Vendors shouting to sell their popcorn and peanuts, ticket turnstiles rotating with that familiar clickity-clack, excited fans chatting and laughing with their friends - you're enveloped in the sounds of Opening Day with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
But at the 7th inning, when that familiar Budweiser jingle fills the air, and the Clydesdales float across the center field Jumbotron, you may not realize it, but something is missing.
Long-time organist Ernie Hays will not be filling Busch Stadium with his musical interludes this year after retiring at the end of last season. (Check out our "Swan song for Ernie Hays" story to learn more about Hays' and see photos of him at work in the Busch Stadium organ nook).
Though Hays' role has been taken over by organ-heir Dwayne Hilton, the Riverfront Times ran an editorial today to launch a campaign insisting Hays be recognized as a fixture of St. Louis sports history that cannot be replaced.
The effort is called "Stand for Ernie," meant to emulate last year's social media campaign for legendary Cardinals player Stan Musial, "Stand for Stan."
Stand for Ernie has it's own Twitter account, @StandforErnie, and you can print out your own cardboard cutout of a caricature of Hays via the RFT website.