2020 Winter Warm-Up Report Day 1

Winter Warm-Up Weekend is one of my favorite weekends all winter, second only to Christmas weekend.  It’s a sign that spring training is starting soon and that baseball is not that far away.  At WWU, we see the players in person in normal clothes and interacting with the fans.  There are breakout sessions on Cardinals history and other baseball topics.  You can look through all the memorabilia and items that the vendors have for sale, and you can purchase items from the Cardinals Care store and the Team Store outlet store.  Plus, you can make new Cardinals fan friends.

My son and I rode on the 8:02 AM Metrolink train to St. Louis Saturday morning.  We wanted to get to the Hyatt fairly early because there is always a long line to get in on the first day.  When we got on the train, there was a man sitting across from me with a jacket with an STL logo on it.  I looked at him and said, “Has anyone told you that you look remarkably like Danny Cox?”  “That’s because I am Danny Cox,” he replied.  I had to keep my mouth from dropping to the floor.  Danny was signing at WWU at 9:00 and he said that he was riding the train to St. Louis because it was his wife’s birthday and his son was going to pick him up after his session was over so they could spend the day together.  Danny was very nice and personable.  We spoke about baseball in general and about the mess going on in Houston.  While we were riding through the Mecklenburg Forest (off Highway 161), Danny pointed out some deer and some wild turkeys (he’s an avid hunter).  We parted ways after we got off at the 8th and Pine Metrolink station.

I was amazed that there were still so many autograph tickets available for sale.  Harrison Bader’s tickets sold out on the first day they were available last year, but his tickets were still available, along with many other players’ tickets.  All the free autographs tickets were sold out, however.

Our first stop was the coat check booth on the 4th floor.  After we checked our coats, we took a peek into the Main Stage room.  We then went downstairs to the second floor.  All of the Cardinals Hall of Fame breakout sessions offered the first 50 attendees HOF bobbleheads and I remembered from last year that tickets were handed out.  We wanted to attend the 12:00 PM presentation on Ted Simmons and I wanted to see how early we had to be there to get tickets for the 12 PM bobbleheads. The Cardinals Care folks said arriving an hour before would be fine.

After that, we went into the vendors’ room. Phil picked up some Blues hockey cards and an official puck from the banner raising ceremony. I wanted to wait to get to the Team Store and the Cardinals Care store to spend money. The vendor who had the promotional item giveaways for $5.00 in years past raised his price to $15.00 or 2/$25.00.  Rawlings did not have Kolten Wong’s Golden Glove on display like they did Yadi’s last year, and the Louisville Slugger Museum booth was not there either.

We went back to the Presentation area at 10:55 and inquired about the bobblehead tickets for the 12:00 presentation.  Unfortunately, all the tickets were already spoken for.  No bobblehead is worth waiting 2 hours in line for.  We went to the lunch area on the second floor and grabbed some lunch.  We stopped by the Main Stage area and listened to the Q&A with John Mozeliak until it was time to go to the presentation.

The “Ted Simmons:  A Hall of Fame Career” presentation was by Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum historian Brian Finch.  I have reported on Brian’s presentations and if you haven’t been to one before, you’re missing a great time and you’re missing a great Cardinals history learning experience.  Brian had many slides with fascinating information about Ted that he elaborated on.  Some of these slides had photos of Ted that I’d never seen before.

The next presentation I attended (Phil didn’t want to go) was the 2020 Cardinals Marketing & Promotions presentation with Senior Vice President Dan Farrell.  Dan explained the promotions process and then took questions. I asked about whether the Cardinals would ever go to making ladies carry clear purses like the Blues do.  Dan said that that would probably not happen unless the league offices mandated it.  I was slightly disappointed – in years past, the promotional department would show samples of the promotional items that were going to be distributed and Dan didn’t bring any promotional items. There were discussions about sales of promotional items on eBay.  The Funko Pop Yadi Molina giveaway last Labor Day was discussed and I expressed disappointment that it was on Labor Day when we usually go out of town.  After the presentation, a couple of older ladies pulled me to the side and the one lady said she had a couple of extra Yadi Funko Pops and would I like one?  Of course!  We exchanged cell phone numbers and agreed to meet up the next day.

