Friday, January 29, 2010

St. Louis visit - part 4: Busch Stadium tour

On Tuesday we took a tour of Busch Stadium home of the St. Louis Cardinals! First I must confess, I am a Kansas City Royals fan and a Chicago Cubs fan. But I'm also a fan of the game at heart and I appreciate a first rate ballpark and respect the historic ballclub and well run organization they have in St. Louis. If only the Royals could recapture some of that luster. Sigh...

Clayton walking to the gate. Note the fog in the distance. More on that soon.

Inside: our first view of the field.

AF in front of the field. Picture by Clayton.

Our guide pointing out a section.

Plaques featuring the evolution of the Cardinal logos that have graced the uniforms through the decades.

The one on the right above is one of my favorite "Fredbirds". Our guide said it wasn't well received at the time and was soon changed. Now garments featuring this throwback bird are quite popular.

I'm also pretty fond of the one with the cap.

Below are a series of program illustrations that adorned the walls throughout the various rooms inside the stadium. Being an illustrator myself and an enthusiast of vintage illustration, this was perhaps my favorite aspect of the tour.

Love the sense of whimsy in this one.

Terrific graphic quality and vibrancy in this one.

Wouldn't mind some of those in my collection.

Hey look who's featured on the scoreboard! It's the reigning AL Cy Young award winner, Kansas City's own Zack Greinke!

Below are some views from inside the home team's radio broadcast booth.

View from where the broadcasters sit. I'm sure they have monitors and other assists, but it gives me even more appreciation for how accurately they call a game. I often prefer listening to games on the radio. Of course it helps to have your games broadcast by a Hall of Famer like KC's Denny Mathews. And the Cardinals have certainly had their share of broadcast legends like Caray, Buck and Shannon.

On the field.

View looking up into the stands from the warning track.

The mound looked REALLY close standing right behind home plate. How intimidating it must feel to be up there against say Halladay or Greinke. Unless you're Pujols that is.

And me standing behind home. Thanks again to Clayton for taking the photo.

Our guide pointing out another section of the stands.

The dugout.

Two pals in the dugout! Definitely a highlight. Thanks to our guide for suggesting and taking this shot.

Way to the clubhouse. The clubhouse was the only area we weren't allowed to access.

Memorabilia once owned by super Cardinal fan Marty Hendin and donated to the team after his passing.

Mascot Fredbird's "office"!

The ushers' cafeteria.

Great statue outside honoring the great Stan "The Man" Musial.

Ozzy "Mr. Cardinal" in my eyes.

Clayton posing with his favorite player's statue, Lou Brock.

Leaving the stadium after a fun insightful tour on a cold misty winter day. But it was a slice of summer inside. Ah not too long until Spring Training.

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