Tag Archive | "Cardinals Care"

2015 Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up Progressive Blog – Day 1

The Cardinals’ annual kick-off event, the Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up, is taking place this weekend in downtown St. Louis at the Hyatt Regency, and once again I-70 Baseball will be on site to chronicle all the happenings over the next three days. The Warm-Up, which is the team’s top fan event features player appearances, autograph signings and unique merchandise sales and presentations all gear toward funding for the club’s community outreach program, Cardinals Care.

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However, in-between meeting and greeting fans, the players and management also stop to speak to media across the three day schedule and I-70 will keep update the action as it happens. Check back regularly throughout the day and follow on Twitter at @I70Baseball for notices on when new player interviews and content are available.

And kicking off day 1….Peter Bourjos

Bourjos had hip surgery during the winter, and said his rehab kicked up during the past week. “I feel really good. I’ve been running on a gravity treadmill which de-weights you and I got up to 100% two or three days ago. I have run back to back-to-back days and it feels good.”

He expressed that the injury was lingering one that had bothered him in Anaheim as well, but he had monitored it closely. The injury began to worsen in September of last year, and finally necessitated that he address it via surgery in November. “When I broke my wrist in Anaheim and had wrist surgery, so I didn’t play a whole lot because I was hurt most of the year. So it felt alright and we didn’t get it checked on” Bourjos explained. “Then last year as the year was going on, I was having a lot more trouble getting out of bed and walking after games. It would be pretty sore and finally we had an MRI in September and it showed it was getting progressively worse and not headed in a good direction.”

He characterized the injury as varied in intensity, depending on often he had played the day before. “If I had played all nine innings, it would be pretty sore. But if I just came in for defense it would be okay.”

Regarding his first season in St. Louis, he had mixed feelings on his performance. “Obviously I didn’t get off to a good start and in then in the second half I played a bit better and it was nice to make the strides and developments I did.”

On the subject of his standing as a member of the team: “There had been rumors out there and I know there had been discussion on if I would even be tendered a contract this year,” Bourjos said frankly. “Honestly, I didn’t know. I just tried to get healthy and compete for some playing time and that’s all I can do.”

“Hopefully I’m here and I would like to be here, but I will see where it goes from here.”

Entering the spring, he does not anticipate any restrictions. “I don’t think so. I got cleared to swing the bat and ramp up the baseball activities, so I hope it doesn’t go into spring.”

Regarding where he fits into the team’s plans, he said that while he has not played a corner outfield position in the Major Leagues, he is comfortable doing so and can if needed.

Bourjos was busy this winter, as he got married and is wife is expecting their first child (a son who’s name will be Max) in April. He was married shortly after getting off crutches from his hip surgery.

Belisle

Next up, new Cardinal reliever Matt Belisle, who had a very clear enthusiasm about being a member of the team:

“I was extremely humbled and honored when (the Cardinals) reached out to me so quickly in the free agent process,” Belisle recalled. “I have always looked across at LaRussa and now Matheny beat up on us, and said ‘That’s how you play the game’. I’m just ready to be Matheny’s soldier and be playing in the season’s last game.”

Regarding his role with the team, he embraces his ability to have a high-volume work rate (he has logged over seven appearances in four of the last five seasons). Also, his presence as a veteran capable of help to mature the younger Cardinal bullpen arms was desirable as well. “Up front the organization asked me to step into the clubhouse and lead there, as well as help out with the bullpen.”

Expanding on that his approach, “I look at any would be challenge as an opportunity. Whether it is a long stretch of working back-to-back or taking the ball once a week, I’m not worried about it. I look at it as an opportunity and I’m not worried about it. We need somebody to do that, so give me the ball, I’ll do it. Let’s go.”

About leaving the notoriously brutal Coors Field behind as his home field: “Playing at Coors Field undoubtedly improved me. I’ve never been a stat guy, but there are challenges there. But I don’t look at it as ‘What a relief to get out of Colorado'; I look at it as I get a chance to win now here.”

“I had be very cognizant of when I came home from the road about altitude changes. That allowed me to become very acute and adept of my pitches and be more creative about how to attack hitters.”

About having the opportunity to play for the Cardinals, he is very enthusiastic in regards to being a part of the Cardinals and all that comes with it. “I’m looking forward to being with these fans, having Yadi behind the plate and Matheny steering the ship. It is a great era to be a Cardinal.”

