Tag Archive | "Stan Musial"

Cardinals Officially Unveil Team Hall of Fame

Today, Cardinals ownership topped the bill at the annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm Up, by officially announcing the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, which will be a part of the soon-to-debut Ballpark Village construct. While the existence of the Hall of Fame has long been a known quantity to the BPV experience, until today the exact features, location and inductees where not known.

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At noon today, flanked by former manager Tony La Russa and hords of gathered media, the duo of DeWitts, team chairman William Jr and team president Bill III, clarified the entire situation, announcing not only the Hall of Fame’s structure, but the inaugural induction class, the voting process and the structure of the experience within Ballpark Village. It was made clear that Hall of Fame, made possible through a co-op with Edward Jones, would have an inaugural class of 22 members, a mixture of currently retired numbers and dignitaries, honored within Busch Stadium Cardinal past and other inductees to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The initial class was determined by a mixture of voters from the long-standing team media, Hall of Fame members and varied baseball association, noted as the Red Ribbon Committee. This group decided upon the deserving honorees as well as the rubric for future inductees to come.

The initial 22 Cardinal class will be compromised of Jim Bottomley, Ken Boyer, Lou Brock, Gussie Busch, Jack Buck, Dizzy Dean, Frankie Frisch, Bob Gibson, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Whitey Herzog, Rogers Hornsby, Tony La Russa, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Branch Rickey, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Ozzie Smith, Billy Southworth and Bruce Sutter.

The curriculum for the forthcoming Hall of Fame is a unique interaction between expert analysis and fan interation. DeWitt III expounded,  “When a new class is inducted any given year, there are two cases in the gallery that will showcase the memorabilia of the new inductees.”  To be eligible a player must have played a minimum of three years for the Cardinals and have been retired for three years. There will be two categories that the Hall is based on, a veterans committee of players that competed more than 40 years ago and a modern class of Cardinals since then.

The Red Ribbon Committee will nominate a ballot of 6-10 modern players from a group of 25, and then elect one member from the veterans group themselves, largely to preserve the integrity of the Hall. At that point, the fans will become involved. Starting March 1st, at Cardinals.com, there will be an open for vote two members from the modern ballot. A fourth member can be elected in any given year, if cho0sen, as a deserving coach, executive or prominent off field contributor.

At that point, then the team will continue forward with the pageantry of the event. The full class will be announced in late April, and plaques will mark inductees into the Hall. The inaugural induction class will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 16 in a weekend celebration at Ballpark Village and Busch Stadium.

The Hall exhibit and plaques will remain a free display outside of the Cardinal Museum, while there will be an entry fee to the full museum, with relics and memboribila from both the Cardinal Hall of Famers and great moments of the franchise’s extensive history. Many of these items have come directly from the current and former Cardinals themselves, holdovers from the former Cardinal Museum located with the Bowling Hall of Fame, private auctions and even the Baseball Hall of Fame itself.

The forward aimed goal of Ballpark Village is to bring an expansive element to the Cardinal experience, and round out both game days and the downtown experience, overall. Yet in their usual habit, the Cardinals will move forward with a conscious grasp on the past. The Cardinal Hall of Fame looks be a fair balance between both, and will make sure that the past is both present and represented in the years to come.

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Bike Spokes and Shoe Boxes – 2013 Topps Series 2

Spokes
2013 Topps Series 2

Per box items:
36 packs per box
10 cards per pack
1 autograph or relic per box

The standard sized base set cards feature a full color action shot of the player. Bordered in white, the card fronts have the player name and team logo at the bottom. The card fronts are trimmed with the team’s primary color. The card backs are photo-less and are horizontal in design. The backs include moderate biographical information, a ‘career chase’ statistic, complete career statistics, and brief career highlights or a player quote. The backs are also trimmed with the team’s primary color.

What I Pulled:
349 unique cards, no duplicates. Packs with thicker cards had fewer total cards in them.
291 base set cards, 291/330, 88% of the base set
50 inserts and parallels including 3 die cut cards and 5 gold cards #/2013
1 relic card

Base card front and back:

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Inserts and parallels: (not all scanned)
The Elite: Bench and Kofax
9 Chasing History
6 Making Their Mark
5 Chasing it Down
6 green parallels
5 gold parallels #/2013
1 black parallel #/62 Swisher
4 World Baseball classic cards
9 1972 minis
3 Cut to the Chase: Fielder, Sale, A-Rod

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The Hit:
Stan Musial MVP Coin

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I really like the design of this year’s Topps cards. Series 2 cards are identical to Series 1 in design. The very simple clean design is very appealing. I think that the photography from Topps has really improved over the past couple of years. Topps again uses occasional horizontal card fronts when the shot dictates. Topps has issued several short prints cards of players. These alternate variations show the player making a great catch, with sunglasses or signing autographs. The Topps base set is again loaded with inserts and parallel sets. I would have liked to see a few less inserts to get that many more base set cards. That being said though it will not be difficult to complete the base set and some of the inserts look pretty cool! Buy a box and trade your Tigers, Rickey Henderson and WBC China cards to me!

