Women playing Major League Baseball? My thoughts

girls baseballBy now, you’ve probably seen the AT&T Uverse commercial in which a young lady with the last name of Cortez is the first female in the major leagues.  It got me thinking – is there any way a woman could play major league baseball, and if so, what positions could a woman play?

Let’s start with the premise of women playing Major League Baseball at all.  I believe it’s possible – baseball is not as physical of a sport as say, football or hockey.  No one gets tackled in baseball (unless there’s a bench clearing brawl) or gets into a fight (see the previous parentheses).  However, women are not as strong as men unless they’re taking steroids, and as we all know, that’s illegal.  Other issues include dressing out for games and practices, and hotel rooms on the road.

So let’s look at the positions that I don’t think women could play.  Even though there is a woman pitcher in the commercial, I don’t believe women have the arm strength and the endurance to be a pitcher.  A woman could have the hand-eye coordination to play in the outfield, although I don’t think their arms are strong enough to throw a ball to home plate if necessary.

Even with adequate chest protection, it would be hard for a woman to be a catcher.  The new rule prohibits a catcher from being bowled over by a runner at the plate, but there are other accidents waiting to happen for a catcher behind the plate. Second base or third base are possibilities, but women could get injured by players sliding with their spikes up.

That leaves the shortstop position and first base.  The shortstop position requires a player with agility and a good eye, and throwing distance is less than in the outfield. The first base position requires a player who is ready at all times, whether for turning double plays and who can keep a runner close to the base, and who can also catch foul balls.   Another position, but in the American League only, would be the designated hitter.  If a woman is a DH, there is no worries about whether or not she can play a position.

Interestingly, MLB announced today that a female French shortstop named Melissa Mayeux is the first woman to be added to the international registration list, which means she could possibly be signed by a major league team on July 2.  Ms. Mayeux is only 16 years old, but the fact that she was added to the registration list at all is groundbreaking  No doubt some of the women who played in the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League in the 1940’s and 1950’s would have loved to have seen this day.

I’ve played some coed softball in my day, but God didn’t see fit to give me the hand-eye coordination or the athletic ability to perform any kind of sports. I’m sure He knew what he was doing.  I’ve been told I throw like a girl – hey, I am one!

Here is a link to an interesting article from Newsweek magazine from July 2014 for your reading enjoyment: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/07/11/pitch-attitude-256853.html

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

And now for something completely different . . .

Foot(with apologies to Monty Python) This has been a bizarre season, to say the least.  First, the Cards lose Adam Wainwright for the year due to an Achilles tendon tear.  Next, the Cards lose Matt Adams after a Grade 4 tear to his right quad. Jordan Walden is also on the DL. Then Matt Holliday went on the DL with a tear of his right quad, but thankfully, not as severe as Adams’ tear.  Lance Lynn suffered some discomfort in his right forearm and was put on the DL, but he should return soon.  And now Rosenthal is suffering some arm tightness, so he has not been available out of the bullpen the last couple of days.

But even though the team has had all these injuries, the players that are uninjured have banded together and played hard. As of today, the Cardinals still have the best record in the majors.  This is no doubt due to excellent managing by Mike Matheny.

The cap on this bizarre season, however, is the news that the Cardinals are under investigation by the FBI for allegedly hacking into the Houston Astros’ database system by using some of Jeff Luhnow’s old computer passwords. Twitter and Facebook were blown up by comments and tweets.  Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

First, why didn’t Luhnow change his passwords when he went to the Astros?  At the law firm I work at, your password has to be changed every 45 days. The Cardinals obviously had Luhnow’s passwords, but when he built the new database for the Astros, he should have set up new passwords.  If he had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

Second, if some of the Cardinals’ personnel suspected that Luhnow had taken the database and the other proprietary information with him to the Astros, why didn’t they go to Cardinals’ upper management and report their suspicions?  It could have then been investigated through the proper channels, rather than using Luhnow’s passwords on a computer in someone’s basement (as I read about earlier, but unfortunately, I can’t find the article now).

