TBtB: St. Louis Cardinals

Now, it’s quite possible there is some obscure law in Missouri that says the home of the Cardinals must be named after the first family of bland American beer. But, screw it, let’s take some chances.

The National League’s most successful franchise has been playing in its current home for a little more than a decade, when new Busch replaced old Busch, which likely was the crème de la crème of the cookie-cutters, which is a complisult of the highest order.

Nothing much has changed with the relocation a few hundred feet south. The Cardinals still win a lot of games there, because that’s what the Cardinals always do. The club’s fans love the team, and themselves. But they pack the place every year.

It’s unquestionably a great baseball town, and a great baseball town with a rich history warrants a stellar name for the old ballyard.

Ballpark History

Built: 2006

Capacity: 45,529

Name: Busch Stadium 2006-present.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Busch Memorial Stadium 1966-2005, Sportsman’s Park 1920-1966 (named changed to, you guessed it, Busch Stadium, 1953-1966), Sportsman’s Park II 1893-1920 (park also known as League Park, 1899-1911, Robison Field 1911-197, Cardinal Field 1917-20, Sportsman’s Park (1882-1892).

Distinctive Features: A better view of the city’s most famous landmark than the old enclosed building once offered; outside Gate 3 is a duck-billed statue of Cardinals great Stan Musial, while odes to lesser St. Louis greats sit outside the team store; Gate 3 entrance designed to look like Eads Bridge over the Mississippi; so much red.

Ballpark Highlights:

In 2006, the year it opened, the home team returned to Busch with the World Series tied at one game apiece and rolled off three straight World Series victories to defeat the Detroit Tigers for the title.

In Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, the Cards rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth, then another two-run deficit in the 10th, before David Freese’s homer in the 11th sent the Fall Classic to a Game 7. The Cards went on to win their 11th championship one night later.

In one of the more bizarre endings to a World Series game in history, future terrible Red Sox player Allen Craig scored the game-winning run on an obstruction call on former terrible Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, allowing the home team to take a 2-1 series lead over Boston in the 2013 Fall Classic. P.S. – it was the right call.

In 2014, the Cardinals promoted Chris Correa to scouting director, choosing the internal option over Elliott Anderson, Julian Assange and several members of Anonymous.

 

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