The Bottom Line:
I give 2013 Topps Series 2 a buy rating. It will be very easy to complete a base set with a box, a few extra packs or some light trading. There are lots of inserts and parallels to chase.

The Final Score:
Final Ratings (Out of 10):
Base set collect-ability: 8/10
Big-hit Hunter: 8/10
Prospector Hunter: 10/10
Value: 8/10
Overall Quality: 10/10

Overall: 44/50 (88% = B)

Thanks to Topps for making this review possible!

Posted in Card Collecting, I-70 Baseball Exclusives, ReviewsComments (0)

Ichiro Reaches Musial Numbers

The New York Yankees’ outfielder, Ichiro Suzuki, reaches an amazing plateau last night.

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With a single to left field, Ichiro had his 4,000th hit of his professional career.  That’s a number that has only been accomplished in Major League Baseball by two individuals, Pete Rose and Ty Cobb.  The problem is, Ichiro did not reach that level in the big leagues.

The 4,000 hits of Ichiro’s professional career span his time in Japan as well as his time in Major League Baseball.  When you combine his 2,722 hits in his MLB career with his 1,278 hits in Japan, Ichiro has reached that mystical 4,000 hit mark.  When you look at it that way, and The Hall Of Very Good did just that here, Ichiro is not the third man to reach that number.  He’s the seventh.

There are some names of importance and some names that beg the question “Who?”, but most importantly to Cardinal fans, there’s a name of historical proportions.

Stan “The Man” Musial had 4,001 hits in his professional career.

That’s a career that started with three minor league seasons as a pitcher before moving to the outfield.  It’s a career that saw an entire season lost while he served his country proudly in World War II.

One of the game’s greatest hitters, and the Cardinals’ greatest ever, achieved 4,001 hits in his career while spending four seasons not hitting.

It is hard to say what Musial would have achieved with those four seasons back.  Even harder to predict what he would have done in today’s environment.  None of this is to say that Ichiro is anything less than a Hall Of Fame outfielder.  Maybe it’s to say just how good he has been.

With his next hit, Ichiro will tie Stan Musial for number of hits in a professional career.

That is the epitome of elite company.

Bill Ivie is the founder of i70baseball.
You can find his work on Yahoo!, InsideSTL, and here on i70.
Talk baseball with him on Twitter @poisonwilliam

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Springfield Cardinals To Honor Stan Musial

Springfield, MO – The Springfield Cardinals, Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have unveiled the design for their Stan Musial Tribute Jerseys, which the team will wear onSunday, June 16 for the 6:09pm game against the Tulsa Drillers.

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The ultimate tribute to the greatest Cardinal of them all, the cream-colored Stan Musial Tribute Jerseys are exact replicas of the St. Louis Cardinals uniforms from 1941, the year that Stan “The Man” played in Springfield before making his St. Louis debut later in the season on Sept. 17.

On Sunday, June 16, every Springfield Cardinal will not only don the tribute jerseys, but the entire team will also wear #6, marking the first time in 50 years that a Cardinal has worn the revered number.

The Stan Musial Tribute Jerseys will feature the Stan Musial #6 Patch that both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Springfield Cardinals have been wearing on their left sleeves all season. The jerseys will also have a Stan Musial Tribute Jersey Patch on the bottom right, commemorating the day’s special celebration of the life and career of the Cardinals legend.

In line with both Musial’s excellence on the field and his dedication to the community, the game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off during the June 16 game to benefit the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri.

For more information, visit SpringfieldCardinals.com or call (417) 863-0395.

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Cardinals vs. Reds: Three Things to Walk With

The Cardinals opened their home season with the usual rolling out of the red carpet with Clydesdales, Hall of Famers and currently conquering heroes, as well as a touching look back at the impact of Stan Musial. However, it also featured a tough match up against their chief division rivals in the Cincinnati Reds.

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After a late inning implosion cost them game one by an ugly 14-3 tilt, they came out flat in for the first half of game two as well. However, after breaking up just over 5 perfect innings Bronson Arroyo framed on Tuesday, the club owned the Reds to the tone of a 15-1 split over the final 13.2 innings of the series, and took two of three to win the series. They head into this weekend winners of their previous two series against two playoff teams from a year ago, and tied for first place in the National League Central. But before setting sites on the upcoming series with the Milwaukee Brewers in town, here’s three points to walk away from the just finished 3-game set with the Reds.

 

1. Adams forces his point: Matt Adams solidified the fact that he has an everyday caliber bat during the series. He had a ridiculous 2013 performance escalated with a pinch-hit home run that blew open Tuesday’s game and a 416-foot shot on Wednesday afternoon. For the season, in 14 at-bats he has nine hits (a .643 average) with two home runs, two doubles, four runs scored and seven runs batted in.

