Thursday, April 10, 2008

Opening Day

I don't know what it is about the start of baseball season that gets my spirits up, but some reason it always does. I guess because I grew up in the Midwest it was the first real sign that spring was here and summer would soon follow. Even in South Texas where it rarely gets below 60 degrees it had the same effect. What better way to see real, live baseball than by watching my beloved St. Louis Cardinals. When I first told my sister I was moving to Houston, the first thing that left her mouth was "You better not become an Astros fan." Of course not. Since 1892, the Redbird have been a cornerstone in the National League. The Cardinals are the All-American baseball franchise. The location of St. Louis geographically allows the Cardinals brand to reach out to the vast expanses of the American heartland. Yes, the Yankees and Red Sox are popular, but their true fans remain in the frozen Northeast. The Cardinals Radio Network expands over nine state: Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Tennesee, Illinois, Arkansas, and Oklahoma- that's a huge chunk of real estate. The Cardinals is the kind of team that everyone can become of a fan because of its players. They don't buy championships and not every man on the roster is a celebrity. The players come from all backgrounds and act just like everyday folks (Albert Pujols was seen at a Chuck E. Cheese with his family).

Although Astros fans in general need an education on what real baseball tradition is all about, Opening Day is special regardless of the teams playing and I am grateful to the Houston Astros fan who gave me her extra ticket. I had fun. I enjoyed myself. And even though my team lost that first game, I knew we would come back and win the next two games and capture the series.

Cardinals lead the Cards-Stros Challenge 2-1

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