Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome To St. Louis - Baseball Heaven

I realize this is a post that holds minimal interest for most but tonight's 80th Major League Baseball All-Star game is being played in St. Louis and as such, I must pay homage as a member of the Redbird faithful.

With all due respect to the countless legions of baseball fans across the nation, St. Louis is generally regarded as the top baseball city in America. Now before beating your chest and raising a bat over your head to protect the honor of your team, please make note, I said "baseball city." The argument over who has the best baseball team is one that lingers long before and after the World Series has been played and extends to the first spring training game of the upcoming season. If anything, baseball fans are loyal.

The distinctive characteristic of Cardinal fans is their innate knowledge and appreciation of how the game is played. As kids, we were schooled on this by our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles!

Opposing players are not surprised to witness St. Louis fans applauding a sterling defensive play that just snuffed a Cardinal rally or a Tony Glynn grand slam home run, while tying the game, inched Tony to just 2 hits shy of his 3000th hit. I'm not saying we're happy about it :) but as baseball fans we recognize and appreciate The Play. The Player. The Game's Traditions.
In 2004 the Boston Redsoxs swept the Cardinals in 4 games to win the World Series. Cardinal fans rose to their feet and congratulated the accomplishments of a champion. As fans, we hate losing as much as the next guy but we also appreciate an outstanding performance.
Upon arriving in St. Louis to join his new team after having just been traded, Jim Edmonds was met by his new Cardinal teammates with a simple greeting: "Welcome to baseball heaven."

San Fransisco Giants pitcher Randy Johnson, a shoo-in future Hall of Famer, recently pitched in what most believe to be the last time his incredible talents would be displayed in St. Louis. As he walked off the mound ending his night's outing he received a standing ovation from the fans of St. Louis. Johnson would later remark following the game that he was genuinely moved by the fans show of appreciation but as they were playing in St. Louis, he couldn't say he was surprised.

Such is the nature of baseball in Missouri. Tonight we host the game's best and hopefully showcase to the nation a respect and love for a game filled with traditions. As much as I love my Redbirds, my love for the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals is a source of pride and a reminder that sportsmanship is a true measure of greatness. On and off the field.

Enjoy tonight's game as Cardinal fans everywhere extend to you our Welcome!
And we extend that same welcome to all cub fans as well :)


Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

It has been a while since visiting you... hope that all is well with you... I got the chance to see the Cardinals play the Marlins in Spring Training... I hope I didn't get you jealous there :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

hanging my head in shame since we live so close to the Nationals... I comfort myself with the fact that they aren't the absolute WORST team in history.