The big question coming into 2012 was how to get at-bats for Allen Craig with the presence of Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran looming on the club. Fast forward a year, and Adams has created the same dilemma this season, with Craig playing the role of Berkman. While the future is what it is, the now finds the Cardinals with a plus bat that will keep the heat on to find more chances for his undeniable skill set to play.

2. Mitchell Boggs will be okay: On the heels of his blown save in Arizona and follow up implosion during the ninth inning of Monday’s opener, the already hot question about if he is suited for the ninth inning continued. When compounded with the confirmation of the torn elbow ligament for Jason Motte, and the debate on Boggs role on the club hit a fever pitch. Taking full advantage of Mike Matheny’s decision to put him back on the bump just a day after his disastrous outing, Boggs put plenty of confidence in his ability to deliver once again. In setting down the Reds in order to close out Wednesday’s win, and in impressive fashion (12 pitches, eight strikes, one strikeout), he put arm’s length between himself and the growing sentiment for Trevor Rosenthal and his 100-mph excitement (to over exaggeration creating) fastball, to take over the role he hasn’t even had much of a chance to prove himself unworthy for yet.

3. Warrior Westbrook: The best arm in the young season has been Jake Westbrook. With his complete game shutout on Wednesday, he ran his 2013 total to 15.2 innings, and he is yet to surrender an earned run. Yet what’s more than the result however is the method that he’s gone about it. While he has struggled with walks some (11 in total, one more than total hits he’s surrendered), he’s taken on a solid innings load when it has been needed. In the two games prior to his starts, the bullpen has pitched a total of 14.1 innings, using a total of seven different relievers.

The strength of what Westbrook brings to the middle of the rotation is a workhorse that can lower the sometimes heavy load the bullpen carries behind Lance Lynn and Jaime Garcia’s starts, and potentially a day before Shelby Miller’s as well, who will have his innings monitored closely. If Westbrook can keep up his effective innings-eating efforts, the ripple effect through the rest of the pitching staff is full of positive scenarios.

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A Birds Eye View: Cardinals/Reds Preview

The most official, yet unofficial, annual holiday in St. Louis is here again: Opening Day. And this year, return home of the Cardinals brings much into its fold, both traditional and not. While the pageantry of the Clydesdales march around the Busch Stadium outfield, leading in Hall of Famers to remind all of what the tradition of the Cardinals truly is will set the tone, a stark reminder of the greatest loss the organization has ever taken will be there as well. Not the disheartening loss at the hands of Barry Zito in the last game played on the field, but rather the passing of the greatest Cardinal of them all, Stan Musial.

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Around this all however, the business at hand on the field is there as well, as the team’s most potent competition in the division waits in the Cincinnati Reds. With all of these factors combined, this will surely be an unforgettable Opening Day, and one that will be played with an emotion that is rarely seen in April. Here’s all you’ll need to know to get ready for the debut series of the season of the home season.

The Cardinals coming in: The Cardinals (3-3) are coming in as winners of their previous two games, including a 14-3 dominance of the San Francisco Giants yesterday afternoon. In the game they scored 14 runs on 15 hits, a scoring trend that has been the norm this season. Despite being third in the National League in runs scored, they have hit only four home runs on the year, with three of them coming in one game vs. the Diamondbacks last Tuesday.

Pete Kozma enters as the most consistent Cardinal bat thus far. The rookie shortstop has continued his improbable hitting run with eight hits in 24 at-bats (.333), along with a team best five RBI…Matt Carpenter enters tied with Kozma with eight hits as well, half of which have been doubles, putting him atop the NL in the category…Matt Holiday has matched the five RBI mark to lead the team as well…Matt Adams has six hits in 10 at-bats, spread across two starts thus far…Adam Wainwright has struck out 12 in his first 13 innings and Trevor Rosenthal is averaging 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings over three appearances.

The Reds coming in: Cincinnati (4-2, first place NL Central) enters as an impressive offensive force as well, although they are doing it in a different fashion than the Cardinals. They have hit 11 home runs as a team, with both Todd Frazier and Shin-Soo Choo having three a piece. They enter their first road trip of the year in the midst of a grueling opening schedule, coming off winning series versus the Los Angeles Angles and Washington Nationals. They have scored at least five runs in five of six games, including a 15-0 win over the Nationals on Friday.

