, but Stanley struck out.  Kaline hit a double and moved McAuliffe to third, but Cash struck out. Eleven strikeouts for Gibby. Dad wondered out loud what the record was for the number of strikeouts in a single World Series game.  I didn’t know but I sure was enjoying this game.

Pat Dobson took over the mound from McLain in the bottom of the sixth.  McCarver hit a pop fly to second and Shannon grounded out.  Javier walked, but was caught stealing with Dal Maxvill up to bat.

In the top of the seventh, Gibby continued his magic.  Willie Horton lined out to the shortstop and then Jim Northrup and Bill Freehan struck out.  The count was up to 13 strikeouts for Gibby.  In the bottom of the seventh, Maxvill and Gibby both hit to the first baseman.  Lou Brock proved his ankle was fine because he hit a home run to make the score 4-0.  Curt Flood hit a single and then stole second, but Maris flew out for the final out.

In the top of the eighth, Mathews struck out – number 14 for Gibby.  Brown and McAuliffe both hit fly balls to the left fielder and the top of the eighth was over, just like that.  In the bottom of the eighth, Don Mathews took over the mound for Dobson. Flood hit a fly ball, which was caught in foul territory.  McCarver hit into a ground out.  Shannon hit a single, but Javier hit a fly ball to the center fielder.  The score was still 4-0.

When the ninth inning started, everyone stood up.  How could you sit when Bob Gibson was getting ready to win Game 1 of the Series and maybe set a record too?  The crowd groaned as Mathews hit a single.  But Gibby settled down and struck out Kaline, Nash, and Horton to win the game.  Gibby had a complete game shutout.  The scoreboard flashed that Gibby had set a World Series record with 17 strikeouts.  History had been made and I had been there to see it.

When I got home, I was so excited.  I told Mom all about the history making game I saw. She smiled and told me she had watched the game on TV.  What a story I had to tell the kids at school the next day!

I hope you enjoyed my “story.”  Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Bibliography:

1968 World Series Game 1 box score, http://www.baseball-reference.com, http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN196810020.shtml

Wikipedia.org, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1968_World_Series