We went back to the vendor area for a while and then went back up to the Main Stage area to see hunky Harrison Bader.  Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina were on the main stage and those two could have a stand-up routine.  They were hilarious.  When Bengie saw Harrison, he greeted him and said that Harrison knew some Spanish words – tacos, burritos, etc.  The audience and Harrison roared with laughter.

Paul DeJong was supposed to be signing yesterday but he missed his flight. We left at 3 PM to go home and cook an early dinner before we had to come back for the Birds of a Different Game: The ‘80s Cardinals presentation at FOX Sports Midwest Live.

The movie was great.  I encourage you to watch it on MLB Network on January 28, 2020 at 7 PM CST. If you’re a 1980’s Cardinals fan, you will really enjoy it.  The Q&A with Whitey Herzog, John Tudor, Ozzie Smith, and Tommy Herr was also great.  John Tudor in particular complimented the fans, and we applauded him.  The venue, FOX Sports Midwest Live (FSML), was not great, however, and neither were the event organizers.

Tickets to the event were free.  When I clicked through on the Facebook event to order the tickets, it said that the doors opened at 6 PM and that the presentation started at 6:30, which made me assume (mistakenly, I suppose) that it was a private event.  It was not, for when we got to FSML, almost all the tables were full.  In addition, there were several tables with Reserved signs on them. I thought perhaps they were reserved for people who had tickets for the presentation. When we asked about the reserved tables, we discovered that they were reserved for the fight that began at 9 PM.  FSML could have split up the long tables and let people sit at them until after the presentation was over at 8 PM.  Instead, they sat empty the whole time.  We weren’t even allowed to sit our beer bottles on the tables.  A waiter came over to us and told us to remove our beer bottles. Our wristbands (we finally found the booth to check-in) gave us half price drinks until 8 PM  and that was the only thing our wristbands were good for.  If we had been able to sit at a table, we might have ordered more than one drink and we might have even ordered some food.   If I had known that tickets did not equal seats, we would have just walked over from Winter Warm-Up and gotten a table, or I would have called FSML to reserve a table.  My friend who came with us has a torn meniscus and she definitely needed a seat, but we had to stand from 5:50 PM until 8 PM.  This occasion has soured my opinion of FSML to the point that I may never go there again.

I have no more to report on yesterday’s events.  The Day 2 report will be considerably shorter.  LOL!  Thanks for reading! See you next time!



A WWLCB visit to Santa Claus

I felt a little awkward standing in line with all the kids and their parents.  My kids have long since grown and I have no grandchildren to take to visit Santa. But surely as long as I still believed in Santa, he would listen to my gift requests and take care of them, wouldn’t he?   I was about to find out.

(I step forward to see Santa.)

Santa (SC):     Ho ho ho! Who’s next?

WWLCB (DMS):   (smiles) Hello Santa!

SC:            You’re a little tall to sit on my lap, I believe.

DMS:         (giggles) Yes, I am.  I’ll just kneel right here.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back up when I’m done.

SC:            Ho ho ho! I know about that.  My old bones and joints need a couple of days rest after I deliver all those presents on Christmas Eve.  So, what would you like for Christmas, young lady?

DMS:         Bless your heart, Santa. I haven’t been a young lady for years, but I’ll take that compliment.  Actually, I don’t need anything for myself.  I have a few requests about the St. Louis Cardinals, however.

SC:             Cardinals baseball?  We tried to play baseball at the North Pole, but the snowballs fell apart as soon as we hit them.  But I do enjoy watching baseball on TV.  I have MLB.TV and all the games are out-of-market so I can watch them all.  What are your requests?

DMS:        (pulls out a list from her pocket) Here we go.

