April 28th, 2012
I was a little rushed Saturday morning. The game was at 12:05, I didn’t get up until after nine, and I still had to finish up my blog post for Friday’s game. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I have to drive back from a road series. My goal is to get every post up before the next game, because things are more fresh in my memory, and it’s less likely that I’ll get things mixed up as to which game was which.
I didn’t know this when I decided to stay with my aunt and uncle, but they don’t have wifi. I was a little thrown off by the curveball, but I managed. Since I paid the extra money up front for the Verizon iPad (as opposed to just the one with wifi), I was able to get one gigabyte of data for $20. It’s for a month, but there are no contracts, so I’ll likely just cancel before the next period, because most everywhere I go will have wireless internet.
Victoria and I left for the game at 10:40 and made the 30 minute drive to Busch Stadium. We found $5 parking on Friday (which is the cheapest you’ll find), and went with the same place today. When we were coming down I-70, and just getting to the city, we got a great view of the arch.
It’s a short ten minute walk to the stadium from where we parked, and we made it inside by 11:25. Before heading upstairs, I snapped a picture of the home plate entrance from the inside. I love Miller Park, but open air stadiums are hard to beat. I will never be mad that Miller Park has a roof, because I’m most interested in the games, and a guaranteed game rules supreme. You can see stadium staff handing out a promotional item below, which was a World Series Champions Hat, ugh. Tomorrow is a miniature World Series Trophy. I’m planning on selling them all to Cardinals fans when I’m there tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes. I tried selling the hat to a few people today, and they all just wanted it for free. The fact that I won’t wear it no matter what doesn’t give me much bargaining power.
We took the stairs behind home plate all the way to the upper deck, where we sat for today’s game. In the stairwell they have the different Cardinals logos going back to the ’30s. They really haven’t changed much, but I took a picture of each one because I thought it was cool to see the (slight) variations. They don’t need descriptions, and I’m sure you can figure it out. I’m not sure what happened between ’32 and ’37, or why the ’49-’65 one doesn’t have ’51-’55 removed, but it’s still cool to see how the artwork has changed.
We were sitting in section 449 for the game (and paid $56 a ticket after fees!), but I had the game number picture taken from 450, because that one is directly behind home plate. It’s crazy to think that the season is 13% over! The cloud cover kind of washed out the sky, but it’ll have to do.
I’m not sure if they have the arch design in the grass for every game, but I’ve been to Busch stadium five times, and I think it’s been like that for all of them. I must admit that Busch Stadium provides for a real nice ballpark experience. We had some time to kill before the game started, and I took some pictures to pass the time. The four part picture below, going clockwise from top left:
1) Interstate 64 in the background, and the Busch Stadium sign in the upper right hand corner. I took it just to show how close the interstate comes to the stadium.
2) A close up of the two scoreboards that the Cardinals use. The stadium was just built in 2006, but things get outdated quickly. Their replay board (left) isn’t very impressive, and I can see the Cardinals replacing it with a much larger hi-def board like the Brewers installed at Miller Park prior to the 2011 season.
3) You can see their banners in the 2nd photo, but I took a close up of the flags that represent the World Series that they’ve won. If we can get just one at Miller Park before I’m gone, I will be happy. I know nothing is guaranteed, and when you’ve got teams like the Yankees at Red Sox with bottomless pockets, it does seem unlikely. In saying that, Attanasio has done a tremendous job in his first seven years, and I’m looking forward to being a Brewers fan until the day I expire.
4) The Cardinals scoreboard from the 2nd iteration of Busch Stadium, which stood from 1966-2005. The first Busch Stadium was more commonly referred to as Sportsman’s Park, because that was it’s name for most of its existence.
The game was more entertaining today than it was yesterday, not falling behind 10-1 after three innings definitely helps. The Cards had a 2-0 lead after three innings, but after solo runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings, the Brewers tied it up at three all heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Cardinals scored two in the sixth and two in the eighth, and that was that. Final Score: Cardinals 7 – Brewers 3. The last three games the Brewers have been outscored by a total of 18 runs (27-9). They won’t be winning too many games if they give up an average of nine a game. Greinke is on the mound tomorrow, so I’m hoping he can right the ship. That is, of course, *IF* there is a game tomorrow. Right now the forecast has between a 40 and 60% chance of rain predicted between 9 am and 8 pm. I might be in for a long day at the park tomorrow. We picked up ponchos on Friday, so at least I should be able to stay dry.
I will leave you with this picture from my seat in the upper deck. It’s of Rickie Weeks, just after making contact, he wound up beating the throw for an infield single. It was all for naught, however, as Gomez followed him with an inning ending double play.
Friday started off with a trip to the Gateway Arch, or more technically speaking, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. As I said in my post from yesterday, Victoria’s mom and her friend were stopping in St. Louis on their way back to Wisconsin. I had been up in the Arch years ago, and I don’t really remember any of it. There is a lot of waiting involved, that’s for sure. We got there around 11:30, and we didn’t get to take the four minute ride to the top until 1:30.
