By Abby Holman, Editorial Assistant
To celebrate 250 years of St. Louis, each member of the Missouri Life team has written about one of their favorite St. Louis memories.
The baseball diamond holds a special place in my heart. But when my dad was around, there was usually only one team on the diamond he wanted to watch: the Cardinals.
As a sixth grader, all I ever wanted to do was get out of school. I needed a few breaks now and then, so when my dad came home with Cardinals tickets for a mid-October game, I had no objections, though my mom and my perfect school attendance record might have. I wasn’t aware of that at the time, but the game would be the last regular season match in Old Busch Stadium.
Looking back on the day, I don’t remember much. When we arrived, half of the new stadium stood ready to take over when the season ended. My dad and I took pictures with the construction behind us; bought a hat, shirt, and our traditional pennant as mementos for the last game; and eventually found our seats. The rest of the day was surely filled with brats and peanuts. The Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds, and the crowd knew they were witnessing history.
When baseball season rolled around the next spring, the familiar “Crown of Arches” architecture of the old stadium was replaced by a scenic view of downtown St. Louis. I figured that I would eventually make it to the park with my dad and our usual baseball companions in tow, but the entire inaugural season was sold out. However, my dad always finds a way.
The night before the opening game, he proudly walked into the kitchen and announced that I would not be going to school tomorrow; he had tickets to the game.
This game I remember. The Cardinals played the Milwaukee Brewers. Albert Pujols hit a home run. David Eckstein wore his high red socks at shortstop. The best fans in baseball broke-in the new stadium with gusto. The familiar smells of hot dogs and beer wafted throughout the park. It was just like it used to be. My dad even found his favorite, old bratwurst cart.
My best memories of St. Louis are contained in the walls of both the new and old Busch Stadiums. I could be fond of those times for a few reasons. It could be that I got to skip school. It could be the history that I watched from those red seats. It could be the exciting atmosphere. But those walls are reminders of the days that I spent time with the people I care about in one of my favorite places, and little else can ever compare.
Read more of our St. Louis memories here. Please share your memories with us on Facebook, in our comments sections, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our February 2014 issue for a massive story on St. Louis's 250 years, featuring FEAST Magazine Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville, radio personality Charlie Brennan, and more.