Harrison Bader needs to learn how to hit.  He has great speed on the base paths, and he is an elite centerfielder, but his hitting needs improvement.

Speaking of hitting, the Cards’ bats have been really anemic, especially during the playoffs.  They had games where they would score lots of runs and then the next game, they would hardly score at all.  The hitting needs to be more consistent.

It appears that Marcell Ozuna will not be returning to the Cardinals next season.  I would like to request a quality left fielder as his replacement without the loss of too many prospects or money.

Matt Carpenter’s throwing arm needs a rejuvenation.  I cringe every time he throws to first base.

Carlos Martinez needs to get his shoulder strong enough to rejoin the starting rotation.  And while we’re at it, please give him the ability to not get the jitters in case of a pitching mistake.  He can be too emotional.

Santa, could the Cardinals please win their 12th World Series in 2020?  It’s been almost 10 years since the Cards have won a World Series.  We miss championship baseball in St. Louis.

Last but not least, could you please contact the Modern Era Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame and get Ted Simmons elected to the Hall of Fame?  I wrote 3 blog posts to the Modern Era Committee and he only missed getting in by one vote last time.  I worry about Ted – I’ve seen him lately and he doesn’t look well.  He needs to be elected to the Hall of Fame before something happens to him.  If Ted does get elected, I need money to attend the induction ceremony.

(The kids in the line are starting to get whiny since I’m taking too long talking to Santa.)

SC:          (chuckles) My goodness, that’s a very long list.  And your requests are very specific. I can’t promise you everything, but I will do my very best to do what I can to make your Christmas very merry.  (Santa reaches into a basket.)  Everyone who sees Santa gets a candy cane and you are no exception.  Merry Christmas Diane!

DMS:       (gets up slowly from her knees) Wait, I didn’t tell you my name.  How did you know –

SC:           Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas! (Santa’s elf escorts me to the door and I exit.)

Would you like to be Santa’s helper for some good girls and boys?  The Cardinals will be holding their fourth annual gift drive this Wednesday, December 4, 2019, from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  You can drop off an unwrapped toy or a gift card at the ticket windows on the 8th Street side of Busch Stadium.  You can drive up and Santa’s helpers will come to your car window to pick up your toy/gift card. In reward for your generosity, you will receive a cup of hot chocolate and a gift from the Cardinals – last year, the gift was a Marty pass, which grants the recipient two free tickets to a Cardinals game from Monday through Thursday, with some exceptions. A portion of the toys and gift cards will be given out by Fredbird during Breakfast with Santa at Scott Air Force Base, hosted by the American Red Cross.  The remaining gifts will be distributed to select Cardinals Care partner agencies including Angels’ Arms, Annie Malone Children & Family Service Center, Southside Early Childhood Center, The James Project, Youth in Need and Marygrove throughout the holiday season. A win-win for you and for the kids! For more information, go here:  cardinals.com/giftdrive.

I hope Santa brings you what you want for Christmas! Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!


2018 Winter Warm-Up Report Day 2

IMG_0001Today was the second day of the 2018 Winter Warm-Up.  We rode the same train to St. Louis this morning as we did yesterday.  However, we did stop at Starbucks in the lobby of the Hilton to get coffee this morning before getting in line.  We got in line about 10 minutes later than we did yesterday morning but we were farther up in line than we were yesterday.  I guess people were having a hard time getting up from their nice warm beds this morning.

After we dropped off our coats at the coat check booth, we headed toward the elevators. All of a sudden, we looked up and saw Tony La Russa heading our way.  I wished Tony a good morning and told him it was good to see him.  He asked how we were doing, and I told him we were trying to stay warm.  Then along came Dan McLaughlin.  I said hello and told him how much we enjoyed his presentations yesterday.  Dan and Tony were headed to the main ballroom, where Tony was scheduled to sign autographs at 9 AM.  Tony, Kyle McClellan (who I had an autograph ticket for), and Danny Cox were at Station 1, and Oscar Mercado and Alex Mejia were at Station 2.  Stubby Clapp was also supposed to sign at Station 2 today, but he cancelled.


