Baseball Summer 2013

This was another busy summer of baseball games! I can honestly say that we watched baseball in pretty much all kinds of weather, from many different vantage points, and in way more ballparks than I would have imagined at the beginning of the season. The Cards won six of the nine games we saw them play, which is a pretty good percentage for us, and the children enjoyed seeing Fredbird bring the Cardinals flag out at the end of the game so many times!

The first game we went to was “Stan Musial Harmonica Night” in April. We had to wear winter jackets to the game, which was definitely a new experience! The game was filled with wonderful, loving, tributes to Stan, and it was an honor to be there.

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Busch Stadium, Left Field Pavilion–Section 371

In May, to celebrate Moose’s first week of summer vacation, we traveled across the state to see the Cards play the Royals in Kansas City during the I-70 series. Our very first baseball road trip…how fun!

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Kauffman Stadium, Hyvee Infield–Section 411, Row GG

Turkey played in his fourth season of parks and rec baseball this summer, and he got to play on two different fields. One of them had a scoreboard and lights, which was very cool.

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The other was at Moose’s school, which was also very nice, even though it doesn’t have lights.

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In June, Ryan and I went with a friend to Beer Stein Night, which was also the game that brought Lance Berkman to town. Sadly, we didn’t get to see him play, but we did see him being his normally awesome self, and signing autographs for people.

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Busch Stadium, Infield Terrace–Section 450, Row 9

We went back to the see the Gateway Grizzlies play again this year, as part of Honor Roll Night for Moose’s school. You definitely don’t go to see good baseball, but it’s still a lot of fun! We spent a good portion of this game getting drizzled on, and it was surprisingly chilly.

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GCS Ballpark–Section 121, Row J

At the end of July, we sat on the Coca-Cola rooftop deck (an all-inclusive area), for the first time. We enjoyed the buffet, and the extra space for walking around with Chickadee!

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Busch Stadium, Coca-Cola Deck–Section CCD, Row C

At the beginning of August, Bunny and I had tickets to the Champions Club (another all-inclusive area), for Star Wars night, the first of two theme ticket events I attended, which was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime baseball experience!

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Busch Stadium, UMB Champions Club–Section CH6, Row C

A little later in August, we drove out to Springfield, MO, to see the Cardinals Double-A team, the Springfield Cardinals, also known as the “Baby Birds,” play. Two baseball road trips in one summer!

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Hammons Field, Diamond Box–Section I, Row 9

The one game we try to go to every year is Build a Bear day. This year, they were giving away a stuffed Fredbird, as part of Fredbird’s birthday bash, so of course we had to be there!

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Busch Stadium, Right Field Pavilion–Section 328, Row 5

On September 10, I kicked off “baseball week” in our house when I went to the Cardinals Social Media Night by myself. My ticket was on the Left Field Porch, which was a new place for me. This was one of the hottest days of the summer, but I still managed to have a good time. This was only the first of three games we went to that week, though!

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Busch Stadium, Left Field Porch–Section LP3, Row 4

The following day, we all went back to Busch Stadium to see the Cards win again. For the last few summers, we’ve gotten seats in the Redbird Club with Ryan’s parents. Every year, I look forward to getting a cupcake while I’m there…yum!

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Busch Stadium, Infield Redbird Club–Section 244, Row 1

We thought we were done with baseball for the year after the Redbird Club game, and then Moose’s school sent home a letter about an opportunity to buy tickets for a school fundraiser night. It’s the first time they’ve ever convinced us to participate in a fundraiser (other than buying Moose a new t-shirt every other year), but it was the Cardinals, so how could we say no?!? We even got to enjoy field level seats at this game, which is a rare treat for us! We also saw one of the strangest endings to a game ever…a walk-off victory on a passed ball!

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Busch Stadium, Right Field Box–Section 130, Row 23

It seems like we have big “baseball summers” every other year, so I’m assuming next year will be lighter in the games attended department. We are hoping to make it to Memphis to see the Redbirds play, and I’m personally hoping to sit in the bleachers at Busch Stadium (the one area we’ve never been in, other than the elusive “green seats”), but other than that, I don’t have a lot in the way of expectations for next year. We’ll just have to see what the schedule (and ticket prices!), holds for us!

Baseball Summer

2011 was the “Summer of Baseball” in the Markel household. Never in my life have I been to so many Major League Baseball games in one summer, not to mention all of Turkey’s games, and the one Gateway Grizzlies game we went to. To chronicle this “Baseball Summer,” here are pictures with views from all of the different seats we had!

The first game we went to was “Kids Opening Day” on Saturday, April 2, which occurred two days after actual Opening Day. The seats were just OK, but the tickets were cheap, and each of the children received a Matt Holliday baseball bat, and a voucher for a free ticket to a future game. Too bad the Cardinals lost.

Busch Stadium, Left Field Pavilion–Section 368, Row 6

Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday, May 7, was our second game of the year. Other than the Commissioner’s Box, these were my favorite seats we had. They were directly to the left of the press box, so naturally, the view was amazing, and even though we were up pretty high, it didn’t feel like it. (The only thing that would have made the game more enjoyable would have been the Cardinals actually beating the Brewers.) It was also free hat day for the adults–I ended up stealing Ryan’s hat because I liked it better than the women’s version!

