It’s hard to believe, but Albert Pujols will not be one of the former St. Louis Cardinals signing autographs this weekend.
For autograph seekers, the Winter Warm-up is one of the best places to get an autograph from that favorite player. The list of those who will be present is long and distinguished, and can be found on the Cardinals official website. I took a look at that list last night, specifically at the players for whom a ‘donation’ is required in order to get an autograph. I was a little surprised there were tickets still available for some players. They can be purchased at the Warm-up.
Based on the esteem he is still held in around St Louis, I can’t believe Whitey Herzog tickets have not sold out, but they haven’t. One can buy a ticket and have him sign anything, for a $75 donation. His is not the most expensive ticket on the menu – that honor belongs to Lance Berkman – but it is tied for second with several former and current players.
All the cheap tickets must be gone, right? Nope. Jack Clark asks for a measly $5 prior to signing something. He’ll have pen in hand on Monday. I can kind of understand why Clark’s popularity would be at a lowi ebb, based on some of the on-air comments he’s made recently, but still. As the only major power threat on Herzog’s mid-80s teams, Clark was a huge presence on 2 NL Champion teams.
Kyle McClellan tickets still available? Unbelieveable. The local kid made good, the rock in the eighth inning, the player willing to convert from reliever to starter because that’s what the club needed last season. McClellan was 6-2 and pitching very well before going on the DL the end of May; after that, he was ordinary but still finished tied for third on the club in wins (12). If nothing else, donate $5 and thank the man.
JC Romero not being sold out is understandable – he signed on barely a month ago – even at $5 a pop. Brian Jordan tickets still being on sale is not. The biggest mark against Jordan has to be that he played on some bad Cardinal teams in the 1990s, and averaged only 90 games a season during his 7 years with the club. It was feast or famine with Jordan. Either he played more than 130 games (3 times, 1995, 1996, and 1998) or he played less than 70 games (1992-1994, 1997). Jordan’s best year in St Louis was his last, when he had an OPS+ of 134 and hit 25 home runs. For fans resigned to the Mike Jorgensen/Joe Torre years (and Jorgensen will be signing autographs this weekend), Brian Jordan was one of the few bright spots in the lineup. When he was in the lineup.
If you haven’t got five – or seventy-five – dollars burning a hole in your pocket, Danny Cox, Ken Dayley, Tom Lawless, John Mabry, Ken Reitz, and Bill Virdon will be available throughout the event. Makes me wish I was in St Louis this weekend.
Cardinals Winter Warm-Up starts Saturday at 9am.
Mike Metzger is an I-70 contributing writer. Follow him on Twitter.