The first presentation we attended today was from the Society of American Baseball Research and was about SABRmetrics.  I follow the Nation SABR Twitter account and it’s entertaining, but this presentation made me realize that I’m just not all that interested in the numbers.  I have never been good at math (I almost flunked out of high school algebra) so that may explain my aversion to numbers.  Here are some slides from the presentation:

That formula being pointed to by Branch Rickey just about freaked me out.  Thankfully, I’m better with words than I am with numbers.

The next presentation we attended was “Designing the Cardinals’ Official Scorecard” with illustrator Mike Right. He is the person who draws the beautiful scorecards you buy at Busch Stadium.  Mike explained the process that he goes through to come up with a new drawing every year.  He thinks up the concept, sketches it out, and then puts it on the computer and uses Adobe computer software to paint and texture the drawing.  Mike has designed the front of the scorecards for every season from 2001 on with the exception of 2007, when the front office decided they wanted to feature the 2006 World Series trophy (since the Cards hadn’t won a World Series trophy since 1982).  His work is beautiful and I always enjoy the artwork on the front of the scorecards. I always wonder what the scorecard will look like every season.  Here are some of the slides from the scorecard presentation:

After that presentation, it was time for lunch, so we went to St. Louis Bread Company (which is known as Panera Bread in other parts of the country). It cost me more at Bread Co. for lunch than it did at Jimmy John’s yesterday.  Maybe next year, we’ll pack a lunch.

When we got back to the Hyatt, we decided to listen to the presentation on the Main Stage.  John Rooney and Mike Shannon were chatting about various subjects and telling various stories.  Listening to John and Mike is always very entertaining and informative.

The second presentation we attended today was called “Creating A Keepsake” with Molly Becker of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  If you purchase a yearly membership to the Museum, you receive one or two bobbleheads, depending on whether you purchase an individual membership or a family membership.  This year’s bobbleheads are Ted Simmons and Dizzy Dean.  They are smaller than the bobbleheads that are given out at Busch Stadium.


Several of us (including myself) groaned when we were told that we would have to purchase a family membership in order to get a Ted Simmons bobblehead.

Molly told us about the process that goes into designing and making the bobbleheads.  First, the players to be honored are chosen. Only members of the Cardinals Hall of Fame are selected for bobblehead glory.  Then a decision is made as to what position the bobblehead will be in (Ted is in a catcher’s stance in the photo above).  Then photos are found and sent to the designers.  Here are a few slides from the presentation that illustrates the process.

The bobbleheads that will be given to museum members next year are Branch Rickey and Mike Simmons.  Molly reiterated the benefits of being a museum member and invited us to visit the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum booth to purchase memberships.

After the presentation, Phil and I went upstairs to catch what was left of General Manager Michael Girsch’s Q&A with Ricky Horton.  Horton and Girsch discussed various topics.

The schedule of autographs this afternoon starting at noon was Todd Worrell, Rick Horton and Paul DeJong at Station 1 and Adam Wainwright, Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez and Patrick Wisdom/Mike Mayers at Station 2.

Cardinals Nation got its first glimpse of Marcell Ozuna at 3:00 PM this afternoon.  His nickname “The Bear” is appropriate once you see him.  He smiled and enjoyed participating in the autograph session.  Greg Garcia, Luke Weaver and Michael Wacha also signed in the 3:00-4:00 PM slot.


After we saw Marcell, it was time to go home, since we were going to have Sunday dinner at my sister-in-law’s house.  Tomorrow is the last day of Winter Warm-Up.  The first presentation will be attending tomorrow doesn’t start until 11 AM, so we’ll get there a little later tomorrow morning.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!