 

Minor league reliever and recent mention among Baseball America’s Top 10 Cardinal prospect Sam Tuivailala:

On his biggest take away from his late season call up to St. Louis, it was to be ready for his number to be called. “Just to relax and have fun. I had a whole group of guys that want for me to succeed and have fun competing.”

However, he did expand on the fact that it was a bigger rush than he expected. “I was still in a bit of a ‘wow’ moment, but moving forward I feel like I got over that and can just play ball.

Regarding his participation in the Arizona Fall League, it stated it definitely help regarding his mechanics and secondary pitches. “The Fall League helped me to refine my curveball and change up definitely and really made me feel like I would be ready to take strides forward.”

About where he expects to be in the organization this year, he is predictably ready to fill any capacity he is called on. And while he has not been informed of his role in the organization, he is slated to be the closer in Memphis this year, but has his eyes on more. “Going into spring training I am going to compete at the highest level and my focus is through the roof.”

 

Coming up in the next update: Jason Heyward, Stephen Piscotty, Ty Kelly

 

Next up: outfielder Stephen Piscotty, the organization’s unanimous top positional prospect:

Piscotty spoke at length regarding fine tuning his swing during the offseason, with a focus on creating more power (nine home runs in 556 2014 plate appearances). He worked with both his college batting coach at Stanford at length on the technical portion and Memphis hitting coach Mark Budaska on the philosophical portion.

“I made some adjustments from a hitting standpoint. I felt a need to drive the ball better, and I wanted to do it in a way that would not take away from my game.”

On his desired outcome, Piscotty stressed that increasing his home run total is the overall goal, but not at the expense of what has made his successful in the past. “Ideally they will increase home runs. Mechanically it was about finding a better slot for my bat path, something that allows my bat to stay on the pitch longer so I can get more extension.”

“I’m trying to use my longer arms as an advantage, instead of a disadvantage. There were times where I felt my arms were too long and I couldn’t get extended but couldn’t stay short either. I was really trying to attack that.”

“I’m looking to get a little bit more lift. I will hit some balls that have a little bit more carry, but still have the nice line drives I like to hit.”

On his season at Memphis last year (where he hit .288 with 32 doubles), he described it as a learning experience in both caliber of pitching and personal expectation measuring. Regarding the promotion to the Major Leagues that many clamored for, he lauds the other players within the organization that were brought up and stated they were more deserving of the call than him at the time.

“Triple A was a fun challenge. Started off pretty well, but then I hit a bump in the road. July was a pretty brutal month, but by August I was able to hit it well again and finished strong so I felt good about my season.”

Regarding where he fits in best within the organization, as he has been discussed as potential utility option in order to work his way into the Major League lineup sooner, it is clear that he regards the outfield as his home. “I am open to any outfield spot. I played a lot of right last year, but I played a lot of left in college so I am comfortable there too,” said the 24-year-old. “I think right field suits me best, but that’s not up to me to decide.”

He stated that he has not been contacted by anyone in the organization about working out at any other position in the spring, despite the fact that he had prior experience at first and third base in college.

Outside of baseball, he finalized his degree from Stanford in the fall in Atmosphere and Energy Engineering, which he stated he was able to have time to complete due to not being called up to the Majors in September.

 

Next in was infielder Ty Kelly, whom was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in November…

The 26-year-old has experience at five different positions during his minor league career, and sees it as being the key to finding a role in his new organization.

He is not sure of where he will fit into the picture exactly regarding whether he will start with the Cardinals or at the Triple A level, but he is familiar with competition for a place throughout the minors with the Mariners and Orioles previously.

“It is not necessarily about one spot opening up for me, but it is about moving around and working my way into the lineup more often.”

He plans on competing across the entire infield and has some outfield experience as well, but he does not see himself as having a home position. “I am not sure that I want to have a place where this is his spot, but he can play other places. Rather I would be able to play everywhere and play everywhere well.”

Heyward

Next, all eyes were on the newest high profile Cardinal, outfielder Jason Heyward

In regards to making the leap to playing for the Cardinals, he was affable in his anticipation for joining the team. “As an opposing player and as someone on the good side now, it is definitely a good atmosphere and a lot of excitement around the game of baseball here and I appreciate it. This is a new feel. This is a city that is all about baseball and it is an exciting experience.”