Third, why hack the Astros?  If it were disgruntled Cardinals employees who were upset with Luhnow, that could have been handled as per point 2 above. I could think of other teams more worthy to hack than the Astros, however.

Let’s not rush to judgment until we have all the information. There is limited information at this time, so we can’t rush to judgment against the Cardinals’ front office if indeed they had anything to do with this or knew about it in any way.  The Cardinals players, manager, and coaches knew nothing about this until the news broke and they had nothing to do with this, so let’s keep on supporting them and loving them. Unfortunately, hacking is a Federal offense, so harsh punishment, which includes prison time and heavy fines will be the result of this investigation.

Links to other articles of interest:

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/06/16/nyt-cardinals-investigated-by-fbi-for-hacking-astros/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2015/06/16/the-cardinals-way-just-how-high-up-in-the-front-office-could-the-houston-astros-hack-go/

http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2015/06/16/cardinals-being-investigated-for-hacking-astros-computer-system/#33704101=0

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

The infirmary is getting full

Infirmary1The Cards certainly have had their share of injuries this season, haven’t they?  Waino tore his Achilles tendon and Matt Adams suffered a Grade 4 tear of his right quad, effectively ending their seasons. Reliever Jordan Walden is also on the DL. Matt Holliday went on the disabled list earlier this week with a Grade 2 tear of his right quad. Lance Lynn reported discomfort in his right forearm, so he was evaluated and he has been put on the 15 day DL.  Even with all these injuries, however, the Cards have kept on battling and they still have the best record in baseball.  A lesser team would crumble under all this adversity, but not our Cards. Let’s hope that Lynn and Holliday recover soon and that there be no more injuries to our guys this season.

Tyler Lyons has been called up from Memphis to replace Lynn and he will take Lynn’s scheduled start tomorrow evening.  Here’s all the details on that:

CARDINALS PITCHER LANCE LYNN PLACED ON 15-DAY D.L.;

LEFTY TYLER LYONS RECALLED FROM MEMPHIS (AAA) & WILL START TOMORROW

ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 12, 2015 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to tonight’s game that they have placed right-handed pitcher Lance Lynn (right forearm strain) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 8, and have recalled left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons from Memphis (AAA).

Manager Mike Matheny has tabbed Lyons to start tomorrow afternoon’s game against Kansas City.

Lyons, 27, will be making his second appearance of the season with the Cardinals, after having made three starts (13.0 IP/17 strikeouts) from May 5-16.  

Following his option to Memphis on May 16, Lyons has been one of the top pitchers in the Pacific Coast League, going 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA (26.2 IP/7 ER) his last four starts at Triple-A.   Lyons’ overall mark at Memphis is 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA (7th in PCL) in eight starts, striking out 56 (6th) while walking only nine in his 48.1 innings of work.

The 6-4, 200-pound Lyons was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending June7 after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (13.0 IP) in two starts last week.   It was the third such honor during his career, the most ever by a Memphis Redbirds pitcher.

Lyons overall mark in the majors stands at 2-8 with a 4.73 ERA in 26 games (15 starts).  He faced the Royals in his 2nd career start on May 28, 2013 in a 4-1 win at Kauffman Stadium, allowing just one run on two hits in 7.0 IP.

Lyons wears uniform no. 70.

Lynn joins Adam Wainwright, Jordan Walden, Matt Adams and Matt Holliday among Cardinals currently on the disabled list.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

A great Father’s Day contest from Cardinals Authentics!

AuthenticsHere’s a great contest from Cardinals Authentics that I wanted to share with all of you. The prize would be a great present for your favorite Cards fan dad. You do have to be able to go to a Cardinals Authentic store to sign up, however.  Here are the details:

CARDINALS AUTHENTICS GIVING DADS THE CHANCE TO ‘STEAL SECOND’

In-store contest featuring one-of-a-kind prize runs through June 20 at both store locations        

ST. LOUIS, June 8, 2015 – In honor of Father’s Day, Cardinals Authentics is giving fans the opportunity to win a one-of-a-kind prize for their dad: two tickets to a Cardinals game, a personalized Louisville Slugger bat, an authenticated game-used ball from the game they attend, and the chance to run on the field and “steal” second base to take home with them.