A follow up heartfelt letter to the Modern Baseball Era Committee re: Ted Simmons

Diane Schultz, Founder

November 30, 2017

Modern Baseball Era Committee
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY

Re:    Ted Lyle SimmonsSimba1
Position:  Catcher
Teams:    St. Louis Cardinals, 1968-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
Atlanta Braves, 1986-1988

Dear Committee Members:

This letter is a follow up to my November 4, 2017 letter which discussed the above referenced former baseball player, along with my request that he be added to the Modern Baseball Era Hall of Fame ballot.  I was overjoyed when I heard the news that the committee did indeed select Mr. Simmons as a candidate on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.  I am very grateful that you responded favorably to my request.

Now that Mr. Simmons is on the Modern Baseball Era ballot, I would like to again remind the committee of Mr. Simmons’ stellar statistics that should ensure him a place with the Hall of Fame immortals.  From Wikipedia’s entry on Mr. Simmons:

Career Statistics

In a twenty-one-year major league career, Simmons played in 2,456 games, accumulating 2,472 hits in 8,680 at bats for a .285 career batting average along with 248 home runs, 1,389 runs batted in and a .348 on-base percentage. He ended his career with a .986 fielding percentage.  An eight-time All-Star, he batted above .300 seven times, reached 20 home runs six times, and eight times exceeded 90 runs batted in. He switch-hit home runs in a game three times and established a since-broken National League career record for home runs by a switch-hitter (182). Simmons held major league records for catchers with 2,472 career hits and 483 doubles, since broken by Iván Rodriguez.  He ranks second all-time among catchers with 1,389 runs batted in and 10th with 248 home runs. He caught 122 shutouts in his career, ranking him eighth all-time among major league catchers. In his book The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, baseball historian Bill James ranked Simmons 10th all-time among major league catchers.


  • 8-time All-Star (1972–74, 1977–79, 1981, 1983)
  • Silver Slugger Award (1980)
  • 7-times hit .300 or more (1971–73, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983)
  • Caught two no-hitters as a Cardinal: Bob Gibson in 1971, and the first of Bob Forsch’s two career no-hitters, in 1978.
  • Twice led the National League in intentional walks (1976–77). He ranks 15th in the All-Time list with 188.

As mentioned in my last correspondence, numbers and statistics do not lie. In the postscript below, I have posted links to two articles that further explain why Mr. Simmons should be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, should my arguments be insufficient.

I would also like to bring to the Committee’s attention that at age 68, Mr. Simmons is one of the oldest candidates on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.  The next Modern Baseball Era ballot will not be compiled until 2022, if my calculations are correct.  Please elect Mr. Simmons to the Hall of Fame while he is still alive to enjoy the induction ceremony.  The air will be electric with the chants of “Simba! Simba!” as he steps up to the podium for his acceptance speech, which will be heartfelt and entertaining, if Mr. Simmons’ speech at his Cardinals Hall of Fame induction is any indication.

Thank you once again for your consideration of Mr. Simmons’ Hall of Fame candidacy. I look forward to hearing the most excellent news of Mr. Simmons’ election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It would be a wonderful early Christmas present. (And if Mr. Simmons is elected, I will be trying to figure out how to pay for my trip to the induction ceremony, for I wouldn’t want to miss seeing it in person.) Please accept my best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

Very truly yours,

Diane M. Schultz

Wikipedia, “Ted Simmons,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Simmons

Why Simmons belongs in the Hall of Fame,” Benjamin Hochman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/benjamin-hochman/why-ted-simmons-belongs-in-the-hall-of-fame/collection_a7e7c0c2-e55c-5355-9a84-24674f6dc189.html

Cardinals great Ted Simmons is on the Hall of Fame ballot,” Craig Edwards, Viva El Birdos, https://www.vivaelbirdos.com/st-louis-cardinals-sabermetrics-analysis/2017/11/18/16671776/cardinals-ted-simmons-hall-of-fame-ballot-candidacy