On how he fits into his new lineup, Heyward leaned on being open to whatever was needed….but also seemed to have a preference as well. Due to team needs in Atlanta, he was shifted up the lineup into the lead off spot in years past, but a return to his more familiar role down in the lineup was a focus of his as well.

“I don’t know yet because I haven’t been in the lineup, but I was developed as a guy in the middle of the lineup. I made it to the Major Leagues with some success in the area as well, but I have been asked to do some different things at certain times, but I am a team player so I will fit right in where I am asked to be.”

Regarding his approach in different places in the lineup and changing it accordingly, he says “You are forced to in the leadoff spot. The game is sort of dicatated for you; your mindset is ‘Let me get on base, let me get on base’, so that is a lot different from hitting anywhere else where the mindset is getting a pitch to drive. You can’t do that much from the leadoff spot.”

“The most difficult part for me was not being developed as a leadoff guy. If I had spent more time doing so, it would have been an easier transition, but I gave it my best shot and it was a fun challenge.”

An obvious focal point was his future with the team beyond 2015. Although having not donned a Cardinal uniform yet, the fact already looms that he only has one season left on his contract, and the topic of him remaining a member of the team is a popular issue.

He stated that he does not intend on putting timetables or limitations on extension negotiations, but at the same time he is not focused on sorting that out currently.

“I can’t say how it is going play out right now, I am just looking forward to getting settled in with my teammates and fitting in. I think the goal for me and everybody involved is to be playing in October and going for a World Series, so if all of that takes care of itself a lot of good things will come from it and no negatives.”

“I hope I love it so much I don’t want to leave,” Heyward said. “I feel like if I love it that much it is a good fit.”

 

Randal Grichuk took to the podium next to discuss an up and down off season for himself, as well as his upcoming prospects for 2015…..

On the team’s acquisition of Jason Heyward, he was frank in its effect on his role with the team:

“Thoughts off the bat? Not good for me. But obviously we are here to win a championship, and bringing a guy in like that is a huge piece to the puzzle and he’s going to help us get to the next level. Regardless of who is here, you have to go into spring training the same way I went in last year: trying to win a job and open some eyes to get playing time. So nothing really changes.”

Facing a certain decrease in defined playing time, Grichuk is aware that his preparation must change as well. “It’s about getting reps in at every position and being ready to play whenever you are called,” he stated.

Yet his role last season also prepared him for what awaits this season. “Last year kind of got me into that mindset. Being up a few times, not being an everyday guy kind of gave me a taste of it. Coming into this year I know a little bit more about how to prepare for those games.”

Xavier Scruggs took to the podium next to discuss the new endeavors—and farewells—of his off season:

He spent the winter playing in the Dominican Republic, where he played more outfield than anywhere else. He wrote a blog over his experiences in the league as well. Scruggs was very complimentary of the experience in the foreign nation as well.

“It was good to go out there and see how they lived, because they lived every day to the fullest. It is great to see how passionate they are about baseball there. You see how hard they work and you fall in place with it.”

On the field, he discussed his switch to the outfield, in order to add more versatility to his offering for the season, as well as getting plenty of at-bats versus right-handed pitching as well.

He also weighed in on being in the home nation of Oscar Taveras during the time of his death, as well as his personal relationship with him:

“Everybody out there knew me and Oscar were close and came up playing together, so everybody was really good to me. It was crazy the fact that it had an effect over the whole country, moments of silence in every game we played after that. It was cool to see how much they cared about Oscar as a person and as a player.”

Rounding out the day for the players was new first baseman Mark Reynolds. He discussed his approach to hitting, as well as what sold him on St. Louis:

Reynolds said he was surprised at how early the signing happened, as he anticipated being on the market for a longer time period. He expressed weighing several offers, but being on a contender meant more than anything. “Mike (Matheny) called me and told me that he wanted for me to be a part of (the Cardinals), and I was ready.”

“Another huge thing was that I have played in stadiums where there was no one there and it was hard to get up for a game,” Reynolds explained. As a visitor for the past eight or so years, it has always been packed here and the fans have knowledge and a passion for the game, and they are the best fans to play in front of.”

About the changes in his accustomed role throughout his career that he will face with his new team, Reynolds was competitively realistic and made the opportunity to play for a winner the prime focus.