To enter the contest, fans must visit a Cardinals Authentics location and fill out an official entry form by Saturday, June 20. One winner will be selected at random and be notified on, or around, Sunday June 21. No purchase necessary.

Cardinals Authentics is located on the first floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A second location can be found inside Busch Stadium in centerfield between Gates 5 and 6, however this location is only accessible during home games.

In addition to the contest, Cardinals Authentics is also offering a free gift with purchase through June 20. With a minimum $100 purchase, fans will receive a limited edition commemorative pin set. The retro-themed pin set includes four pins featuring Cardinals logos from 1917-1966. The free gift is limited to one per customer per location per day; while supplies last.

As the only official source of game-used, limited-edition and autographed memorabilia straight from the team, Cardinals Authentics allows fans to take home a piece of the game. Specializing in valuable, one-of-a-kind collectibles, Authentics lets fans commemorate special occasions, hold onto important memories and celebrate great moments in team history in a completely unique way. Cardinals Authentics guarantees genuine memorabilia for all Cardinals fans as part of MLB’s comprehensive league-wide memorabilia authentication initiative. Fans can shop the Cardinals Authentics Stores located at Ford Plaza inside Busch Stadium, on the first floor of Cardinals Nation inside Ballpark Village, and online at cardinalsauthentics.com.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

Diane

Random thoughts and observations on the 6/2/15 game

M-STLI was fortunate enough to have attended last night’s game. It was quite an entertaining game.  We had great seats in section 248, which are the best seats I’ve ever had in Busch Stadium III.  They were behind home plate, the next level up from the field box seats in the Home Redbird Club. You could hear the ball hit the catcher’s mitt and the ball crack the bat.  If Joe West had made his calls any louder, we could have heard them too.

Speaking of Joe West, if his strike zone had been any bigger, you could have driven a Mack truck through it.  Matt Holliday was right to argue the called strike 3 and the Gameday graphic of his at bat backs him up.  Mike Matheny came out to back up Holliday (and hopefully cool him down), but sadly, both of them were ejected.  It was also Holliday’s last at-bat, so his on-base streak of 45 games ended with the botched call.

One of the benefits of baseball’s slow pace is that you can check Twitter and Facebook on your smartphone between batters.  There were various Joe West memes flooding Twitter and Facebook last night. One of my favorite memes consisted of 2 of the same photos of West ejecting Matheny side by side and in the second photo West’s head is replaced by Grumpy Cat’s head.  I think Grumpy Cat would object to that, however, and it might even be copyright infringement. Joe West needs retire for good.  There needs to be a definite retirement age for umpires, if there isn’t one already.

There was an amusing play in the fourth inning when three of the Brewers, who were chasing a foul ball hit by Matt Carpenter, and two of them (Segura and Ramirez) tumbled into the third base field box seats.  It reminded me of a Cubs play.

Yadi has lost too much weight, I think; he almost looks anorexic.  I wonder if the weight loss has affected his hitting.  The weight loss is good for his knees, but not for his hitting.  His timing is off at the plate.  He is swinging at the first pitch too much, although he did a little better today.

And speaking of hitting, where is the offense?  Grichuk went 2 for 3.  The Cards hit into 3 double plays, and didn’t have a runner in scoring position after the second inning. It would have been nice to have some of those runs from today’s game last night.

Lance Lynn did a masterful job pitching with only 1 run in support, and the BFIB cheered loudly when Matheny took him out and put Kevin Siegrist in.  Lynn acknowledged the fans’ love by tipping his hat to us.  He certainly is a class act.

Trevor Rosenthal did his usual job of making me a nervous wreck when he pitches.  In the bottom of the ninth, there were runners on first and third and only one out.  Thankfully, Kolten Wong and Kevin Reynolds turned an excellent double play and the fireworks went off.

