(Originally published August 4, 2011; edited and republished August 27, 2020)
It all started because the highfalutin Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton, Missouri, a well-heeled inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, didn’t have any Diet Coke in the house.
Hard to believe, I know, but true. All they had was Pepsi. I’m a Southern man, and I don’t cotton well to Yankee pop (HQ in NY), its North Carolina roots notwithstanding. I blame my mama. She filled my baby bottle with original Coke so she could get some precious sleep (pretty sure she didn’t read Dr. Spock).
It worked. She caught some Zs, and I caught an addiction and a mouthful of cavities.… Read the rest
Into the sea of Cardinal red which filled downtown St. Louis during yesterday’s victory parade and celebration waded Dave Finke of Maryland Heights, Missouri. For Finke, a sidewalk evangelist, the “fields were red unto salvation.”
Hopping aboard a pair of stilts for maximum visibility, Finke carried a “Jesus Saves” sign in one hand and a cross in the other. He ambled about among the revelers, a veritable John the Baptist crying out in a wilderness of concrete, glass and steel.
Several partygoers stopped to have their pictures taken with Finke and engage him in conversation. Others offered up their own commentary asides as they passed him by.… Read the rest
When the final out was recorded in the 2006 World Series, I was nowhere near a television set. Instead, I was watching Tevye dance and prance across the stage in the Harding University production of Fiddler on the Roof. But I still knew within seconds that the Cardinals had won:
CARDINALS WIN!!! WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!
That’s the text message I received from Number Three Son back in Huntsville who was watching and recording the game for me. You’ll notice that there are a lot of exclamation points in that message. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Number Three dumped the Tigers somewhere along Game Three and came back to the fold.… Read the rest
Wednesday night’s Game Four of the World Series was a rainout. Play will hopefully resume today, which means we’ll be listening to the game on the radio, at night, as we travel to Arkansas to visit my alma mater Harding University (Hail!).
I’ve always enjoyed driving at night and having my pick from seemingly hundreds of radio stations whose signals skip across the lower atmosphere from sea to shining sea. Although my overly visually-stimulated sons would disagree, there’s something particularly dramatic and exciting about listening to a baseball game on the radio, especially at night. Without the visual cues, one is left to fill in the gaps, and radio announcers tend to be very expressive and excitable as they call the play-by-play and react histrionically to home runs and 6-4-3 double plays.… Read the rest
The Cardinals gained a 2-1 game lead in the 2006 World Series last night behind a gem of a pitching performance by Chris Carpenter. The Cardinal ace lived up to his Cy Young Award credentials, tossing a 3-hit shutout for a 5-0 Redbird win. The victory was overdue relief for longsuffering Cardinal fans who had not witnessed a World Series game victory in the Gateway City since Ronald Reagan was president (1987).
Currently, one of the most popular Cardinals player is “Sir Albert” Pujols. Before that, the fan favorite was Ozzie “The Wizard” Smith. Are you picking up on a trend here?… Read the rest
We’re heading back to “The Gateway City” for Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Not surprisingly, the Tigers bounced back last night with a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals behind the strong pitching of 40-something Kenny “The Gambler” Rogers. Normally I like seeing “old guys” performing well on the playing field because it gives me hope, but I don’t like it as much when they’re wearing the opposite team’s uniform.
One thing’s for sure: Rogers missed the lesson in kindergarten about washing one’s hands before a game. In the first inning, Fox Sports commentators spied a dark spot on the thumb and palm of Roger’s left throwing hand.… Read the rest
The biggest surprise of the night was the stellar pitching of Anthony Reyes who silenced the doubters concerned over his low win total (5), the fewest ever for a Game 1 starter in Series history. Reyes is old school–he wears his socks high and his cap brim flat (the better to see the catcher’s signs, he says). With players these days wearing their pant legs so low that it seems like they would trip over them running down the basepaths, Reyes is a blast from the past.… Read the rest
I made clear my citizenship in the Cardinal Nation in yesterday’s post. But as we head in to opening night of this year’s World Series, I should tell you in the interest of full disclosure that there have been other “cards” in my life.
Growing up in Southwest Virginia, I rooted for a different shade of red–The Big Red Machine of Cincinnati to be precise. This came about as the result of an event that took place one Sunday morning in 1970 on the way to church.
My grandmother used to go to church with us back then, and one Lord’s Day she handed me a small card wrapped in thin, nearly transparent paper.… Read the rest
Baseball is one of those sports where King Superstition reigns supreme. Just to prove the point, I’ve intentionally avoided mentioning baseball and my team, the St. Louis Cardinals, on this blog for fear of jinxing my boys.
In a dramatic conclusion to game seven of the NLCS, Yadier Molina struck the decisive blow with a 2-run shot in the top of the ninth inning to finally bring down the New York Mets 3-1. After Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of another home run in what will go down as one of the greatest catches in baseball history, and after Albert Pujols failed yet again to produce with men on base, I thought the Cards were done for.… Read the rest
I know two or three of you are waiting with bated breath to read what I’m going to say after the demise of my beloved Cardinals last night. I was hoping that if we were destined to lose that we would at least avoid going “quietly into that good night.” Alas, we went not with a “bang,” but a “whimper.”
A hat tip to the Astros pitching staff who tamed the mighty Cardinal bats and also to the rally-squelching 2nd base umpire in last night’s game who somehow saw the “phantom tag”–you guys make a great team. I really do wish Houston the best, but I just want you to know that it’s hard for me to think of your team without thinking of the guy pictured to the right.… Read the rest
Albert Pujols rescued the St. Louis Cardinals from the brink of elimination a few moments ago with a dramatic 9th inning, two-out, three run shot off of Brad Lidge to give the Cardinals a come from behind 5-4 win and keep alive their hopes in the NLCS. In the process, he kept alive America’s hopes of not having to suffer through the most boring World Series in MLB history (‘Stros v. Chisox).
It’s back to the comfortable confines of Busch Stadium now (scheduled for demolition after the final out this year) and, God willing, some more Cardinal heroics.