Frazier is the hottest hitter in the young National League season. He’s leading the league in batting average at .480 (12 for 25), and has driven in nine runs as well. He has taken over as full-time third baseman a year after finishing third in Rookie of the Year balloting, and leads the team in five categories…Joey Votto has opened up slowly, with a .238 average and 1 RBI…Cardinal Nation’s public enemy number Brandon Phillips returns with nine hits in his first 27 at-bats…Jay Bruce has 10 strikeouts in 29 at-bats…the Reds bullpen is surrendering only a .198 batting average against, and is highlighted by Aroldis Chapman’s nine strikeouts vs. 16 batters thus far

 

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday (3:15)—Jaime Garcia (1-0) vs. Mat Latos (0-0): Garcia surrendered one run across 5.2 innings in his debut vs. Arizona last Tuesday. In his career, Garcia has 20-11 home record, with a 2.48 ERA. Versus Cincinnati, he has an 8-2 career record. Latos gave up seven hits over 6.2 innings in a no-decision outcome for him, but 5-4 win for the Reds. In 2012 vs. St. Louis, he was beaten to a 7.84 ERA and 1-2 record.

Wednesday (7:15)—Lance Lynn (0-0) vs. Bronson Arroyo (1-0): Lynn couldn’t escape the fifth inning is his start, surrendering six hits, four runs and tossing 94 pitches. He has a 7.50 ERA vs. Cincinnati all time. Arroyo went six innings, giving up three runs in his win vs. the Angels last Wednesday. He is in the last year of his deal with the Reds, and has an 8-13 career record vs. STL.

Thursday (12:45)—Jake Westbrook (0-1) vs. Homer Bailey (1-0): Westbrook didn’t surrender an earned run, but still took the loss in his 116 pitch, 6.2 inning debut on Friday. The only run coming on a base loaded walk following an error. Bailey had a similarly impressive start, going six innings giving up only two hits, but getting the win. In 13 career starts, Bailey has a 3-7 record with a 5.00 ERA.

 

Injury Impact—St. Louis: Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal (Out for season), Jason Motte (15 Day DL, elbow issue), David Freese (15 Day DL, returns today). Cincinnati: Ryan Ludwick (Separated shoulder, out for four months), Nick Masset (15 Day DL)

A look back: The Cardinals won the season series in 2012, 8-7. They outscored the Reds 60-46. On the year, the Reds won the NL Central with a 97-65 record, while the Cardinals finished in second place with an 88-74 record. Both made the postseason, with the Reds losing in the NL Division Series 3-2 to the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals lost the National League Championship Series to the same Giants, four games to three. All-time, the Cardinals lead the series 1,064-946 in the Modern Era, with their first game taking place in May, 1901.

 

News and Notes

–          Third baseman David Freese will make his season debut with the Cardinals after a rehab stint from a late spring back injury. While rehabbing with the Memphis Redbirds over the weekend, he had four hits in 12 at-bats, with two doubles and four RBI.

–          The team will reveal a display for Stan Musial, featuring his #6 and the logo the team is wearing as a patch on his left shoulder, in the outfield during the pregame events.

–          Injured pitcher Chris Carpenter is expected to participate in the pregame introductions for players today. It will be the first time he has been in uniform with the club this season.

–          Promotional giveaways for the series include a Magnetic 2013 schedule on Monday and a charity haircut day, sponsored by Great Clips, on Wednesday.

 

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St. Louis Cardinals 2013 Opening Day Details

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ST. LOUIS – April 5, 2013 – Monday, April 8th marks the annual return of baseball to St. Louis as the Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds in a 3:15 p.m. game. Opening Day 2013 will feature a pre-game ceremony that will pay tribute to Stan Musial.   Following is a schedule of official activities and information to help baseball’s best fans enjoy what has become an unofficial holiday for Cardinal Nation. Fans can join the social media conversation on Twitter with #OpeningDaySTL and #6.

Opening Day Ceremony

Opening Day marks the first time the Cardinals family will be together at Busch Stadium for a game since the passing of Stan Musial earlier this year.  On Opening Day, and throughout the 2013 season, the Cardinals will honor the legacy of the team’s greatest player who personified the Cardinal Way.  The team is wearing a jersey patch throughout the season and will host a full tribute to Musial on Friday, April 12th when the team dedicates a plaque in his honor.

On Monday, Stan’s four children will unveil an outfield wall marker as part of the Opening Day ceremony that begins at 2:30 p.m. with the Budweiser Clydesdales.

The ceremony will feature all four of the team’s Commissioner’s Trophies from each of those World Championship teams (’67, ’82, ’06, and ’11), as well as the introduction of the Cardinals Hall of Famers and 2013 Cardinals via a Ford motorcade.

 

Schedule

11:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. Cardinals Official Opening Day Pre-Game Pep Rally, sponsored by Hardee’s:  The Cardinals and Hardee’s will host a pre-game pep rally in front of the Cardinals Team Store, located at the corner of Clark Street and 8th Street. Local rock band Trixie Delight will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Fredbird and Team Fredbird will be on hand to give away Opening Day tickets, autographed items and other Cardinals prizes. Fans can stop by the free Hardee’s Photo Booth to get their Opening Day photo taken from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Fans can also purchase a Hardee’s Combo Meal after regular breakfast hours from the Mobile Diner or Hardee’s restaurant on Chestnut and receive a free Cardinals t-shirt while supplies last.  Other sponsors include: Budweiser, Dunkin Donuts, Fox Theatre, FOX Sports Midwest, Krispy Kreme, The Muny, Rawlings, Scotts, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Tan Company.