Since the son and I took the Metrolink, we didn’t get home until almost 11 PM  But we had a good time, even though I was dragging at work today.  We had a great time.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Free admission to the Cardinals Museum for veterans and active military

Memorial DayFrom Saturday, May 23, 2015 through Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is offering free admission to the museum for veterans and also for active military members.  My heartfelt thanks go out to those who have served our country and my prayers go out to those who lost their lives during their service.  Here are all the details on the free admission, as well as other special offers for military personnel from the Cardinals:

The saddest game ever

What if they played a baseball game and nobody came (except a couple of scouts)?  That was the sad situation at today’s Orioles-White Sox game in Baltimore, due to the rioting and violence that have overtaken Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death. Monday and Tuesday nights’ game were cancelled, to be rescheduled at a later date. It’s my understanding that the Orioles’ series with Tampa Bay is being moved to Tampa Bay, with the Orioles acting as the home team.

I understand the Orioles’ management’s and MLB’s concerns.  They probably don’t want to be sued should a fan be injured or killed at the game or traveling to and from the game. Some of the fans were willing to take that risk today, however; there were photos on Twitter of a lot of fans looking at the game through in the fence in center field.

Thankfully, none of the Cardinals’ games were cancelled or postponed last year after the rioting in Ferguson.  I was concerned about the safety of attending a ball game during that time.  But downtown St. Louis is a half hour away from Ferguson.  Camden Yards is right in the middle of downtown Baltimore.

How sad it is that baseball games have to be played with no fans in attendance or cancelled or postponed due to violence.  This world is a sad place, with violence unfortunately becoming the norm.  Rather than pillaging and looting, how about we channel that anger into something good?  How about we all love one another instead?

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Diane

2015 United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event report

UCB_11On Sunday evening, the Cardinals hosted the United Cardinals Bloggers for their annual blogger event.  This event is usually on a Sunday afternoon, but this year, we were treated to an evening game.

My friend Kim was my guest for this year’s blogger event.  It was my husband’s turn to attend, but since it was a night game and he gets up at 4:30 AM for work, it wouldn’t have worked out. Kim was very happy to be invited. Hopefully, next year the blogger event will be back to the afternoon schedule and my hubby will be able to attend.

The event was supposed to start at 5 PM, so I decided to get there early and get a front row seat.  My son and I arrived at the event right before starting time last year, so we had to sit in the back and I couldn’t see or hear very well.  Kim and I got to the administrative offices so early, the packets and the name tags hadn’t been put out yet.  I had to go back later and get a packet, plus write out name tags.  The packet was a nice folder with the party room menu on one side and handouts listing various events on the other.  The packet also contained an envelope with our game tickets.

Since we were there before everyone else, Kim and I had a nice discussion with Ron Watermon, the Cardinals’ Vice President of Communications, about the security problems on Opening Day.  He admitted that the gates should have been opened sooner that day.

The other bloggers began to show up and it was nice to catch up with folks I only talk to on Twitter. There was a nice crowd, considering it was a Sunday evening game. Finally, Mr. Watermon came to the podium.  He welcomed us all to the blogger event. Mr. Watermon mentioned that Daniel Shoptaw, the head of the UCB, was unable to be at the event because of the death of Daniel’s father-in-law, and that their thoughts and prayers were with Daniel’s family.  Mr. Watermon then spoke about the fan video contests and how they engage Cardinals Nation.  Mr. Watermon talked about the minister who won the Ultimate Fan contest.  Mr. Watermon asked the bloggers to help Red feel the love by posting videos telling Red that we love him.

It was then time for Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak to speak.  Rather than stepping up to the podium, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Mozeliak stayed seated in their chairs, like a “fireside chat,” Mr. DeWitt stated.  DeWitt and Mozeliak have strong voices that carry well and we were all seated fairly close, so neither one of them really needed a microphone in order to be heard.