“It is going to be tough this first year sort of accepting a part-time role, so I will have to find certain routines to be ready to play. But as far as accepting a lesser role to be on a winning team, it is really not something I had to think about for long.”

“I am definitely not here to ride the pine all year. I want to play as much as possible, and I want to make it tough on Mike to keep me on the bench.”

When speaking about his much-debated plate approach, which frequently has seen him either striking out or hitting home runs, he was to the point in what his role is:

“I used to worry about my contact, but not too many guys have had seven straight years of 20 home runs, but I feel like I compromise a few things to change my approach and make weak outs.”

He also expressed a willingness to play some third base if called upon as well, which was his original position when he broke in with the Arizona Diamondbacks:

“It is definitely something I am open to doing and would be ready for, but it would only be a capacity that if (Matt Carpenter) needed to be spelled.”

 

This rounds out day one of I-70’s Cardinal Care Winter Warm-Up Progressive Blog. Tune back in tomorrow for the second edition, as well as a special breakout of John Mozeliak’s media session.

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Cardinals To Auction Musial Hockey Jerseys

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (February 15, 2013) – Today, Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St.  Louis Cardinals, announced the start of a ten-day online auction of commemorative “Musial 6” jerseys worn and autographed by St. Louis Blues hockey players.

The auction, which begins today at noon and continues through Monday, February 25 at 3 p.m., features five one-of-a-kind jerseys worn when the St. Louis Blues honored Stan “The Man” Musial before the January 27 game at Scottrade Center. Musial’s grandson dropped the ceremonial first puck, and all Blues players wore jerseys with “Musial” and “No. 6” during pregame warmups.

The Cardinals’ auction includes the autographed jerseys belonging to Blues players David Perron, Brian Elliott, Kris Russell, Ian Cole and Jamie Langenbrunner. Proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit Cardinals Care in their mission to help kids throughout the Cardinals’ community. Those wishing to bid on the rare jerseys can do so by visiting the Cardinals’ website at cardinals.com/musialauction.

“We are extremely grateful to the St. Louis Blues,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Cardinals Care and Community Relations. “The Blues supported the Cardinals family during our time of need and are making it possible for Cardinals Care to help kids in our community, a cause close to the heart of Stan Musial.”

Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the Cardinals organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established 16 years ago, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in helping children, including providing nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 19 youth ball fields in neighborhoods in both Missouri and Illinois. For nearly a decade, Cardinals Care has run the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.

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Cardinals And Rawlings Launch “Varsity Club”

The St. Louis Cardinals and Ralwings Sporting Goods team up to launch “Varsity Club”
Exclusive fan club for teenagers is first-of-its-kind amongst MLB teams

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (February 7, 2013) – The St. Louis Cardinals today announced an expanded partnership with St. Louis‐based Rawlings Sporting Goods to benefit area youth. Through the partnership with Rawlings, the team is launching the Cardinals Varsity Club presented by Rawlings, a membership-based program exclusive to teenagers and young adults in Cardinal Nation.

“Rawlings stepped up to the plate when we launched Redbird Rookies in 2004 and they have been an outstanding partner,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Cardinals Care and Community Relations. “We are very excited about this new venture and we look forward to sharing Cardinal baseball with more kids in our community.”

The membership-based fan club is exclusive to teens and young adults, ages 14-19, and offers a personalized fan experience for the age group. Although many teams have fan clubs, the Rawlings Varsity Club is considered to be the first-of-its-kind for the teen demographic among major domestic professional sports leagues. The $35 membership includes a ticket voucher for two tickets to a 2013 Cardinals home game, two exclusive promotional items – Varsity Club backpack and Cardinals flat bill cap – a Cardinals coupon book, two issues of Cardinals Magazine and more. The year-long Varsity Club membership culminates with Rawlings Varsity Club Day at the Ballpark on Wednesday, August 14, 2013. Members will receive two tickets to the game, early access to the ballpark for a program featuring Cardinals front office executives, Rawlings representatives and Cardinals players, and the opportunity to parade around the warning track pre-game. Fans can visit cardinals.com/varsity to obtain more information or to register for the 2013 season.

“The Rawlings Varsity Club membership program is a natural progression of our continuously-expanding partnership with the Cardinals,” said Kurt Hunzeker, senior director of brand marketing for Rawlings. “This first-of-its-kind sponsorship platform allows us to better connect and engage with our core target market, offer exclusive product discounts and tailor unique experiences as they progress in their playing careers and fan avidity for the Cardinals.”

