St. Louis takes its baseball very seriously and today's Cardinals home opener was no exception. Opening Day parties started at nine in the morning with a downtown rally sponsored by a local radio station. Another station broadcast from a tent several blocks away. The Official Opening Day Pep Rally took place right outside the stadium, and a couple of other media outlets hosted events at downtown restaurants.
I'm just a casual baseball fan, but I enjoy the pageantry of the home opener ceremony, which lasts 45 minutes. It starts with the Budweiser Clydesdales making a circuit around the outfield warning track, followed by the Hall-of-Fame players wearing red blazers and riding in convertibles, then the players in pickup trucks. This year there will be a special tribute to Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial, who passed away in January at the age of 92. Both the home and visiting team (the Cincinnati Reds) will be introduced, the National Anthem played, and the ceremonial first pitch thrown before the start of the game.
Busch Stadium has almost 44,000 seats. Add a couple of thousand standing room only tickets and the capacity is closer to 47,000. Every one of those tickets is gone; the only way you can get into the stadium at the last minute is to know someone or buy tickets on the secondary market.
I had to wear my company-prescribed uniform of white shirt and black pants to work this morning, but in honor of the day I added Cardinal earrings. There were quite a few people walking through the mall wearing team gear. My shift at the Customer Service desk ended at 3, and I listened to the last of the pregame show on the radio as I drove home. Hubby Tony was already there; he had the TV turned on and was DVRing the whole thing.
Unfortunately the game didn't live up to the ceremony hoopla. The Cardinals gave up nine runs in the ninth inning and lost 13-4.
Five years ago today: New Thing #88--New Territory