Mr. DeWitt was the first speaker. He talked about the business side of the organization. Mr. DeWitt spoke about some of the modifications that have been made to Ballpark Village, such as the extra video screens that will allow fans to watch both the Blues and the Cards at the same time.  Mr. DeWitt said that they were proud of Ballpark Village and that the BPV concept didn’t exist anywhere else in Major League Baseball.  There are now giveaway days at BPV during 25 of the Cardinals’ away games.  He said that there is an empty retail location that should be filled soon. He spoke briefly about the second phase of Ballpark Village, which may include an office complex, retail and a hotel.

Mr. DeWitt then spoke about improvements at Busch Stadium.  The Champions Club (an all-inclusive area) has been expanded.  Gate 5 has been renovated for the installation of metal detectors and for a better view for the fans in the rooftop seats at Ballpark Village.

Mr. DeWitt also spoke about the metal detectors that had been installed at the stadium.  He said that all the stadiums in Major League Baseball had installed metal detectors.  He admitted that the team hadn’t opened the gates early enough on Opening Day, and long lines ensued.  Mr. DeWitt said that Opening Day was different than other games, closer to playoff games, and they should have opened the gates earlier than they did, and they learned from their mistake.  There are also more cameras in the stadium.  Mr. DeWitt also mentioned that stadium security now has a bomb sniffing dog that can follow the trail of someone who might have an explosive device in a moving crowd. To my mind, that was reassuring.  I have watched The Sum of All Fears and The Dark Knight Rises a few too many times. I can see that kind of scenario happening at Busch Stadium, especially during a playoff game.

Mo spoke next. The team has gotten off to a very good start.  Mo is bullish about what is going on at the minor league level. Mo said that the team is competitive at the major league team level and that there are enough players coming through the pipeline at the minor league level. He talked about the $5 million Academy that the team is opening in the Dominican Republic to train the young prospects. The complex will help attract players.  Mo said that the people that have run the drafts the last few years have done a good job.  Mo said that there is a hard working group in the minor league level that helps develop the players.  Mo is looking at the future and he is very excited.

Then it was time for the Q & A session.  A question was asked about Sam Freeman.  Mo said that we could have gotten 3 lefties but they wanted someone that was an innings eater and that was the spot for Villanueva.  Freeman didn’t have control or command.  Freeman couldn’t throw strikes.  Freeman was traded instead of being put on waivers so the Cards could get something for him.

Dennis Lawson asked if some of the bloggers could take over the club’s social media accounts for a game.  He wondered what it would take to unlock that door.  Nervous laughter ensued from the room. Mo asked, “What do you mean?”  More laughter.  Dennis thought we could take over the Twitter and Instagram accounts, under the watchful eye of a supervising adult, of course.

Mo was asked how much the team used sabermetrics for strategy. Mo said that the Cards are a very data driven team and that they utilize sabermetrics to make decisions.  There is a balance between the analytical world and the scouting world. Sabermetrics power the entire team as to the decision making process.

There was a question about a timetable for Jason Heyward’s contract extension.  Mo said he knew there would be a Heyward question.There is no timetable to discuss an extension. Deadlines irritate on one side or the other.  They want Jason to experience St. Louis and see what the city’s all about.  He doesn’t envision a timetable, although he projected mid-season as a time to look at where they’re heading.

The next person said he was at the game on Saturday and he wanted to thank Mr. DeWitt for keeping the Blues information on the screen during the game. He wanted to know how who spearheads efforts between the teams.  DeWitt explained who in the Blues’ organization works with the Cards for cross-promotions.  There is an overlapped fan base between the teams.

The next question was about when Oscar died – was there a specific type of player that they had in mind to replace him?  How long do you mourn? There wasn’t going to be a lot of opportunity out there.  There was a couple player options they could pursue.  The team had heard good things about Jason Heyward.  The timing was good.  They do a lot of due diligence on players before they’re signed.  Heyward is a positive addition to the club.

Mo was asked what if he was encouraged about the early pitching of Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez.  Mo said that during spring training, they talked about having a competitive camp and that the media all laughed about it, Mo was shocked to see how well Garcia was pitching. Marco Gonzales was the next guy that threw well in camp.  The 5 who ended up in the rotation was interesting because it showed how deep the pitching could be.  The only concern is volume, how that is managed as the season goes.  Neither Wacha or Martinez has pitched over 100 innings in a season and Mike and Lilliquist are conscious of that.