In addition to the Varsity Club sponsorship, Rawlings renewed its presenting sponsorship of the Cardinals Kids Club (formerly the Cardinals Crew Kids Club) in an effort to grow with young Cardinals’ fans and fortify its commitment to enabling baseball in the St. Louis community. The Kids Club, for fans ages 15 and under, is in its 13th year and this season features Jon Jay as its official spokesman. This marks the third year that Rawlings will participate as the lead sponsor of the Kids Club in which 7,300 kids took part in 2012.

Membership for the Cardinals Kids Club presented by Rawlings is $25 and includes two Cardinals tickets, a Cardinals drawstring bag designed to look like Jon Jay’s new 2013 “St. Louis” home alternate jersey, a stylish pair of headphones, a Cardinal-themed lunch bag, a new 2013 Cardinals Kids Club lapel pin, membership card and lanyard, as well as an invitation to an exclusive member’s only party at Busch Stadium featuring autographs, food, fun, Fredbird and more. Fans can renew or purchase memberships and obtain more information at cardinals.com/kidsclub, or call the Cardinals Kids Club hotline at314.345.9888.

In addition, the Rawlings Replay equipment trade-in program will continue as part of these sponsorships, which has outfitted more than 8,000 Redbird Rookies players since its origin in 2011. Rawlings is the Official Batting Helmet and Ball Supplier of Major League Baseball.

Since its inception in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in helping children, including providing nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 19 youth ball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Missouri and Illinois. For nearly a decade, Cardinals Care has run the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year. Cardinals Care has distributed more than $16 million to area children’s organizations. To learn more about all of Cardinals Care’s programs visit cardinals.com/community.

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Go away winter, St. Louis Cardinals warm-up is here

St. Louis has slogged through the first half of yet another gray, cold winter in the country’s heartland, especially without the aid of St. Louis Blues hockey until Saturday. But that all changed this weekend as the St. Louis Cardinals opened up their annual Winter Warm-Up celebration.

Friend of the site Cadence with Chris Carpenter in 2012

Friend of the site Cadence with Chris Carpenter in 2012

Each year, just as fans start to feel the pangs of being baseball-deprived for three months, the Cardinals host the Winter Warm-Up event in downtown St. Louis. The event serves as a pep rally for the club before it heads to Jupiter, Fla., in about a month, and gives fans a chance to meet with past, current and future members of the organization.

This year’s event ran Saturday through Monday at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch hotel.

For many fans, the Winter Warm-Up is their chance to get re-acquainted with their team and enjoy a baseball-filled weekend even though temperatures hovered in the 30’s Sunday and dropped to 24 degrees Monday.

In several ways, the Winter Warm-Up is similar to the Fanfest events that Major League Baseball has in the All-Star Game’s host city in the days leading up to the game. There are interactive displays and activities, as well as opportunities for autographs, although that’s an additional expense.

The Winter Warm-Up is also a chance for fans to ask questions about the team heading into spring training and the upcoming season. This year, people will surely have plenty of questions for the Cardinals about players such as Jaime Garcia, Rafael Furcal, Matt Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

Those four players, in particular, will be vital to the Cardinals success in 2013, but they each come with legitimate concerns for either the coming year or future years.

Garcia turned down an opportunity last week to pitch for Mexico, his native country, in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. That’s certainly his right to choose, but concerns about that decision arise because Garcia dealt with left shoulder problems last season and has spent the offseason trying to rehab so he can be ready for the start of the season. That rehab is especially important since he decided against surgically repairing the shoulder.

Furcal also has injury concerns. He tore a ligament in his right elbow Aug. 31 against the Washington Nationals and never returned to the field. His return as the starting shortstop is important to the team because the Cardinals and their fans aren’t sold on his backup Pete Kozma, even though Kozma hit .333 in 26 games down the stretch and played a key role in the Cardinals’ first-round series win over the Nationals.

Carpenter doesn’t have any injury concerns, but the Cardinals have asked him to pull a Skip Schumaker move during the offseason and transform into a second baseman. Carpenter has been a great utility player for the Cardinals in the past two seasons, but asking a player to change positions at the big-league level is always a dicey proposition.

The only questions for Wainwright about the 2013 season will be if he can fully return to his dominant form before suffering a season-ending elbow injury at the start of spring training in 2011. All of the other questions will likely be about the years following 2013.

