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Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Cardinals and new generations

By PH8 on

There was an excellent letter to the editor at yesterday that I felt obliged to share with you, not only because I think it’s a fitting tribute to this past season’s Cardinal team – despite the unsavory finish – but also because it sums up a lot of the sentimentality I feel toward the Cardinals as well.

I struggled to find one snippet I could quote here that would sum up the whole thing, so instead I’m going to pull out tinier bits and then you’ll just have to go read the whole thing yourself via the link above.

As a kid I remember my mom and dad putting everything on hold to watch playoff games.

This town did not just “happen” to be a great baseball town, it’s made of generations and generations of families putting life on hold to watch the Cardinals.

Yep, and actually, as I think I’ve mentioned here before – I still have the 1982 World Series program on my bookshelf. A gift from my father that I will always cherish (even if he didn’t take me to the game). You can bet I gave him my extra ticket in 2004 though, and I have the program from that one too. And save the rhetoric about the “best fans in baseball” because I’m not barking up that tree here. “Best fans” or not, it’s hard to argue that St. Louis is a great baseball town.

What we can be proud of (and Mr. Dewitt can be thankful for) is the legacy of love for the Cardinals that we have once again fostered. Because of my behavior over the last week my children will put their lives on hold for October baseball when they have families of their own. And although we do not get to watch ‘Albert Pujols do everything’ this post season, I can be proud that this great American past time has once again made a deeper notch into the hearts and minds of the next generation.

As someone preparing to welcome a new member into Cardinal Nation in the coming months, this really hits home. It’s how I grew to love the Cardinals, it’s how my folks grew to love the Cardinals – hell, it’s how my wife grew to love the Cardinals, if by default.

Every Cardinal fan on the planet was hoping for, almost expected, a trip to the World Series this year. That didn’t happen. Yeah, I’m (we’re) bummed. But gosh were they fun to watch in August. And in April. And every other dang month of the season. I’ll live and die with every Pujols at-bat and ninth inning pitch again next season, with a new fan in my lap. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to it.

When do pitchers and catchers report?

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