My FanFest memories

As you may recall, in 2009, the All Star Game came to St. Louis.  Amid all the festivities was a special event called FanFest – a festival for baseball fans.  Yours truly worked at FanFest, and I had a great time.

In the spring of 2009, the Cardinals announced on their website that Major League Baseball was looking for volunteers to work at FanFest.  After clearing it with hubby (you had to be able to work 1 shift a day in 3 consecutive days – he’d have to watch our son), I filled out the form and hit submit.  A couple months later, I received a letter from the Cardinals – I was one of the folks selected to attend an informational meeting about FanFest at Busch Stadium.  At this meeting, representatives from MLB talked about FanFest, how things were going to be set up, etc.  After all the questions were answered, each of us had to meet with a MLB representative and talk about why we wanted to work at FanFest.  I told the lady that interviewed me that I loved baseball, I enjoyed working with people, and that there would probably not be another All Star game in St. Louis in my lifetime.  I must have impressed the interviewer because I received a letter than said that I had been selected to work at FanFest.

The Tuesday evening before FanFest started, I had to attend orientation at the America’s Center, the convention hall in downtown St. Louis where FanFest was held.  A MLB representative gave us a pep talk and thanked us for volunteering.  We received our schedules saying when we were supposed to work. We received an All Star Game fanny pack and an All Star Game lanyard with a FanFest pass.  The lanyard and pass was to be worn at all times. The pass allowed us access to FanFest at any time, even when we weren’t working (a nice perk, considering admission was $30.00).

My first shift was on Friday evening.  I walked over to America’s Center after work and reported for duty.  I received a FanFest polo shirt, an All Star game lanyard with a pass on it, a big button and a couple of pins.  If you go to my bio page, you can see my Build-A-Bear with the pins on it.  Our uniform was the shirt, our lanyard with the pass, the big button and the fanny pack.  We also got a ball cap, but I didn’t wear it because I’m not a hat person.  :D We were also supposed to wear nice shorts and tennis shoes were highly suggested.

On Friday night, I worked at a game.  It was a race.  There were 3 bases and you had to run the distance from the base to the back wall, which was  90 feet.  I ran the computer.  It was  a nice sit down job.  The kids who ran the race got a poster when they were done.

I worked the Saturday afternoon shift.  Another nice perk of working at FanFest was that you got 2 free tickets to FanFest.  Hubby, son and I went  to FanFest on Saturday morning.  We got Ricky Horton’s and Andy Benes’ autograph and a couple of others.  Hubby and son took a shot at the game I worked at in the afternoon, where you got to try to hit against your pitcher of choice.  It’s not easy trying to hit Chris Carpenter’s fastball. We also saw Rollie Fingers signing autographs.  He still  had the handlebar mustache and he still looked good.

The boys got their photos taken in the photo booth.  Here’s the photo:

The boys went back home and I stayed for my afternoon shift (after eating lunch, of course).  I worked at the aforementioned game in the Holiday Inn line.  If  you visited the Holiday Inn booth and signed up, you received a wristband that allowed you to jump ahead in line, sort of like the Flash Pass at Six Flags.  I got to sit down for this job too.  :)

I came back early on Sunday to get John Tudor’s autograph and to view the FanFest on my own.  Rawlings gave a demonstration and showed how a baseball is stitched together.  It was noted that the baseball manufacturing plant was in a Caribbean country. I thought how ironic it was that baseball is America’s national pastime but the equipment used to play it is made in a foreign country.

There was a great display of items from the Baseball Hall of Fame.  It really fueled my desire to try and go there some day. Some of the ladies from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League were there signing autographs.  There was a big display on the history of the Cardinals.  There were also vendors selling baseball merchandise.  There was also a neat booth where you could pick a play to call and it was recorded.  You were given a card with a number on it to go on line and hear your call.  There was also a baseball diamond set up.  There were fielding and hitting demonstrations. On the second floor, there were games for the little ones to play.  There was an autograph table set up there and that’s where John Tudor was signing autographs.  I finally got up to the table and stood in front of him, and got tongue tied.  :(

My shift on Sunday was at the pitching game again, but this time, I didn’t get to sit down.  I stood for about 5 hours.  My hammys were mad at me by the end of my shift.  But I enjoyed it nonetheless.

At the end of my third shift, I reported back to the lounge on the second floor.  There were more presents from MLB for finishing the three shifts, including a certificate for a set of Cardinals tickets and this lovely baseball:







If the All Star Game comes to a stadium near you and you have the opportunity to work at FanFest, go for it! I had a great time and met some new friends.  If you don’t want to work at FanFest, consider attending.  It is well worth the price of admission. It is a true celebration of baseball.

That’s all for now!  See you again soon!

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