Wainwright’s contract is up at the end of the season, and with another solid season he will be a highly sought-after free agent in the offseason. With pitchers signing increasingly large free-agent contracts in the last few years, Wainwright’s price tag could be incredibly high. With those factors in place, Cardinals fans could be on a Pujols-like watch at next year’s Winter Meetings.

All of those issues will be sorted out at the proper times, of course. Most importantly, the third weekend is always a chance for St. Louis sports fans to start dreaming about the warm summer days and nights they’ll experience in the heart of downtown St. Louis surrounded by a sea of red clothes in one of the best places on Earth: Busch Stadium.

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Cardinals Urge Fans To Support “Gloves 4 Troops”

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ST. LOUIS, January 13, 2013 – The St. Louis Cardinals are urging fans attending this weekend’s Winter Warm-Up (#WWU) to donate a baseball glove in support of the “Gloves 4 Troops” effort organized by Cardinals minor league infielder Vance Albitz who hopes to collect at least a thousand baseball gloves and balls by Spring Training 2013.

“This is a great opportunity to support our troops while also helping kids in our community,” said Michael Hall, Vice-President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “We are inspired by Vance’s selfless efforts and want to do our part to help him achieve his goal.”

Cardinals Care, with the help of Rawlings, will have a number of collection bins set up as fans enter the 17th Annual Warm-Up at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.  Fans are encouraged to donate gently used gloves and balls.  Cardinals Care has enlisted the support of the local chapter of Hope for Heroes of the Epsilon Sigma Alpha organization at Scott Air Force Base to assist with the delivery of the gloves to the troops deployed oversees.

“Gloves 4 Troops” (#Gloves4Troops) is a volunteer effort organized by Albitz, an infielder with the Springfield Cardinals, who has already collected over 200 gloves.  Fans can learn more at www.gloves4troops.com .

The highly-anticipated annual Winter Warm-Up takes place Saturday, January 19 through Monday, January 21, 2013 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day).  The event times are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday.  Fans may still purchase passes for the three day event at www.cardinals.com/winterwarmup.

Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the Cardinals organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field.   Since it was established 16 years ago, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in helping children, including providing nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 19 youth ball fields in neighborhoods in both Missouri and Illinois.  For nearly a decade, Cardinals Care has run the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.

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Go Red For Kids Throughout The Postseason

ST. LOUIS – October 3, 2012 - The St. Louis Cardinals are encouraging local businesses, schools and other organizations to help kids in our community while supporting the team’s quest for a 12th World Championship (#12in12) by participating in Cardinals RED for Kids (#RED4kids).

RED stands for Rally Everyone Day.  Piloted during the 2011 postseason, Cardinals RED for Kids is the team’s version of an office “dress down” day in which participating organizations make a donation to Cardinals Care in exchange for the opportunity to sport their Cardinals clothes at work or school. Since last year, Cardinals Care has raised nearly $15,000 through RED for Kids.

“This is a great way to show your support for the team and help kids in our community,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “We hope to rally everyone to support the Cardinals as we look for our 12th World Championship in 2012.”

To participate, fans should go to cardinals.com/red to register their organization.  While the Cardinals would like businesses to help raise money while showing their team spirit, schools are not required to make a donation to get involved.  Participating schools, businesses and organizations are also encouraged to submit photos via the team’s website and social media showing their Rally Everyone Day (#RED4kids) spirit.

Cardinals Care is celebrating 15 years of “Caring for Kids” both on and off the baseball field. Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in helping children, including providing nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 19 youth ball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Missouri and Illinois.  For nearly a decade, Cardinals Care has run the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year. For more information about Cardinals Care, or to sign up for Cardinals RED for Kids, visitcardinals.com/red.

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Cardinals Care To Dedicate Lance Berkman Field

ST. LOUIS – October 1, 2012 – Cardinals Care and the Redbird Rookies will honor Cardinals Outfielder/First Baseman Lance Berkman with the dedication of Lance Berkman Field at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2, at the Sesser Sports Complex in Sesser, Illinois.

