Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
I won Cardinal tickets last week for Monday’s game. I got them as part of a promotion from the MS Society. We’ll be doing their MS-150 charity bike ride again in September and as part of a promotion to encourage early sign ups, I won. Anne and I took MetroLink downtown to the Busch Stadium stop. Instead of heading straight on into the park, we headed over to the brand new, next door venue, Ballpark Village. Ballpark Village is a promise that has been a long time happening. As part of the current stadium’s deal, the Cardinals had agreed to building Ballpark Village. It was supposed to be a multi-venue facility, featuring entertainment, offices and residences. So far only the first of these three venues have appeared. A fenced in VIP parking lot now sits on what I expect to be the second half of the Cardinals promise to the taxpayers of Saint Louis.
Regarding the entertainment venue, Ballpark Village hits a home run. We arrived during the USA / Ghana World Cup match. The place was mobbed. The Village is mostly a collection of bars and restaurants, the largest of which is shown below, it is called FOX Sports Midwest Live! We eschewed their $5 beers and instead paid to see the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. It is not as ecumenical in the Church of Baseball as say the shrine at Cooperstown or as large, but it does cover quite a bit of baseball history. I took lots of photos in the museum, like the one of the sheet music to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Written in 1908, neither of its authors had ever seen a baseball game, yet we sang it again that night during the seventh inning stretch.
Our seats were high above the left field line, which turned out quite nicely, because it was a warm night, with a good breeze. We were quite comfortable throughout the game. The night’s game was the first of a series against the NY Mets. The Redbirds won 6-2. There were many hometown heroes that night, starter Carlos Martinez, Jon Jay, Allen Craig and Matt Adams to name a few. There were also two individuals for whom the sold out crowd rose in standing ovation trice. Matt Holliday got one ovation for knocking in his 1,000th run. The other two were for rookie reliever, Nick Greenwood. He joined the club on Sunday, after languishing five long years in the minors. He inauspiciously walked his first major league batter. He then worked himself out of that inning’s jam, keeping the Mets scoreless, with the aid of a timely double play. This is where he earned his first standing ovation. The second one occurred a few innings later, when he was relieved. That standing O was as much recognition of a noble first start, as expectation of much more to come in the future. The paper said that manager Matheny held the kid of 26-years on the mound, to savor the moment. Subsequently, Greenwood was charged with a run and the win.