1:15 p.m.                   Gates open

                                    Budweiser Magnet Schedule Day:  All ticketed-fans, ages 21 and over, will receive a magnet with the 2013 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser Beer.

2:30 p.m.                   Pre-game ceremonies begin with an appearance by the famed Budweiser Clydesdales.

      Introduction of Missouri Governor Jeremiah “Jay” Nixon, St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley, and St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay

      Introduction of Fredbird and Team Fredbird

      Cardinals Hall-of-Famers will be introduced via a Ford Motorcade, led around the warning track by the 2013 Ford Fusion. Each Cardinals Hall of Famer will be riding in a 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible.

      Tribute to Stan Musial:  Stan and Lillian Musial’s four children, Dick Musial, Gerry Ashley, Janet Schwarze, and Jean Edmonds will unveil a memorial marker in left center field.

      Introduction of the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals via Ford Motorcade. The players will ride in 2013 Ford F-150 Raptors.

      Introduction of the Cincinnati Reds and the starting lineups

      American Bald Eagle introduced, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary of St. Louis

      Color Guard and American Flag in Center Field, courtesy of Scott Air Force Base 

                                    The National Anthem will be performed by six members of the Gateway Harmonica Club of St. Louis. Stan Musial was an honorary member of the club.

                                    A moment of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as a moment of silence for baseball great and St. Louis native Earl Weaver, former Cardinals Outfielder Chuck Diering, longtime organist Ernie Hayes, longtime Redbird Roost attendant Fanny Scholl, and the greatest Cardinal, Hall of Famer Stan Musial.

      Ceremonial First Pitch by former Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen and former Cardinal center fielder Jim Edmonds, who are both new members of the Fox Sports Midwest Cardinals pre and post-game broadcast team.

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.

Radio Coverage

Fans can tune into KMOX (1120 AM) or one of the 124 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 13.

Getting to the Game

Fans will notice a few changes around the ballpark as a result of the Ballpark Village construction.  The biggest change for motorists is that 8th Street is now a two-way street between Clark and Market with two north and southbound lanes.

Temporary stop signs are currently in place at the intersections of 8th and Clark, as well as 8th and Walnut, until new traffic signals are installed later this spring.  Walnut is now also a two-way street between 8th and Broadway, with one westbound lane and two eastbound lanes.

Pedestrian traffic into the ballpark has also changed due to the construction of Ballpark Village.  The biggest improvement fans will notice is that the pedestrian bridge from Stadium West Parking garage has been removed and the intersection of Clark and 8th Street has been redesigned with a much larger sidewalk in front the plaza of champions the skirts the Cardinals Team Store.

Clark Street is also being improved and will be open to pedestrian traffic on Opening Day.  The Cardinals Opening Day Rally will be at the corner 8th and Clark.

Highways and Other Roadwork 

MoDOT will not have any scheduled lane closures on state highways inside the city limits for Opening Day and Opening Weekend. The department does have several construction projects around the city scheduled for 2013, including a bridge replacement at Jefferson over I-64 that may have one lane closed on I-64 around the clock in both directions for several months. MoDOT will make every effort to have all available lanes open into and out of the city before and after Cardinal home games.  At this time, several I-64 and I-70 closures are planned for weekends, but will not be scheduled during Cardinal home games.

Alternative Transportation

MetroLink is a convenient alternative to driving, allowing fans to avoid the cost of parking and game day traffic.  To avoid the traffic congestion and the cost of parking on game day, fans can use one of 19 free Park-Ride lots along the MetroLink line and take the train to Stadium Station, right across the street from the ballpark.  Check the Metro website www.MetroSt.Louis.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 2 ½ hours before the game and runs approximately every 5 minutes. On opening day, the RedBird Express will start running at Noon. 

Ballpark Village

In February of this year, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cordish Companies broke ground on Ballpark Village – a mixed-use development on 10-acres adjacent to Busch Stadium.  The first phase of Ballpark Village will be completed by Opening Day 2014.

The first phase will include over 100,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space including Cardinals Nation, the Budweiser Brew HousePBR St. Louis: A Cowboy Bar and the Live! At Ballpark Village marketplace.

Cardinals Nation will be a first-of-its-kind venue in baseball totaling over 30,000 square feet on three levels. It will include a two story restaurant, a retail store, a Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, a special events space, and a 300-plus seat rooftop deck with views into Busch Stadium. A second building will house a 20,000 square foot, three-story Budweiser Brew House with a festive rooftop party deck also offering views into Busch Stadium.  The two signature structures will be joined by the Live! At Ballpark Village marketplace, an indoor marketplace with a retractable roof covering the event space, designed to be a vibrant gathering space throughout the year for thousands of visitors.

