Written by Guest Writer Brittany Murphy (@divabriee)
For most people growing up in St. Louis, opening day is more than a tradition, it’s a right of passage. It’s embedded in our bones. The one thing that connects us all. Whether you’re spending opening day at Busch Stadium with your family, skipping work to tailgate in the parking lot, watching with friends in a bar or at home, or listening to the home opener on KMOX 1120, it’s a tradition that virtually no St. Louisan misses.
It’s not just local that tune in.
For many, the St. Louis Cardinals home opener is written on a bucket list, a must do for a baseball fan. What makes our home opener so special. Many fans rave about the Budweiser Clydesdales that take the field, the famed Cardinals Hall Of Famers riding in with their red jackets, and the beautiful view of the Arch. The rich history of baseball in the “Gateway to the West,” dates back to the golden age of radio. When you turned on sports radio, it was the Cardinals you could hear throughout many states in the U.S.A.
The signal was the strongest at the time.
I know this from spending time talking to many historical Cardinals fans. You meet someone at Busch, they will run down every bit of the Cardinals history. They’ll proudly tell you how our St. Louis Cardinals were the first team to receive that shiny Commissioner’s Trophy, in 1967 when they defeated the Boston Red Sox. They’ll tell you everything you’d want to know about “Whiteyball” and give you classic play by plays from the days of Bob Gibson and Lou Brock.
The Cardinals have always reached so many who live different walks of life. Sportsman Park, the original stadium in which the Cardinals played (renamed Busch Stadium in 1953), was located right in the inner city on N. Grand. The Cardinals didn’t move downtown until 1966. The coliseum style stadium known as Busch II was where I have my fondest memories.
Although I was young, I will never forget watching Ozzie Smith’s opening day flip, hearing yelling “That’s a winner”, seeing the fireworks, and watching a beautiful sea of red fill downtown St. Louis. The entire Cardinals roster in the 80’s and early 90’s we’re like track stars. I watched in excitement with my Dad who loved to teach me the ins and outs of baseball. We never missed an opening day. Oftentimes we’d tailgate in the parking lots surrounding Busch Stadium, eating Ted Drewes on the top of the car, blasting KMOX 1120.
The other Cardinals fans were always kind, it’s the Cardinal way.
We are a baseball town, and baseball is one thing that connects us all. When you go to the Busch Stadium, you won’t hear much heckling. Opening week here is a tradition like no other. We pack the city ready to watch the boys of summer take the diamond. You’ll see many red wigs, faces painted, stickers, and lots of fans who are ready to share their favorite memories. So share your favorite home opener memories with Dugout Dish. We all can enjoy our home opener at home.
Brittany Murphy was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She is a poet, screenwriter, actress, songwriter, motivation speaker and published author. Follow her on Twitter @divabriee.
Follow along on Twitter for all things baseball related @dugoutdish.
Photo Credit: Bill Greenblatt, St. Louis Cardinals, LLC.