Last week it officially became summer for me. I attended my first St. Louis Cardinals game this year, a day game against the Florida Marlins. Summer time in St. Louis does not exist without the Cardinals, the lifeblood of the Gateway City.
There is nothing quite like a baseball game, particularly a day baseball game, in St. Louis. It is the perfect gathering spot for friends. Entertaining, an electric atmosphere, surrounded by tradition, and allows you still catch up with friends.
Much like anyone in St. Louis the offer to attend the game came via a call from a friend saying they had some free tickets. It seems that almost half-time the time I go to a game is because someone has free tickets, and I am sure this is a similar occurence throughout St. Louis. Now these tickets were made even better in that they were field box seats, meaning I was sitting just eight rows behind the visitors dugout.
Attending a Cardinals game has always been a fun event but the organization took it up a notch a few years ago with Ballpark Village. It has become a great destination to go to before (and after games, which I will talk about later). While waiting to meet my friend for the game I headed outside of Ballpark Village to the turf field area to grab a refreshing cucumber cocktail. One of the neat things about Ballpark Village is that their televisions are tied into the ballparks. Meaning that what you see in the stadium is what you see and hear at Ballpark Village. I mention this because while waiting on the turf field I was still able to see the pregame ceremonies which included a video montage of the late Red Schoendienst.
We arrived in our seats in time for the start of the game and proceeded to settle into our seats, preparing for our day of fun in the sun. Thankfully the Cardinals were able to scrape across some runs this day, winning 4-1, thanks in large part to home runs from Jose Martinez and Luke Voit. It got even more exciting in the 8th inning when rookie Jordan Hicks came on to pitch. This being my first game of the year was obviously also my first time seeing him pitch live. And wow. From the angle in my seat I was able to get a good look at just how fast he throws.
We ended our day in the same fashion as we started, at Ballpark Village. It’s a perfect spot to go to after the game and let the crowd and traffic clear out a little bit. We decided to head to Howl at the Moon for some dueling pianos and be entertained by the whimsical musicians.
All in all it was just another fun day at the Cardinals game. St. Louis has plenty of great places to visit during the year, particularly in the summer. Forest Park, the Zoo, museums, The Loop, etc. But for me Busch Stadium is and always will be the ideal summer meeting spot. Friends, Fun, and a Cardinals Win. You can’t beat it.