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Baseball

The grounds crew works on the field at Busch Stadium last week. Construction was still under way on the Budweiser Terrace, a new social gathering area in the upper right field seating sections. It will feature lounge seating, standing areas and two bars.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

After a cold and wet start to the season, Major League Baseball finally sloshes into the Gateway City at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Clydesdales take their first strut of the season around the warning track at Busch Stadium.

The St. Louis Cardinals are promising all of the traditional trimmings for their home-opening ceremonies: Motorcades will deliver the Hall of Famers and the 2018 team to home plate. There will be a color guard, a giant American flag at center field, and — weather permitting — a flyover by a KC-135 Stratotanker, an Air Force refueling aircraft.

Lara Hamdan / St. Louis Public Radio

A full story of what ifs and comedies: A history of the St. Louis Browns

St. Louis’ baseball history includes one of the best teams in baseball history, the Cardinals — and the worst— the Browns.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the history of the St. Louis Browns baseball team with Ed Wheatley, one of the authors of “St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team.”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’ve watched Cardinals baseball in the past 20 years, you know the story of Rick Ankiel, a former pitcher-turned-outfielder who joined the Cardinals organization in the late ‘90s as a pitcher expected to become the next Bob Gibson. He was doing well until 2001, when his pitching became suddenly and conspicuously erratic. No one, not even Ankiel, could identify the reason why.

Joe Buck doesn’t like NPR. You might not be able to tell this fact from the number of interviews he’s had on the network about his first memoir “Lucky Bastard,” but there it is. St. Louisan and national sportscaster Joe Buck has distaste for public radio. Just not for the reason you think.

The 2006 World's Series was a winner for the Cardinals.
Matt Dimmic | Flickr

The Cardinals’ home opener has come and gone and, with it, redbird fury is swirling upward. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, in honor of baseball season, we had a special treat for listeners: A discussion about a new book titled “Immortal Moments in Cardinals History.”

Ron Jacober, famed local sports broadcaster and Bob Tiemann, baseball historian, co-wrote the book and joined host Don Marsh to discuss what some of those “immortal moments” are.

Listen to the segment here to hear their favorite moments:

Busch Stadium
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs baseball rivalry is the stuff of legend.  The teams and their rabid fan-bases now have the chance to put the walk in their talk as the two battle it out in the National League Division Series.

Tied at one game apiece, the Cubs and the Cardinals play this evening at Wrigley Field. We thought we’d have a little good, old-fashioned public radio fun by agreeing to a friendly wager with WBEZ, the public radio station in Chicago.

This National League Central Division series will be historic: The Cards and Cubs are facing one another for the first time ever in the postseason, and the best-of-five series opens Friday at Busch Stadium.

As rivalries go, this one is tops. But our money’s on Cardinals fans because when it comes to the proper waving of rally towels they’ve had lots of experience.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis family of Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra gathered Wednesday on the porch of his boyhood home on The Hill to mourn the passing of the 90-year-old baseball legend, who died on Tuesday.

“Last night was very sad. We had time to all talk to each other and to cry to each other and just to love and remember him before this craziness started today,’’ said Mary Frances Brown, Berra’s niece.

The St. Louis Perfectos play in Lafayette Park.
Jazz St. Louis website

The Jazz St. Louis series “Swingin’ for the Fences” is coming to an end with a presentation by Washington University Professor Gerald Early tonight and an old-time baseball game and concert Sunday.

Early’s talk, “Jazz & the Negro Leagues – A Story of Black Urbanization,” is a 6 p.m.  July 30 at Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington Ave. The lecture is free, but tickets  are required (and we fear they may be as scarce as the Cubs in the World Series).

Alex Heuer

Former Major League Baseball catcher Bengie Molina, the eldest brother of baseball players Yadier and José Molina,  joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss his new memoir, “Molina: The Story of a Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty.”