A heartfelt letter to the Modern Baseball Era Committee re: Ted Simmons

Diane Schultz, Founder

November 4, 2017

Modern Baseball Era Committee
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY

 Re:    Ted Lyle SimmonsSimba1
Position:   Catcher
Teams:    St. Louis Cardinals, 1968-1980
Milwaukee Brewers, 1981-1985
Atlanta Braves, 1986-1988

Dear Committee Members:

I am writing to you in reference to Ted Simmons, one of the best catchers ever.  It is my understanding that you are going to announce the 10 person Modern Baseball Era ballot on Monday, November 6.  I hope and pray that I am not too late to argue my case that Ted Simmons belongs on the Modern Baseball Era ballot.

My fellow blogger Mark Tomasek of Retrosimba.org has assembled the statistics that show that Mr. Simmons deserves to become an immortal in the Baseball Hall of Fame and I quote them here:

Simmons ranks second all-time among players whose primary position was catcher in each of three significant hitting categories: hits (2,472), RBI (1,389) and doubles (483). He trails only Yogi Berra (1,430) in RBI. Ivan Rodriguez leads in hits (2,844) and doubles (572).

He was named to the all-star team eight times, six as a Cardinal.

Simmons had 90 or more RBI in a season eight times, six as a Cardinal.

A durable, tough athlete who toiled most of his summers in St. Louis’ searing heat, Simmons played in 150 or more games in seven consecutive seasons (1972-78).

Simmons had a slugging percentage of .500 or better three seasons in a row (1977-80). That is remarkably consistent high-level production. Neither Johnny Bench nor Yogi Berra nor Carlton Fisk, for example, achieved .500 or better slugging percentages three straight years.

He ranks third in career total bases (3,793) by a player whose primary position was catcher. Only Ivan Rodriguez (4,451) and Carlton Fisk (3,999) have more.

In 1975, Simmons established the National League single-season record for most hits by a catcher. He hit .332 that year and 188 of his 193 hits came while in the lineup as a catcher.

He holds most of the Cardinals career and single-season hitting records for a catcher. In a franchise rich with success (11 World Series titles) and notable catchers (Roger Bresnahan, Walker Cooper, Tim McCarver, Darrell Porter, Tony Pena and Yadier Molina), Simmons is the best hitter of the bunch.

While he wasn’t a great defensive catcher, he was much better than generally recognized. He twice (1972 and ’78) led NL catchers in assists, and twice (1976 and ’78) led NL catchers in number of runners caught attempting to steal.

Numbers and statistics do not lie.  Mr. Simmons has the bona fides to be elected to the Hall of Fame.  Indeed, Mr. Simmons’ election to the Hall of Fame is long overdue.

Mr. Simmons was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2015, and I was in attendance to see my childhood favorite ballplayer be inducted. (And being the emotional woman that I am, I cried like a baby.)  Simba’s mane has grown silver over the years (and cut shorter), but he was as well-spoken as ever.  On behalf of myself and Cardinals/Brewers/Braves fans everywhere, my request is that you place Mr. Simmons on the Modern Baseball Era 2017 ballot.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  I look forward to the news of Mr. Simmons’ addition to the Modern Baseball Era ballot, and Mr. Simmons’ subsequent election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Very truly yours,

Diane M. Schultz


Bibliography:  “10 reasons why Ted Simmons is a Hall of Famer,” https://retrosimba.com/2010/11/15/10-reasons-why-simmons-is-a-hall-of-famer/ 

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.


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!


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!