Lance Berkman Field, which is Cardinals Care’s 19th youth ball field, is the home field for the nine teams involved in the Sesser Redbird Rookies program.  The professionally designed youth baseball field is the result of a six figure investment by Cardinals Care that includes a graded and irrigated playing field, two paved and covered dugouts, bleachers, fencing and a state-of-the art solar powered scoreboard.  The field will play an integral role in teaching Redbird Rookies participants the values of teamwork, integrity, self-esteem, and leadership. Sesser has been involved with Redbird Rookies since 2006 and has perfect record with the reading program.

The field is named after Berkman, 36, a six-time All-Star, who helped lead the Cardinals to their 11th World Championship in 2011 while being named as the Comeback Player of the Year by both MLB and MLBPA Player’s Choice in 2011.  Berkman owns a career batting mark of .296 with 360 home runs and 1200 RBI in 1,805 games.  His career .409 on-base percentage is ranked 4th among active players and his .544 slugging mark is ranked 11th.  Berkman’s 360 career homers are 4th all-time among switch hitters.  Berkman hit .313 with 11 RBI in the 18 games of last year’s dramatic postseason.  Berkman had one of the biggest hits in Game 6 of the World Series when he drove in the tying run (9-9) in the 10th inning with a two-out single keeping the Cardinals season alive.   Berkman, nicknamed the “Big Puma,” was voted the 2011 Darryl Kile Award by his teammates – – an award given to the teammate who best exemplifies Kile’s traits of being a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man.

Over the last 15 years, Cardinals Care has provided nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations and built 19 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods. Redbird Rookies is a free baseball league for boys and girls ages 5 -13 in Missouri and Illinois who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year. Funding comes from Cardinals players, the team’s ownership group, local business, and most importantly Cardinals fans. Fans may now make a tax-deductible donation to Cardinals Care online at cardinals.com/community.

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Cardinals Care Gives $200k To Joplin Kids

CARDINALS CARE DONATES $200,000 TO HELP CHILDREN IN JOPLIN
Money to Assist Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bright Futures, Children’s Haven & Ronald McDonald House

ST. LOUIS – August 17, 2012 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced that their charitable foundation Cardinals Care is donating $200,000 to four charities to help the children of Joplin.  The donations to Children’s Haven, Bright Futures, Ronald McDonald House of Joplin and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jasper & Newton Counties/Joplin were made possible by the generosity of fans who donated money to Cardinals Care’s Joplin Recovery fund as part of the Teams Unite for Joplin effort last summer.

“We are inspired by the commitment each of these organizations has made to help the children of Joplin in the wake of last year’s tragedy,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “We targeted our donations to help with the critical needs of each organization.”

Cardinals Care is providing a $70,000 donation to Children’s Haven to help close a funding gap the agency has in providing temporary housing to children of families experiencing a crisis.  The funds will help with necessary medical, nutritional, educational, and social services for the next two years.

Cardinals Care is providing a $40,000 to Bright Futures, which provides support services to Joplin School District students in need.   With more than sixty percent of the students in the district eligible for the free and reduced lunch program alone, the Cardinals Care funds will be used to underwrite two years cost of a part time coordinator position to help meet the variety of increased student needs created by the tornado.

Cardinals Care’s  $20,000 donation to the Ronald McDonald House will be used to support essential upgrades for the Joplin agency that supports families by providing a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children and ill-expectant mothers being treated at nearby hospitals hard hit by the tornado.

Cardinals Care’s $70,000 donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jasper & Newton Counties/Joplin will help the agency replace their office that was destroyed by the tornado and to support the groups mentoring program.

Team officials will present checks to each agency when the Cardinals visit Joplin on Monday to work with Habitat for Humanity volunteers to build five homes in the Cardinals neighborhood as part of the Governor’s Joplin Challenge.

“In the face of tough challenges, Missourians pull together. We saw that demonstrated again when the St. Louis Cardinals organization responded quickly and with great compassion to help the people of Joplin,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. “On behalf of six million Missourians, I thank the Cardinals and their fans for this incredible show of generosity.”

In addition to the $200,000 in donations from the Cardinals Care Joplin Recovery Fund benefiting children and support of the Governor’s Habitat Challenge, the Cardinals also provided $25,000 to Convoy of Hope, a Springfield-based first responder agency, immediately after the tornado struck to assist with emergency relief efforts.

Since its inception in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in “Caring for Kids” both on and off the baseball field. Cardinals Care has provided nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations and built 19 youth ball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods.  Cardinals Care also runs the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids in Missouri and Illinois who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms and equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.