Busch Stadium, Infield Terrace–Section 453, Row 1

The year’s third game was “Social Media Night” on Tuesday, May 17. This was our “Anniversary Eve” celebration, and one of two games that Ryan and I went to sans children, but we really went because I wanted to get the free “Tweet Me in St. Louis” t-shirts that were part of our tickets. The seats were pretty close to the field, but way out in left field…not a section I had been in before. It was kind of a┬ástrange place to watch a game from, because it felt like the seats were oriented the wrong direction, but the game itself was amazing–very exciting, and the Cardinals won right at the end!

Busch Stadium, Lower Left Field Box–Section 169, Row 16

Although it wasn’t a game, going on a Busch Stadium tour with Ryan the following afternoon also counts as part of “Baseball Summer.” We got to go in some exclusive areas of the ballpark, including the Cardinals dugout, the press box, and the Cardinals Club. We even saw some of the Astros players as they were on their way to the visitors’ clubhouse, (they were very polite), and some Cardinals warming up, jogging around the warning track.

The field, as seen from Mike Shannon’s point-of-view in the press box!

The most amazing seats of the season were in the Commissioner’s Box for our tenth wedding anniversary on Wednesday, May 18. An incredible experience, with a great view of the field, (and the Cards dugout). And the Redbirds were kind enough to win the game for us!

Busch Stadium, Commissioner’s Box–Row C

We went to our first Gateway Grizzlies game for “Honor Roll Night,” on Monday, June 13, to celebrate Moose’s achievements in school, (we were supposed to go back for a second game later in the season, but it was unbearably hot…maybe next year!). The ballpark is so small, I’m pretty sure there are no bad seats, and the ones we were in were certainly no exception. We had a great view of all of the action, from the game itself, to the between-inning antics on the field. The Grizzlies lost, but we didn’t really care since we’re not big Frontier League fans…it was just fun!

GCS Ballpark, Field Reserve Box Seats–Section 119, Row…6, maybe?

Here’s the view from the Upper Field at the park where Turkey played all of his games this summer, (and last year’s T-Ball games, as well). Technically, there were no seats, but this is what it looked like from where we stood and watched half of his games in June and July.

The other half of Turkey’s ball games were played on the Lower Field of the park. I like this field better, if only because it’s situated on more level terrain…the outfield of the Upper Field is completely inexplicable! Even though they don’t technically keep score, I’m happy to report that Turkey’s team had a winning season!

The Wednesday, June 22, Cardinals game was part of Marine Week in St. Louis. Going to this game was a complete spur-of-the-moment decision, and I’m so glad we went! We got to hear the Marine Band play, and saw them present the colors. There was also a Harrier jet flyover and a flag line on the field. We had good seats for this game, and really got to appreciate the shadows on the field as the evening went on! It’s a good thing there was so much to see at the ballpark, though, because it was another loss for the Redbirds!

Busch Stadium, Infield Terrace–Section 447, Row 6

We also had the chance to get seats on Thursday, July 28, in the Redbird Club at Busch Stadium. This was another really fun experience, (and the baby’s first ballgame, albeit in utero!), although the day we were there was so hot, it was hard to enjoy the game. (That, and Lance Berkman was injured and didn’t play.) I don’t think that any of us really even cared that the Cards dropped the game to the Astros because we were so worn out from the heat! I’d love to go back someday when the weather is a little more cooperative, so I can really enjoy it.

Busch Stadium, Infield Redbird Club–Section 244, Row 1

Another first was seeing a game from a party suite at the stadium on Tuesday, August 9, with Ryan’s co-workers. I spent most of the game inside the suite, although there was also outdoor seating. Either way, the view was great, even if the Cards did lose.

Busch Stadium, Party Suite–Section 308

The last game we went to this year was on Sunday, August 14. It was a nice way to bookend our “Baseball Summer”–there was another giveaway for the children, this time “Stan the Man” Build-A-Bears, which have proven to be very popular around here still. We had, unfortunately, what I considered to be the worst seats of the season–we were literally in the last row of seats on the uppermost deck in the outfield. It was still a fun time, though, and the Cards managed to win that one.

Busch Stadium, Right Field Terrace–Section 432, Row 11

So, that was our “Baseball Summer.” We only saw three Cardinal wins, compared to five losses, but we still had a great time! We attended games on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, but no Monday or Friday games for some reason, (baseball always involves statistics, right?). We sat everywhere from practically the front row, (the Commissioner’s Box), to literally the last row. We had tickets to exclusive areas of the Stadium, as well as tickets for the cheap seats. We sat behind home plate, along the first base line, and in the outfield.

I doubt we’ll get to go to so many games in one summer again–things just really worked out perfectly this year. It was great to share baseball with the children this way, and create some great family memories. I’m thankful that baseball here in St. Louis is still fairly affordable for families, (many of the tickets we got were only $5 each, and you can bring food and beverages into the ballpark), so that we could see so many games from so many different areas of the ballpark this year!