My Cardinals Hall of Fame nominees

I work in a building that is located two blocks from Busch Stadium, and I see amazing progress on Ballpark Village every day.  The rooftop seats have been put in and the floors have been added to the building framework.  Asphalt for the parking lots has been laid.   One of the new buildings at Ballpark Village will be called Cardinals Nation, and inside the Cardinals Nation building will be the new Cardinals Hall of Fame.  The United Cardinals Bloggers project for July is to make a list of the top 5 Cardinals (players, managers, front office folks, etc.) that we believe should be included in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  Now there was some qualifiers – the nominee(s) can’t have had their numbers retired, they can’t be still playing/managing/etc. and they can’t already be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Okay, that’s a bit of a challenge, but I think I can find 5 folks to nominate.  Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1.  Ted Simmons – Simba was one of my favorite players in the late ’70’s to mid-1980’s.  He was overshadowed by his contemporary Johnny Bench, but Ted’s batting average was actually higher than Johnny’s.  I remember his long black hair that came down to his shoulders, blowing behind him as he ran to first base.  Ted had some great stats – he was an 8 time All Star, he won the Silver Slugger, he caught 2 no hitters, and he hit over .300 for 7 years.  I was so sad when he was traded to the Brewers in 1980.  Darryl Porter had to win me over because my heart was still with Simba.  Hopefully one of these years, Ted will be voted in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The honor is long overdue.

2.  Willie McGee – Willie has been a fan favorite for a long time.  There are periodic calls for his number 53 to be retired.  I loved watching Willie in the 1982 World Series (despite my then-husband ragging me about the team).  Willie was one of the best Cardinals players in the 1980’s, with excellent  defense and a bat that came through when necessary.  Willie, with Ozzie, Tommy Herr and Vince Coleman were the prime examples of Whiteyball, which was Whitey Herzog’s style of baseball.  Willie played with the Cardinals twice and now serves the Cardinals as a special assistant to GM John Mozeliak.

3.  Jim Edmonds – I know, I know, another outfielder, but Jimmy Ballgame is special.  His defense earned him 8 Gold Glove awards and his bat was just as awesome.  Jimmy won 8 Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger, and was a 4 time All Star.  Jim, Albert Pujols, and Scott Rolen were part of the MV3 triumvirate in 2004.  He is such a big part of so many championship series and World Series memories for me.  Jimmy looks like a blue collar guy – if he hadn’t played baseball, he would be working in a factory somewhere.  Edmonds signed a minor league contract in 2011 so that he could retire as a Cardinal. Hopefully, Jim will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

4.  John Tudor – And now for my favorite pitcher from the 1980’s. Tudor was known as a junk pitcher – he threw off speed pitches, where batters didn’t expect them.  I liked John because he wasn’t a fastball pitcher.  He had to rely on his brains to get batters out.   In 1985, his first year with the Cardinals, he started with a 1-7 record.  But after May, he had a 20-1 record and ended up with a 1.93 ERA and a 21-8 record that year.  John had 10 complete game shutouts in 1985, and he was the last major league pitcher with this accomplishment.  Sadly, John never regained his 1985 form, although he had seasons with 13 victories.  I was at the Cards-Mets game in 1987 (on Easter Sunday, no less) when Mets catcher Barry Lyons crashed into the Cardinals’ bullpen and collided with Tudor, breaking his leg.   I found out that John had been traded to the Dodgers in 1988 by seeing it on the front page of the Post-Dispatch in a newspaper machine near my bus stop in downtown St. Louis.  John had been traded for Pedro Guerrero.  What?  It broke my heart, although John won a World Series ring with the Dodgers in 1988.  I rejoiced when John returned to the Cardinals in 1990, but despite a comeback season, he retired.  I got his autograph at FanFest in 2009.  He still looked the same, but his hair was a little grayer.  (Can you tell I had a crush on him?  LOL!)

5.   Helene Hathaway Robison Britton – Helene was the first woman owner of a major league baseball team.  She inherited the Cardinals from her uncle.  She wasn’t an owner in name only – she attended owners’ meetings and had major input as to what went on at the ballpark.  Her ownership of the Cardinals coincided with the women’s suffrage movement.  If a woman could run a baseball team, she sure knew enough to vote.  If you click on her name, you will be able to read my original blog post about Helene.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my list of Cardinals Hall of Fame candidates.  Who would you pick?  Leave me a comment below.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!