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

With the home opener one week away, Cardinals fans should be prepared for ramped-up security at Busch Stadium and allow extra time to walk through new metal detectors at all gates.

Unlike at the airport, fans won’t have to take off their shoes and belts. But they will have to put their keys, cell phones and metal objects on tables when they pass through the detectors, says Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operations.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

A few years ago, Mike Matheny was coaching a youth baseball team. He wrote what has become known as the Matheny Manifesto, a letter to his team’s parents. “I always said that the only team I would coach would be a team of orphans,” the letter began before asking parents to butt out of coaching.

Wayne Pratt, St. Louis Public Radio

He's won Emmy awards and been enshrined into the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Now he has his very own star.

Former Major League Baseball player Tim McCarver was inducted Monday into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. He was a stalwart on Cardinals teams of the 1960s and was named an All-Star twice.

"I've never had anything, any Walk of Fame, anywhere," McCarver told St. Louis Public Radio. "This is really something."

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

Football season is over. The Cardinals are still in Spring Training. St. Louis has no NBA to entertain us. The Olympics were fun while they lasted, but they took St. Louis Blues hockey away from us (until Wednesday). And we still don’t have a Major League Soccer team here. It's fair to say, the region is in a bit of a professional sports slump right now. And what have we been doing to endure the lull?

(Courtesy of Arthur Schwartz)

When Arthur Schwartz was 10 years old his parents gave him a newspaper clipping – a poem about the 1946 World Series in which the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox.

After hearing our recent program on a new book about the 1946 World Series, Schwartz contacted us about the poem he memorized as kid, 67 years ago. 

File Photo | St. Louis Cardinals

As the Cardinals excel on the field, so too does the city and region around it. Postseason action has almost become a way of life in St. Louis, bringing added excitement, tourism and tax dollars to the region,  10 out of the past 13 years.

And this year is no different, says Mayor Francis Slay. With three World Series games scheduled here, the region will gain an estimated $8 million in direct and indirect revenue per game. The city alone will gain $500,000 in taxes per game.

Remembering The 1946 World Series - The First Time The Cardinals Beat The Red Sox

Oct 23, 2013
(Via Wikimedia Commons)

A lot has changed in the world of baseball since 1946. But a familiar pair of elite teams are once again playing in the Fall Classic.  For the fourth time, the St. Louis Cardinals are facing off against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Previous matchups took place in 1946, 1967 and 2004.

And this year's matchup has some striking similarities to the team's first meeting in 1946. Then, as now, St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in playoffs before facing off against the Red Sox.

(Courtesy: The Publishers, PublicAffairs)

Baseball and St. Louis go together like beer and brats, and the relationship between the city and sport began more than 130 years ago.

Chris Von der Ahe, a German grocer and beer-garden proprietor, risked his life savings in the 1880s, when he founded the franchise that would become today’s St. Louis Cardinals.

As author Edward Achorn describes in his newest book, Von der Ahe knew little about baseball but would become one of the most important and amusing figures in the game’s history.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “We’re not going to give them another goddamn cent. If they want to strike, let ‘em.” Gussie Busch’s outburst in 1972 in response to the possibility of a players’ strike convinced players of a need for a strong union and to take a strike vote. Under the leadership of Marvin Miller, the Major League Baseball Players Association became arguably the most successful labor organization in the past half century. When Miller was hired in 1966 the minimum salary for players was $6,000 and the average salary was $19,000. When he retired in 1981, those figures were $32,500 and $185,651. Today, they are approximately $490,000 and $3.1 million.

As a new season of Major League Baseball begins, one photographer focuses on baseballs past — that is, baseballs that have lain dormant well after their last pitch.

For years, photographer Don Hamerman walked his dog near an old baseball diamond in Stamford, Conn. And in all different seasons, in all kinds of weather, Hamerman picked up old baseballs.

He brought them back to his studio, where they sat around for years until he finally decided to start photographing them in 2005.

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