Thursday, August 21, 2014

At the Old Ball Game: Our Annual Visit to Busch

Two summers ago at a sweltering 97°F day game.
M and I went to our annual home St. Louis Cardinal game last night. It was an exciting game (for Cardinal fans), with an early lead in the third and great pitching by Lance Lynn of the Cardinals. M and I managed to do our whole date for less than $50 including two tickets, parking, two Goosehead IPAs, and Ted Drewes at the original S Grand location after the game.

Our adventure at the ballpark began that morning when we drove out to the stadium at 9AM (after Low Mass at the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales) to get our KMOX First Pitch tickets. You pay $11.20 for a voucher for two tickets and find out 15 minutes before game time if you have seats from anywhere in the infield boxes to standing room.

We left for the 6:15pm game at 5:20pm, parked, and began walking by 5:40pm. After circumventing the stadium, and eying the new Ballpark Village, we were admitted into the stadium, and upon receiving our surprise tickets headed over to our left field bleacher seats. We stopped along the way to purchase our over priced beer. It was my first beer at a ball game. You see, since I turned 21, I have only been to a handful of baseball games, most of them while pregnant. And last year we gawked at the price. This year we decided to go for it. It was an enjoyable experience to sit out in the bleachers, keep score, and sip a beer that was rapidly turning from cool and fresh to warm and warmer. So, in the end it was like drinking beer at a cricket match.

As for the game, it was exciting, thrilling, and we even had a lovely light show given to us by nature, herself. We watched the lightning to the South of the Stadium beginning in the bottom of the fifth, and the roar of the crowd overpowered the thunder in the sky as the Cardinals milked three more runs out of Johnny Cueto of the Reds. Fans checked the radar on their phones, and we knew that the thunderstorm was unavoidable. The cloud crept over the stadium and darkened the sky around us. we stood to sing "Take me Out to the Ballgame" while the thunder rumbled. Then as the Cardinals finished batting, up 5-0, at the bottom of the 7th the grounds crew came running out to roll out the tarp. M and I left our seats behind to find shelter and were safely undercover when the rain came pouring down. Huge, heavy drops drenched the field and fans who did not make it to cover in time. Lightning lit up the sky. It was glorious.

After a half an hour of pouring the rain let up and the crew went out to prep the field for the resuming of play. M and I found some dry seats as the Cards scored two more runs in the 8th, and became slightly anxious when the Reds scored three and had the bases loaded with two outs. Mike Matheny was forced to bring out Trevor Rosenthal. He was able to get the last two outs, but only with the help of the fans who had outlasted the storm clapping and cheering through every pitch.

I then realized that part of the thrill of going to the game is getting caught up in the cheering of the crowd. Everyone is your friend when you are rooting for the home team. We give high fives all around and join in with the cheering. We even did the wave. It is a wonderful feeling to be united as a fan with fellow fans.

After we made it safely back to our car (my poor injured toe managing the whole way), we went over to the original Ted Drewes to have the smoothest, tastiest frozen custard ever. My late grandmother always said the original machines made the best Ted Drewes and she is right.

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