The $100 million first phase also includes all of the streets, parking and site infrastructure to support the future phases of the seven-block mixed-use project, allowing the city to attract future development with pad-ready sites.  The project is expected to have a positive impact on the local economy with nearly a thousand construction jobs and nearly 500 permanent jobs expected to be created as part of the initial phase alone. 

Ballpark Improvements

As the Cardinals begin their eighth season of play in Busch Stadium, the team has made a number of improvements to the stadium during the off-season, including sowing the seeds of another successful season with the installation of new sod.  During the fall, the Cardinals installed over 100,000 square feet of new sod.  The sod, which was grown in Fort Morgan, Colorado, is a four way blend of Kentucky Bluegrass set in a 10 inch root zone that is 85% sand, 10% peat, and 5% Zeopro mixture.

In addition to the new playing surface and the improved, expanded sidewalk outside the Cardinals Team Store and plaza of champions at 8th and Clark, fans will notice an improved front façade thanks to the installation of new windows on the second level on the Northwestern section of the Stadium.  The new windows run the length of the Budweiser Bowtie bar as well as Group Sales Corner above the Team Store and along the Group Sales Hallway above the ticket windows on 8th Street.

The Cardinals have installed new flooring in several areas of the ballpark and have added 150 energy efficient LED HD TV throughout the stadium.  The team has also upgraded the outdoor furniture in several all-inclusive areas, upgraded several party suites, added fresh coats of paint and made a number of smaller improvements throughout the park.

New Menu for 2013

Delaware North Companies Sportservice, the St. Louis Cardinals’ concessionaire for more than 50 years, is preparing to welcome fans back to the Stadium with a starting lineup of food to please every fan’s unique taste.

New at Section 135 is The Double Play Tap and Grill, where traditional ballpark fare gets a high-end makeover. Fans can enjoy a thick and juicy cheddar stuffed burger on a pretzel bun, or a customizable four-hand nacho platter, and choose fresh toppings for both to suit their unique tastes.

Likewise, fans will find new additions throughout the park. Look for Kohn’s Kosher Cart, featuring knockwurst and pastrami sandwiches at Section 147.  Dizzy’s Diner locations (Sections 139, 161 and 446) have also been beefed up with the addition of The Horseshoe, an open-faced burger consisting of two beef patties topped with fries and cheese sauce.  Other new additions include Bavarian Pretzel Sticks, at Sections 139, 161, 271 and 446, and Fried Pickle Spears, at Sections 271 and 509.

New Retail for 2013

From Opening Day apparel to personalized gifts, the Team Store has what fans need to look their game-day best no matter their unique style.   Adding to the Team Store’s most exclusive selection of limited-edition Opening Day apparel and accessories, new this year is the Cardinals’ retro-style alternate jersey, worn during Saturday home games. This ivory and red jersey proudly features “St. Louis” across the chest instead of the traditional “Cardinals” insignia.

The Team Store also will feature Opening Day baseballs, t-shirts and lapel pins, exclusive to the Stadium, in addition to the new batting practice cap by New Era. The Team Store also is carrying the exclusive Victoria’s Secret PINK line, perfect for the stylish yet casual Cardinals fan. Fans who want to make a statement — about their fashion and their favorite team — can now do so with new Alex and Ani bangle sets. The bracelets, which come in brushed Russian gold or silver, can be customized with a variety of charms and stacked to create a unique combination.

Aside from the Cardinals games, Busch Stadium also hosts several weddings each year along with hundreds of special parties and celebrations. Fans can commemorate their special day with personalized memorabilia, such as wedding invitations, hand-etched wine glasses, personalized baseballs, and custom Mega Tickets, enlarged to 500 percent the size of a regular ticket, to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and retirements.

As in years past, the Team Store offers dozens of $15 and under souvenirs, including baseballs, mini-bats, koozies, magnets, baseball cards, jewelry, posters, postcards, key chains, lanyards, pennants, pins — and the No. 1 seller — foam fingers, and claws.

And, even while the construction progresses around Ballpark Village, the Team Store is ready to help fans get prepared for Opening Day. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, and offers free, 15-minute parking on the curb next to the store entrance at Clark and 8th Street, between Gates 3 and 4.  Sportservice also operates nearly 20 retail kiosks throughout the ballpark, as well as three other licensed stores around the stadium, including:

  • ·        Fans Nest at Broadway (including the Jersey Lettering Booth) – Main Concourse near Gate 1
  • ·        Fans Nest at Home Plate – Level 4 behind Section 450
  • ·        Fans Nest at Riverview Corner – Level 4 behind Section 437

Fans will want to stop by the Cardinals Authentics store in Ford Plaza (cardinals.com/authentics), the only place to get official, game-used, limited edition and autographed Cardinals memorabilia directly from the team. Fans can now order an engraved bat from Louisville Slugger, the official bat of MLB.

