I made my first trip to St. Louis for Cardinal baseball on May 3, 1969.  It was a Saturday afternoon game with the Philadelphia Phillies.   As you would expect from an 8 year old Cardinal fan, I didn’t sleep much the night before after being told of the trip the night before at supper.

I was relieved to hear on the way to the ballpark that Phillies slugger Richie Allen wouldn’t be playing because he was in some sort of trouble with the Phillies. I was also hoping the Cardinals would start playing better. I became aware of baseball and the Cardinals at some time during the summer of 1967 and was a faithful listener to Harry Caray and Jack Buck during the summer of ’68.  A 10-13 record wasn’t what I was used to as May of 1969 started.

Our seats were in Section 230—up under the overhang along the first base line. You could see the radio booth where Harry and Jack were working.

Steve Carlton started for the Cardinals. Rick Wise got the start for the Phillies. I remember that the game started well. A check of the box score and play by play at www.Retrosheet.org shows that Carlton got the Phillies in order in the top of the first. I did not need to consult  Retrosheet to remember that Lou Brock led off the bottom of the first with a single and a stolen base. Classic Brock.  Defense was a problem for the Cardinals that day Errors by Brock and Julian Javier led to two Phillies runs and a 4-1 loss for the Cards.

Since then, I’ve seen just over 100 over a hundred games at Busch Stadium II and a few dozen at the current Busch Stadium. There have also been visits Royals/Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, The Big A in Anaheim, Fenway Park, Tiger Stadium, Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Wrigley Field, Camden Yards, Comiskey Park, US. Cellular Field, Skydome, Mile High Stadium and Coors Field.

Over the last 44 years, I’ve seen remarkable, unforgettable things like…
--Lou Brock  stealing bases..
--Curt Flood, Bake McBride, Willie McGee and Jim Edmonds running down fly balls in center field…
-- Vince Coleman and the 80’s Cardinals running wild…
-- John Tudor bedeviling hitters with pitches that looked ridiculously easy to hit from the stands…
--Bob Gibson absolutely blowing away the Phillies one July night in 1970..
--Game 7 of the 1982 World Series with former Quincy Cub Bruce Sutter striking out Gorman Thomas to end it. I was in the aisle in front of section 252 when that happened.
--Mark McGwire bombing home runs into the farthest reaches of Municipal Stadium in 1987…
--Back to back to back homers by Johnny Grubb, Matt Nokes and Bill Madlock off Tom Niedenfuer (!) to allow the Tigers to tie a game with Baltimore at Tiger Stadium in 1987. Kirk Gibson followed Madlock’s shot with a line drive that nearly turned the right fielder over. ..
-McGwire hitting baseballs into ridiculous, impossible places in Busch Stadium. .
--Mark Buehrle’s perfect game for the Chicago White Sox…
--Albert Pujols time with the Cardinals…
--The last Quincy Cub (Dennis Lamp) getting the best Quincy Rivermen (Kirby Puckett) to hit into a double play…