The last question was that once upon a time, when teams had 4 man rotations, and they pitched 200 innings, you never heard about the sore arms that you hear about now.  Are the pitchers so finely tuned today that every little thing can throw them off balance and cause injuries?  Mo said that it would take hours to discuss.  Injuries are a concern to everybody because of all of the money invested in players.  Mo blamed it on all the hours that kids are pitching in Little League, and high school and college ball, and that by the time they get to the majors, they’re worn out.  Back in the 40’s 50’s, and 60’s, 250 innings were the norm.  The team looks at “stress” innings, like innings with lots of pitches.  That’s when injuries happen.

After the Q& A session was over, Mo and Mr. DeWitt left.  Larry Johnson, the team chef, spoke to us about all the good food waiting for us in the party rooms.  Stomachs could be heard rumbling all over the room, including my own.

Finally, it was time to go to the party rooms. Our party rooms were closer to home plate this year than last year. I tried the chicken and waffle sandwich. There was maple bacon gravy to put on the sandwich. I thought it was going to be overpowering, but it was actually very subtle and added a nice little zing of flavor to the sandwich.  Kim tried the spinach and artichoke pizza and said it was delicious.She also liked the cowboy mac n’ cheese, with baked beans in it.  I tried the walking taco, which was a large bag of either Doritos or Fritos Scoops (I picked the Fritos) that you zipped open the side of the bag and added shredded lettuce, taco meat, pulled pork, chicken carnitas and/or shredded cheese.  I tried the tater tots tacos, which I had last year.  I also tried the deep fried Oreo cookie, which came in a shot glass sized cup with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on the bottom for dipping.  I thought there could have been some more breading on the Oreo – it was thin and the cookie was soft.  Other desserts included an Oreo churro and strawberry shortcake. There was lots of other food, but there was just too much to try it all.

Kim and I sat at a table with Matt Whitener of Cheap Seats Please and Matt’s father, and we all had a delightful conversation with Ron Watermon about some of the other major league baseball stadiums.  They mostly talked; I listened, since Busch is the only stadium I’ve ever been too.

And oh yes, there was a game between the Cards and the Reds Sunday evening. It was a thrill to see Matt Carpenter hit a home run out on the outfield berm during his first at bat.  It was a classic pitcher’s duel between Adam Wainwright and Mat Latos.  Adam only gave up one run  Adam jammed the bases during the Reds’ half of the 8th, but he got out of it.  Trevor Rosenthal was not available to close, so Jordan Walden came in and got his first save for the Cards.  It was a really quick game – it started at 7:05 and ended at 9:09.  The talking heads at Baseball Tonight on ESPN probably had to scramble to fill up the extra time they had allotted for the game. We didn’t get a group shot of all the bloggers because the game ended so soon.  Sorry, Daniel – I did talk to Dathan about the group shot, but it didn’t work out.

I really enjoy the blogger events and I can’t wait until next year’s event.  I hope you have enjoyed reading about this year’s event.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Happy 70th Cardinals Anniversary to Red Schoendiest!

I’ve always been fond of Red Schoendiest,since, like Whitey Herzog, he’s a southern Illinois boy who’s done well for himself.  If you haven’t ever Red’s book Red:  A Baseball Life, I recommend you do so – it’s a very enjoyable read.  It was 70 years ago today that Red joined the Cardinals.  The Cardinals want you to join them in proclaiming love for Red, and here’s some details as to how to do so:

Cardinals Honor Red Schoendienst on 70 Years & Counting In MLB

 Team Launches #LoveRed2 Campaign Asking Fans to Join Team in Sharing Video Messages Demonstrating Their Appreciation and Affection for Red 

ST. LOUIS, April 17, 2015 – It was seventy years ago today that Albert “Red” Schoendienst began his remarkable career in Major League Baseball.  The St. Louis Cardinals are marking the milestone by honoring Red with a special pre-game ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Reds.  In addition, the team is launching a season-long campaign encouraging fans to demonstrate their affection for Red by sharing a video message via social media using the hashtag #LoveRed2.

