Today, Jen (the most awesome wifey in the world), Kim, and Katie were fortunate enough to accompany me to the Cardinals Rally at Busch Stadium. Kim’s initiative set this process in motion, and our sitting and waiting skills came in handy when we sat and waited by the computer for 45 minutes to get the free tickets for the celebration.
Upon arriving downtown, we quickly noticed the Sea of Red that engulfed the area around the ballpark. People were lining up hours early to pay their respects to the 2006 World Champions. We were fortunate enough to find a metered (free on Sundays) parking space in the 1100 block of Locust and walked the 7 or so blocks to the new Busch Stadium. As we approached, it became clear that we were not going to be able to eat at Hooters, Fridays or Bread Co. Fortunately, Max and Erma’s was pretty much empty so we were able to grab some grub before heading in.
Once we finally entered the Stadium, we had some time before the rally started, so I went to purchase a World Series Champion T-Shirt. The lines and prices were outrageous, but I got what I came for. Thankfully, I wasn’t looking for a pro-model hat with the (fugly) World Series patch plastered blatantly on the side. They wanted forty (40) motherfucking dollars. OMG LOL!
Anyway. We made it up to our seats in the 4th deck, right field, and marveled at the fact that despite not being able to see much of right field, these seats weren’t too bad. They were playing highlights on the Jumbotron and brought out the dude that does the between innings banter to hype up the crowd. He clumsily tried to put relevant lyrics to our Favorite Sports Anthem Written By A Pederast, Rock and Roll Pt. 2, but other than that, succeeded in sufficiently hyping the throngs. I’ll be honest, we were an easy crowd.
As the parade started, they broadcast the procession on the Big Screen, jumping back and forth between the various local Fox personalities, and they got a number of interviews as they came towards the stadium. LaRussa rode on the Budweiser Beer Wagon and carried the trophy at the head of the convoy.
Once all of the players made it to the stadium, they brought the Wagon out through the Wagon Gate in right field, pulled by the majestic clydesdales, accompanied Ernie Hayes’ always interesting rendition of the Budweiser Song (is there a real name for that tune?) on the organ. The ponies took a spin around the warning track before despositing the trophy at home plate, where some of the cuter Fredbird girls were tapped to bring the spoils to the main stage at second base. Nice work if you can get it.
Once the Wagon took its leave of the field, a number of local and ownership type dignitaries bage breif speeches, and then, finally, LaRussa led his boys out from the dugout to rapturous applause. Tears came to my eyes. Seriously.
Tony gave a great speech and introduced the staff, and they went through speeches from some of the major players. None getting more applause than World Series MVP David Eckstein. All in all, the speeches were pretty much what we expected, short and sweet, and there weren’t any bombshells (like Jimmy Baseball promising to be back next year (we can always hope (can’t we?))), but it was nice to hear from some of the major players.
Once the speeches and introductions were done, they set off fireworks from the Hole In The Ground That Will Become Ballpark Village, and the whole thing came to an end, but the most lasting image was Jim Edmonds hoisting the World Series trophy aloft. Hopefully we will see him representing again for the Birds on the Bat. That, and many other questions face the team in the off season. For now though, I’m happy to enjoy this moment.