Cardinals In the Community – Redbird Rookies Celebrates 10 Years in 2013

Redbird Rookies, Cardinals Care’s free baseball league for boys and girls who may not otherwise have a chance to play baseball, turns 10 in 2013.  In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls, and other equipment needed for each team in over 20 leagues in Missouri and Illinois, 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 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 in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $19 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.  Cardinals Care is urging fans to support their on-going efforts to help children a variety of ways:

  • ·        Go RED for Kids – Businesses, schools and other organizations are being asked to rally behind the team and Cardinals Care by participating in Cardinals RED for Kids.  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. To participate, local businesses and organizations can visit cardinals.com/red.
  • ·        Cardinals Care 6K and One Mile Fun Run – Lace up your jogging shoes and join the team for the 4th annual run and walk on Sunday, August 18th.  Learn more and sign up atwww.cardinals.com/6K.
  • ·        Donate directly at cardinals.com/community.

Cardinals Magazine Releases Season-Opening Issue, Digital Edition, and Collectible Scorecard

Cardinals Magazine kicks off its 21st season of publication with a star-studded cover story featuring three of the club’s most dynamic centerfielders of recent history: Willie McGee, Jim Edmonds, and Jon Jay. From spectacular catches to everyday responsibilities, this dynamic trio shares secrets about the art of playing the position. Other issue highlights include a Q&A with skipper Mike Matheny, an in-depth look at the club’s highly regarded farm system, Adam Wainwright’s monthly journal, fresh insight into the club’s spellbinding comeback in Game 5 of the NLDS last fall, and the release of the first of six collectible Stan Musial posters.

Also available at the ballpark is the popular 2013 Official Scorecard, which teaches fans how to score the “Cardinal Way”—a storied tradition by club officials that dates back more than 50 seasons. This year’s collectible scorecard features Fredbird sporting the new Cardinals home alternate jersey that includes the Stan Musial No. 6 patch as well as the Musial statue. The retro and contemporary hybrid design of the scorecard comes from local artist Mike Right, who has been creating the timeless Cardinals scorecard imagery since 2003.

During games, fans can purchase Cardinals Magazine and the Official Scorecard together for just $5 at all gates and at the Team Store. Outside the ballpark, fans can buy the magazine at many St. Louis area retailers, including grocery stores, QT, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and Cardinals Clubhouse stores inside 6 local malls. To start a subscription (7 issues for just $35), call 314.345.9303 or visitcardinals.com/publications.– more –

Finally, new for 2013 is the digital edition of Cardinals Magazine which will be available for download on iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, and iPad. One-year subscriptions are $25; individual issues will be available for purchase for $5. The first issue is scheduled to be released on April 15 through cardinals.com/publications. Stay tuned for additional information.

BUSCH STADIUM – POLICY REMINDERS

Bag Inspections Policy

  • ·        The standard game-day bag inspection policies for Busch Stadium will be in effect. Bags will be allowed that meet Major League Baseball’s standard size restriction (16”x16”x8”), 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.  
  • ·        Non-alcoholic beverages such as water and soda in open cups or in clear plastic bottles no larger than 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 have their hand stamped at Gates 1, 2 or 4 as they exit the stadium. Guests must show ticket upon re-entry. Inspection policy will also be enforced.

No Smoking Policy

Standard Busch Stadium Smoking Policy is in effect.  Busch Stadium is a smoke-free facility. Exit/Re-Entry turnstiles will be set up at Gates 1, 2 and 4 to allow fans access in and out of the stadium if they wish to smoke. Fans will get their hand stamped as they exit the stadium. Guests must show ticket upon re-entry. Inspection policy will also be enforced.

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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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The UCB Annual

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Every year, the group known as the UCB (the United Cardinal Bloggers) come together on one massive project known as the United Cardinal Bloggers Annual.

I-70 baseball has been a proud member of the UCB for almost three years and we have contributed to the Annual every year of our existence.  This year, a post dedicated to the memory of my father was chosen as the “Post Of The Year” and included in the publication.  I also contributed a brief look at the history of the Houston Astros, their rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals, and their subsequent move to the American League.

The result of all the hard work this year is a 25-chapter ebook dedicated to the memory of Stan Musial that takes a look back at the 2012 Cardinals and a look forward to 2013.

National writers Will Leitch and Drew Silva check in with their own thoughts in the book as well as 18 bloggers from around the internet.

The 2013 United Cardinal Bloggers Annual is available as an e-book at the Amazon Kindle store for $4.99. The book can be read on any of the devices in the Kindle family as well as by downloading Amazon’s free reading apps for your computer, tablet or smartphone.