 “We want to mark this amazing milestone by letting Red know how much he means to the entire Cardinals family,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.  “We encourage fans to join us in showing their affinity, affection and appreciation for number two as he celebrates seventy years and counting in Major League Baseball.”

The team is asking fans to join Cardinals players, broadcasters, and team officials in taping video messages where they say their name while announcing that they love Red too.  Fans are asked to share those videos on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Vine using the hashtag #LoveRed2.  Fans can learn more at cardinals.com/lovered2.

Red, who will be joined by his family, will be honored with a special ceremony at 7PM prior to tonight’s game.  Red and fans will enjoy congratulatory video messages from players throughout the game and the team will wear a commemorative number 2 “70 Years in Uniform and Counting” patch on their sleeve.

Red made his Major League Baseball debut on April 17, 1945, when the Cardinals played the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  The young man from Germantown, Illinois joined the team to fill in for left fielder Stan Musial, who was serving in the U.S. Navy.  Red went 1 for 4 with a triple and run scored.  The following year, in 1946, Red moved positions ultimately settling into second base.  St. Louis won the World Series over the Boston Red Sox that season as Red began to develop into one of the best hitting and fielding second basemen of all time.  He played 19 years with the Cardinals, Giants, and Braves, and was a 10-time All-Star.  In 1953, Red put together his finest season when he established career highs with a .342 batting average, 15 home runs and 79 RBI.  On the Cardinals’ career lists, Red ranks fourth in at-bats (6,841) and pinch hits (54), fifth in games played (1,795), sixth in runs scored (1,025) and hits (1,980), seventh in doubles (352), and eighth in total bases (2,657).  He led the N.L. with 200 hits in 1957, and seven times he led or tied for the league lead in fielding percentage.

Red served as a coach on the 1964 World Championship team and was named manager when Johnny Keane resigned at the conclusion of the season.  Red piloted St. Louis to a World Series victory over the Red Sox in 1967 and another N.L. pennant in 1968 en route to a 12-year tenure as skipper, the longest in franchise history until Tony La Russa surpassed him in 2008.  Red ranks second in franchise records with 1,041 managerial wins.

Red was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, had his number retired by the club in 1996, and was an inaugural member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.  Red currently serves as a special assistant to the General Manager.  Throughout his career, Red has been a model teammate, a mentor, and above all, a leader.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

A few thoughts about Jackie Robinson Day

JackieEvery year on April 15, Major League Baseball honors the late Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the major leagues. April 15 is the anniversary of the first day Jackie played in the major leagues.  For today only, every uniform worn in major league baseball will bear the number 42 in Jackie’s honor.   There will be a video tribute to Jackie before the Cardinals game tonight.  The number 42 is now retired permanently – that number will never be used by any team in major league baseball again.

If you have not yet watched the movie 42, I highly recommend you do so. Branch Rickey was the brave owner who decided it was time that an African-American got the opportunity to play ball at the major league level and Jackie was the player he selected. The movie shows the shameful treatment Jackie endured during his first major league season. The ignorance of many of the players in the major leagues and the fans back in those days was incredible. We thankfully live in more enlightened times. The only physical difference between African-Americans and Caucasians is that God used a brown crayon instead of a flesh colored one.  And there are so many beautiful shades of brown!

There have been many African-American players in the Cardinals’ lineups over the years – Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Willie McGee, Ozzie Smith, and Terry Pendleton, to name just a few.  Sadly, Jason Heyward is the only African-American player in the current lineup. In fact, there aren’t all that many African-Americans playing baseball at all any more – they have gravitated to basketball, football, and boxing. After all the struggles African-Americans have suffered for the opportunity to play the great game of baseball, it’s a shame that there are not that many African-American players any more.

My son and I will be attending tonight’s Cardinals game, so come on by and say hi –  we’ll be in section 355, row 5.  I know I said my next post wouldn’t be until next week, but the writing muse inspired me sooner.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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