Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Year of the Cardinal

I've always loved baseball.  I remember getting baseball cards from the grocery store as a kid and "talking ball" with the guys.  In hindsight, I don't believe I really had that much knowledge under my cap, but I had plenty of guys in the neighborhood, so I pretended.

Later on, when I entered into high school and college years my love for the game increased to the point of obsession.  You know college kids can have a lot of spare time on their hands, and my time was tethered to watching every televised game I could find.  I fell asleep to ESPN's Wednesday night double headers and caught nearly every Braves game on TBS.  I then would take my few extra dollars and spend a few afternoons in Busch stadium cheering for the Cardinals.  I knew every line-up, every stat, every amazing and ridiculous play that occurred each evening in the ballparks.  I was kinda pathetic.

Then I got married... then I started having kids... and baseball slowly kept being squeezed out of my life, because really, who had time to obsess over stats and plays when you barely had enough time to sleep?

This year has been different though.  I always thought if I had boys, they would be just as interested in baseball as I am - and I would enjoy teaching them to talk ball and taking them to beloved Busch Stadium.  But it just didn't really pan out that way.  Until now.

Isaiah is finally convinced that the Cardinals are the team to watch and love.  My father-in-law is a *gasp* Royals fan.  And let me tell you, when getting involved with a significant other 1. you check your compatibility in regards to your faith and worldview and then 2. you check your baseball compatibility.  Cuz otherwise you have quite a battle on your hands, let me tell you.

The past few years have been spent "fighting" for allegiance.  And I possibly have won this current battle anyway and maybe the war - we'll see.  Anyway, Isaiah is interested.  And when Isaiah is interested, the other boys are interested as well.

Also some friends of ours bought up a huge block of Cardinal tickets for this season and had a few games that they couldn't use.  I bought 3 games, 2 tickets per game - and I'm taking each of the boys on a mother-son baseball date.  A dream come true.

But before I get to that.  This baseball season has also treated me greatly already due to the kindness of an organization that my hubby volunteers with.  The founder of this organization is himself a great Cardinals fan and let's just say, has some great financial opportunities and personal connections.  And we were blessed greatly one evening a few weeks ago to the night at the ballpark with 4 Cardinal hall of famers... Here are the picks.
Steven and I with Bob Gibson!  (If you're not a Cardinal fan, trust me, he's a biggie)

Me with Lou Brock and his wife Jackie.  (I sat 4 vacant seats away from them while watching the game.  Amazing.)

And here I am with Whitey Herzog.  I grew up watching this guy coach my favorite ball team.  Couldn't believe I got to meet him in person.

The other hall of famer I got to meet was Red Schoendienst.  I didn't get my picture with him, but he did call me "honey" and he signed my record... see...

This my copy of play-by-play highlights of the 1964 World Series Championship (remember, baseball nerd!) and my husband urged me to take this to the game to have it signed.  I was reluctant, because I was also skeptical that I would actually meet this men.  Boy am I glad I listened to his urgings.  Bob Gibson and Lou Brock were both players on the team that year, and Red was one of the managers.  I had them all sign the record and they were very happy to.

Each person that went to the game that night also received an official major league ball signed by all these gentlemen.  So we got 2 of them.  We gave one to my dad and the other will go to my brother.  Don't worry, I got Whitey to sign my score card.

And I can't figure out how to rotate the photo.... I tell ya, get out of blogging for a month or two and you can't figure out how to do anything anymore!

Anyway.  It was an unbelievable evening.  One that I never thought I would ever get to enjoy in a million years.  Totally put the baseball spirit back into me...

But the rest of the Cardinal stories will have to wait.  I've rambled on long enough.  So stay tuned for I will soon upload the pics I took of Avery's mom-son baseball date - his first ballgame.  I love being a mom. :)

1 comment:

Rod said...

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your dad told me about the deal and showed me his baseball. That is really, really cool! Sorry the late comment. You've caught me not checking your blog very often! It's even hard for me to keep up with RK!!! PS: I have a cell photo Rachel took of her and Albert and another of her and Izzy.