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Matheny, Freese and Molina: Cardinals Winter Warm-Up wrap

The final day of the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up brought on a few heavy hitters, with some highlight topic as well. The chief among them all was manager Mike Matheny, who is has a spotlight over him entering his second season at the helm. As can be expected, he addressed a wide range of topics, from positional battles and pitching projects, all the way to his publicized financial losses and the passing of Stan Musial.

Mike  Matheny

  • Matheny stressed a very involved method of learning from his first season on the job, including keeping contact with his players throughout the winter. He’s placed importance on their feedback as part of his preparation, as well as speaking with coaches from other sports for perspective as well.Looking back at last season, Says the difference between a plenty of wins were small things that can be fixed and focused on. Says it’s a waste of time to dwell on them, and “it’s a matter of controlling things you can control, and that’s where I come in.”
  • Approaching this season, he is confident in the evolution of the club: “I think we have made some adjustments to our club. Some of our younger players are different players now with the experience they have, and I think we have a chance to be much better than 88 games.”
  • In regards to player usage, there was a focus on resting players more often but within reason. Stresses that it is a case by case with managing players. Also there is the situation of understanding how to enable younger players to know how to battle.
  • One of the players that benefited in this fashion a year ago was Allen Craig. Matheny stated he learned how to “grind through and push through times when he probably wouldn’t have in the past. And what that does for the respect level in the clubhouse.” Said he has few holes in his swing, and that he has the chance to be an elite level hitter.
  • Going back on what was indicated by John Mozeliak earlier in the weekend; Matheny says that second base is open, but that the healthiest thing to do is for everybody to walk into camp ready to compete, regardless of position. “Second base has certainly presented some opportunities, and the competition should be fun to watch.”
  • In regards to the reported losses his sustained from a real estate venture before signing with the ballclub last year, he stated that much of that story was misreported. Explained it had no impact on his managing, and that there were “There were no woes, financially.”
  • Regarding the loss of Musial, Matheny said he first met him 20 years ago as a minor league ballplayer and he feels strongly about making a visible tribute to him on the uniform this year. “I think everybody gets how important Mr. Musial was, and still is and will be to this organization and community.

In addition to the skipper, David Freese and Yadier Molina showed up to address the direction of the club headed off a tough ending to 2012. John Mabry made an appearance to discuss his new role with the club, and both contenders for the second base slot were in attendance as well.

  • Matt Carpenter described having more confidence in place with the organization after last season. Says he loves playing in St. Louis and “We’re envied by a lot other players. Guys are always talking about what it’s like to be Cardinal.”  Is going to take the same mindset into the spring as any other year, and is focused on winning second base job. He is okay with playing there a few times a week, or not at all, as long as he can contribute somewhere.
  • Daniel Descalso acknowledged having a lot of struggles offensively, but felt like he squared the ball more often down the stretch, which led to his success. Said he is excited about working with John Mabry, and expects it to be a seamless transition between him and McGwire.
  • Yadier Molina expressed he is excited about working with the young pitchers that will compete for a place on the team, and that developing their understanding of the game is just as important as their play. “When I came up my first couple of years, my mind was my real test. I use that for the young guys. You have to work with their mind and give him confidence. If they so you not confident, they are going to feel that way too.”
  • He expressed an excitement in playing for his homeland of Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, and that playing in the Puerto Rican winter league, as well as spending the winter residing in Jupiter, Florida close to the club’s spring training facilities was part of his advanced preparation for the season, due to the time he will miss in camp participating.
  • John Mabry said that his promotion to hitting coach was a surprise, but “I’m still home. And if I was to go back into baseball it would be with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that drafted me and developed me.” On his philosophy for the preparing batters, he feels “The separation point between players is the mental approach, and good and great, great and awesome. Staying with your game plan, and not deviating from it unless forced to.”
  • Continued on that Says there are surprises coming, and that Oscar Taveras is the club’s best hitting prospect since Albert Pujols. The hope is that he doesn’t come up right away, because that means everybody is healthy. You don’t want to have a talent like that on the bench. Says infielders Kolten Wong and Greg Garcia will come to camp and get more at-bats due to the WBC, and will have opportunities to improve their stock.
  • David Freese said he had a much slower offseason than last year, which he enjoyed, but that the way the season ended is still sticking with him. “It was very disappointing. As a St. Louis Cardinal, you expect to make the playoffs but also reach the World Series. But you think about game 5, 6 and 7 and you realize it wasn’t meant to be.”
  • On the experience of playing in the first Wild Card play-in Game, expressed it as a unique and high pressure scenario and a strong incentive to play to win the division every year. “I haven’t really been around too long, but that’s insane. I rarely get nervous, but I was nervous that game. We were 7 games behind Atlanta, and we’re playing them. It was crazy.”

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