There is a lot to look at, and I kept myself occupied. The Museum of Westward Expansion was interesting, which included an exhibit detailing the Lewis and Clark expedition. I learned that William Clark was a robot!
I asked one of the Park Rangers (since it’s a National Park), and she said they had been doing repairs, and hadn’t put his clothes back on yet. Victoria tried convincing me that he was “naked” because they wanted to show people what was under the clothes, as there are a few other animatronic people for other exhibits. The Lewis and Clark exhibit walked you through their journey. There was excerpts of their journals alongside pictures of the types of things they would have seen on their journey. Going clockwise from top left, the four pictures below are:
1) A map that details the route they took to the Pacific Ocean, which began in St. Louis (obviously).
2) The instructions they received from President Jefferson in 1803.
3) They had these excerpts next to the murals, and I’m pretty sure they are the actual words that Meriwether Lewis had written in his journal. They didn’t correct the spelling or grammar, and I’m glad they didn’t. I think it adds to the authenticity, and makes you appreciate your education. I like this one because of the last sentence regarding him and bears.
4) Getting to the Pacific Ocean was the goal of the expedition, and [Spoiler Alert!] they made it. I thought this was a funny picture because of the wet floor sign. It was a really beautiful photograph, and it was extremely realistic. Who knows, maybe water splashes out of it from time to time, either that or some of the staff wanted to give people like me something to chuckle about.
There was also an American Indian Peace Medal exhibit, which was cool, and sad at the same time. I love America just as much as the next guy, but how we went about getting all of the land was a little unfortunate. The three parter below is as follows, starting from the top left and going clockwise:
1) The wall of the exhibit, complete with pictures of American Indians wearing the peace medals.
2) The first presidential peace medal (picturing George Washington, and a Native American). The custom of giving out peace medals was adopted from England. The earlier ones, like this one, were all hand engraved, so each one is unique.
3) The peace medal while Lincoln was president. As you can see, using a press creates much more legible and consistent medals.
Our ticket was for the 12:55 trip to the top, but that just meant you had the honor of waiting in line for another 30 minutes. We finally got to board the tram, I definitely forgot how small they were. With five adults in one capsule, it gets a little crowded. Luckily it’s only four minutes up and three minutes down. The observation windows at the top are a little small, and make it a difficult to get a good view/picture. I guess it makes sense though, as you can’t make them large enough for people to fit out. If they were large enough, people would find a way to open/break them, and possibly plummet to their death (either purposefully or not).
Getting right up to the window gets you a much better view of the city. I must admit it’s pretty cool. With a decent pair of binoculars I could probably enjoy a game from up there.
After taking the tram down, we wanted lunch, but before we left I had Victoria take a picture of me showing off my incredible strength. Don’t ask me how I do it, practice and good form are a good start though.
Victoria and her mom had both been to a nearby Oyster Bar, and suggested we go there for lunch. The place doesn’t wow you from the outside, but it makes up for it with the food. The four parter below is as follows, from top left going clockwise:
1) The exterior of the building.
2) The stage where bands play. Victoria told me that in high school she went down to St. Louis for show choir, and parents went with. The bus driver went to the Oyster Bar, and so did Victoria’s mom, as well as another student’s mom. Apparently the two moms wound up on stage with the band (after maybe too much to drink). The bus driver informed the kids as they got back on the bus, which of course was rather embarrassing.
3) An “encouraging” sign. Notice the writing on the railing in the lower left
4) My lunch; fried shrimp Po’ Boys and spicy cole slaw. Victoria got the Jambalaya, and I wasn’t too impressed.
After lunch Victoria and I took a quick walk up to Busch Stadium to get the game number photo out of the way, since we weren’t sure about the weather.
We still had plenty of time before the game, so we decided to go on the Budweiser Tour. Victoria had been on it back in 2010 when she was driving the Wienermobile, but was fine with going again. The tour was free, and we saw/learned some pretty cool stuff.
The six part picture below shows some of the stuff we saw. Again, starting top left and going clockwise you have.
1) Bruuuuuuuuce! One of the Clydesdales that they have on site.
2) Victoria and myself (I’m on the left), in front of the Budweiser wagon. I wanted to climb up and sit in the coach seat, but that probably would’ve been frowned upon.
3) The lager tanks, our tour guide said they have 375 on site. Combined, they can hold 20 million gallons.
4) The Brew House, with a born on date of 1892.
5) Two eagles perched outside the Brew House.
6) The bottling plant, the tour guide said the plant, operating at full capacity, can bottle 16.5 million 12 ounce servings in a 24 hour period.
As for the game itself; the good news was that the Brewers held a 1-0 lead after the first inning. The bad news is that they gave up ten runs over the next two innings, and lost 13-1. It wasn’t pretty, and today’s game cannot start soon enough, for more than one reason. I’d like to get the shellacking out of my memory as soon as possible, and because there’s rain in the forecast starting at 4pm. The game starts at noon, so hopefully there aren’t any issues. Sunday is looking worse, with a 60% chance of rain.