Saturday, April 2, 2011

Opening Day 2011

Jace and I drove to St. Louis bright and early Thursday morning, to attend the season opener of the St. Louis Cardinals with my dad and my grandfather. It was a great day, a good game, but a disappointing finish, with the Cards losing to the San Diego Padres 5-3 in extra innings. This was year two for me attending opening day, and I was looking foward to the opening ceremonies as much as the game, honestly, and excited to enjoy it with Jace. Dave bowed out of the trip, wanting to use Thursday as an extra day to work towards finishing the master bath project that he started last weekend (pictures to follow, upon completion of the project). I hated for Dave to miss it, but I was glad that my dad and grandpa were able to go with us. Neither of them had ever attended opening day, and it was great to be able to spend the day with them. The game opened with the Anheuser Busch Clydesdales heading around the stadium:

My grandpa really enjoyed seeing all of the Hall of Famers that were honored at the beginning of the game:

After Ozzie, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock (and this year I knew that the crowd was NOT booing him, but rather chanting "Louuu, Louuu"!) and the others were announced and recognized, it was time for Stan Musial to be honored, which was one of my favorite surprises from my first opening game last year. Stan was chaffeured into the stadium on a golf cart, wearing the red jacket and waving at the crowd, with majestic music playing in the background. I turned to say something to my grandpa, and I could tell he was a little choked up by the whole ceremony, and all of the St. Louis baseball history. That was definitely one of my favorite things both last year and this year, to see a legend like Stan the Man, and hear the stats on his amazing career. He turned 90 years old last year, and is one of those legends that is such a part of baseball history in general.

The national anthem was played as the finale of the opening ceremonies, and again this year an eagle flew around in the stadium, gracefully swooping and diving. I managed to get a picture, but it was hard to really focus and get a good shot in mid-flight:

And then the game started. It was fun to sit by my grandpa and hear his running commentary on the plays and players, he has followed several of them before they came to the Cards, and just knew a lot of stuff in general. Not so much with me, although here are a few highlights: Pujols didn't do a darn thing, which was disappointing; we had a lot of hits and very few runs, which isn't a good thing; someone (?) was at second and left the base, and the Padres pitcher threw the ball and tagged him out - bad call on his part; the Cards lost the game with some pretty ugly errors, and we brought Franklin in to close, and he didn't do well. We left in the bottom of the seventh, since I had to drive back to Springfield that night, but listened to the remainder of the game (11 innings) on the radio. It was disappointing that they lost their first game, but despite the loss it was still a great time for all of us.

I'm back at my folks tonight, trying to finish this post and catching up with them before heading to St. Louis in the morning for a work meeting. Then I'm heading back home and finishing up packing for Honduras later this week!

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