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Fans Throughout Cardinals Nation Urged to Go RED for Kids to Celebrate Opening Day

ST. LOUIS (April 2, 2012) – To kick off the 2012 season and help celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the founding of Cardinals Care, the St. Louis Cardinals are encouraging local businesses, schools and other organizations to rally behind the team and Cardinals Care by participating in Cardinals RED for Kids.

Piloted during the 2011 postseason, Cardinals RED for Kids is the team’s version of an office “dress down” day in which participating organizations make a donation to Cardinals Care in exchange for the opportunity to sport their Cardinal colors around the office on Opening Day.

“This is a great way to show your support for the team and help kids in our community as we commemorate the fifteen year anniversary of Cardinals Care,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “We hope to rally everyone as we celebrate the return of baseball with our reigning World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.”

To participate, local businesses and organizations can log onto cardinals.com/red and download the registration form, choosing to participate for the Cardinals’ April 4 season opener or the home opener on Friday, April 13. Individual participants within the organization are then asked to pledge a modest donation to dress down and wear red in support of the Cardinals for the day. Companies can even make matching donations to support the cause. Schools are also encouraged to participate in Cardinals RED for Kids, but are not required to make a donation to get involved.

Participating schools, businesses and organizations are also encouraged to submit a creative photo showing their RED team spirit from the Rally Day. The photos will be displayed on cardinals.com  The organization that raises the most funds will receive 100 Cardinals tickets personally delivered to their office by Fredbird. Monies must be received by April 30th. Winners will be contacted directly to select their game.

For more information, or to sign up for Cardinals RED for Kids, visit cardinals.com/red.

Since its inception in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in “Caring for Kids” both on and off the baseball field.  Over the last 15 years, Cardinals Care has provided nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations and built 19 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods.  Cardinals Care also runs the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids in Missouri and Illinois who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.  In 2011, Cardinals Care established the Joplin Recovery Fund with over $200,000 in fan donations to help the thousands of Joplin area children recover from one of the most destructive tornadoes in American history.  Fans may now make a tax-deductible donation to Cardinals Care on-line at cardinals.com/community.

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Cardinal Care 6K set

3rd Annual Cardinals Care 6K and One Mile Fun Run To Take Place Sunday, Sept. 16th
Cost Lowered & Fun Run Added to Promote Family Fitness in Fundraiser for Cardinals Care

ST. LOUIS (March 28, 2012) – Cardinals Care announced details today for the third annual “Cardinals Care 6K” set for Sunday, September 16th.   The team’s charitable foundation has lowered the fundraising minimum as well as added a One Mile Fun Run to encourage more participation in the fitness fundraising event that has raised more than $300,000 over the last two years to help kids in our community.

“We hope to get the entire family involved this year,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care.  “We expect to see lots of walkers, as well children in strollers in the fun run, while other runners will lace it up for the 6K race.”

The 6K run – named in honor of Stan Musial – starts at 8:06 a.m. at the Stan Musial statue outside Busch Stadium’s Gate 3, and winds around the city for a photographic finish on the field.  All run participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and medal. The One Mile Fun Run will start immediately following the start of the 6K and finish outside Busch Stadium at the Stan Musial statue on 8th Street.  Participants and spectators are encouraged to show their support and join the crowd inside to watch the completion of the event for free.

In addition to the 6K and One Mile Fun Run, Cardinals Care is offering a new incentive program for race participants, including a chance for the top fundraising team to be recognized during an on-field ceremony prior to the September 29 game vs. the Washington Nationals, while the top individual fundraiser will throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.

Those interested in participating are encouraged to learn more and register at cardinals.com/6K . All participants have until September 9, 2012, to raise $75.  Participants can solicit donations to their online fundraising profile through email, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.  All proceeds from the event help Cardinals Care help kids in our community.

Since its inception in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in “Caring for Kids” both on and off the baseball field.  Over the last 15 years, Cardinals Care has provided nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations and built 19 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods.  Cardinals Care also runs the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids in Missouri and Illinois who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.    In 2011, Cardinals Care established the Joplin Recovery Fund with over $200,000 in fan donations to help the thousands of Joplin area children recover from one of the most destructive tornadoes in American history.  Fans may now make a tax-deductible donation to Cardinals Care on-line at cardinals.com/community .

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