The Hubris of Cardinal Nation

30′ Tall 2011 World Series Trophy Replica

Well, so much for hanging out close to home. We were only going to do our now regular Forest Park’s closed roads and golf course walk, when while dropping off a letter at the drive-by post office post box, we had an epiphany. Why not go downtown and checkout the new-old World Series trophy statue? So, this is what we did on Saturday. We haven’t driven the new RAV4 more than a mile or two from home for months now, so this eight mile jaunt to the river felt a bit like a road trip. Heading there, I figured that this novelty would be mobbed with so many other people that we had no hope of ever safely getting close to it. I was wrong, we had it all to ourselves. Oh by the way, the first two title years are around the corner of the building.

I had forgotten that on a weekend, excepting the occasional summer festival or a Cardinals game that the downtown is always pretty much a ghost town. There have been changes though. This trophy replica is sort of the crowning statement on a Cardinal’s long ago made promise. In order to secure government financing for the current Busch Stadium, they promised to transform the land where the old Busch Stadium stood into a multiuse venue dubbed Ballpark Village. It was supposed to encompass restaurants, shops, offices and apartments. The Cards got paid, they got their new stadium and then the Great Recession hit. For a long time Ballpark Village was just a fenced in grass field. It has been a long time coming, but the Cardinals have finally kept their promise and work on Ballpark Village is almost complete. Imagine owning a condo with a look-down view from straight away center, while sitting out on your balcony.

There has been some grumbling in town from sports purists at the hubris involve in erecting such a monument to past glories. Comparisons have been made to the hubris of the Cubs, when they installed a jewelry store near Wrigley Field, ready to dispense future World Series championship rings that never came. I say, this is a year to revel in past glories. The present has little to offer and the future is uncertain. For some reason they are replaying a football game on TV tonight. When has there been football in May? Keep your pearl clutching to yourselves. 

We decided to walk the grounds of the Arch. We repositioned the car closer and negotiated the parking meter app for the first time. Kiener Plaza had been done over, since we last visited it. The old courthouse was of course closed as were the Arch and its museum, but their grounds were open and we had not explored them since the Arch’s major renovation. We were both impressed. Today was an especially warm day, almost a record, so we didn’t last long down at the Arch.

Other sights that we saw downtown included a motorcycle club that had taken over a block of Broadway. No ten person max rule there. There was so little traffic downtown that I could pretty much cross any street at will. Pretty much. Another new sight downtown was not one, but two homeless tent encampments. They had been setup in the park around Soldier’s Memorial. One of them was across the street from City Hall. Finally, site prep for the new professional soccer stadium is well underway, to be located just west of Union Station.