One Nation

I spent a good chunk of yesterday at Busch Stadium, taking in the “One Nation Classic.” It was billed as the Closing Ceremonies for the Winter Classic, which was held at Busch on January second.

The One Nation Classic had several parts. When I got there, people were skating on the ice on the field. This was actually a surprise to me, as I had not heard about that part. I don’t know if it was available to anyone who had a ticket, or if you had to pay extra or know someone to get to participate, but it was fun watching people skate on Busch’s ice!

After the free skate was over, there were three events that I did know about. First, a skills competition between “Team Steen” and “Team Pietrangelo.” This was a lot of fun to watch…at times it was silly, and at other moments, you really got to see how talented the players are. It included events such as a 3-on-3 competition, a hilarious relay race, and a hardest shot competition. In the end, “Team Pietrangelo” won by a score of 14-11.

Next up was St. Louis’ Greatest Pick-Up Hockey Game. This featured “Team Stillman” (of the Blues) vs. “Team Dewitt” (of the Cardinals), and included former players from both teams such as Peter Stastny and Jim Edmonds, and other personalities. Fredbird and Louie even made an appearance…have you ever seen a giant cardinal on skates? It was fun to see the fur and feathers fly, especially when they both ended up in the penalty box! Like the skills competition, the players wore a prototype jersey that was designed in 1966, but never actually worn by the players…it was so cool! I think my favorite part was the very first goal, which was scored by Bill Dewitt against Darren Pang in goal. In the end, though, Team Stillman prevailed, and won by a score of 5-4.

The final event was a first responders game between local police officers and local firefighters. I’m not going to lie…I was so cold at that point, that I left almost immediately after puck-drop. But it was cool to see how many participants there were…both teams even had their own jerseys! I will say that I think the police team had an unfair advantage, as their lineup included not only officers, but members of the DOD and the NGA!

I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed Winter Classic activities…Ryan got to go to both the Alumni Game, and the Winter Classic itself. He got the best view, because by the time I got to Busch, they had removed the guitar from the field, and the banners from outside the stadium. Fortunately, he got some good pictures for me, allowing me to live vicariously:

It was definitely a cold day at Busch, but I’m so glad I got to go and see the ice for myself. Who knows if and when the Winter Classic will come back to St. Louis? I hope it does someday, but for now, I have some great memories of seeing Busch Stadium in a whole new light!

My First-Ever Hockey Game

On Thursday, Ryan took me to my first ever hockey game!  Of course, we went to see the Blues play at the Scottrade Center. We had time to walk around the arena for a bit and see the sights, including the team store and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame:

We had what I thought were good seats in the upper bowl (they were even padded!):


We also got to see the pre-game skate:


And had plenty of time to take in the sights of the arena itself:

We saw the St. Louis Blues play the Calgary Flames (which meant we got to hear the Canadian National Anthem sung, as well…beautiful!).



It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. I’ve been in ice rinks before, but never with a crowd, so I guess that helped warm the place up. Even though there were some people wearing coats, gloves, hats, and scarves, I was perfectly comfortable without any outerwear.

Hockey is a very different experience from going to a baseball game! The crowd was a bit…feisty. At one point, the started chanting “Ref you suck!” which I wasn’t a big fan of. The people sitting directly around us, however, were very friendly (and funny!), and made the game experience a whole lot of fun. One of those people, by the way, was the Towel Man…I can’t figure out why the seats next to him aren’t held by season ticket owners, but I very glad we got to sit next to him! And, he gave me an actual Towel Man towel at the end of the game! That really made it the perfect first hockey game!


We saw Towel Man do his thing three times…pretty exciting!


We also got to see two fights, which I guess is a good thing? I’m pretty sure we won this one!


In some ways, it was easier to understand the game, seeing it all happen in front of me, and in some ways, it was more difficult (I was completely unaware of line changes before Thursday!). I asked Ryan a lot of (stupid) questions, and I think I might understand things a little bit better now.


I do love their mascot–a blue polar bear named Louie. He’s cute!



And I also love zambonis.  It’s interesting to watch two of them resurface the ice together…it’s kind of like a dance!


Did I mention that the Blues won?


It was a very fun evening…I can’t wait to go back someday!

Baby Birds

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might be thinking that we’ve had new visitors in the nest in our tree. On the other hand, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you also know how much we love baseball! That’s the kind of baby birds I’m talking about today!


On my summer to-do list was taking in a minor league baseball game. Not just a Grizzlies game, but one of the Cardinals affiliates. Our choices were the Triple-A team, the Memphis Redbirds, or the Double-A team, the Springfield Cardinals. Springfield is a considerably shorter drive, so yesterday, we took a road-trip out to Hammons Field to see the baby birds play!



It was a nice, albeit small, ballpark. Since we were at a minor league game, we got to sit a lot closer to the field than we usually do!


The ushers were very helpful in pointing us to our seats, and they were also easy to find, given their Hawaiian print shirts!


One of my favorite things about visiting a new park is seeing who the sponsors are, what kind of shops they have, and what kind of food they serve.

There were some things, though, that were very familiar (including seeing Shane Robinson, who was on a rehab assignment, and Chickadee being mad at me for putting her down so I could get a picture of her with her siblings)!

I also love seeing the mascots. In Springfield, they have Louie (a cardinal, who looks kind of like Fredbird-lite), and Fetch, Louie’s canine friend.

They were giving away Shelby Miller bobbleheads (who was a Springfield Cardinal quite recently), and the children were very excited, because there was no age limit on the giveaway, so they each got one!



We saw a home run (and heard the home run siren!):


And we watched the between inning antics, including my favorite of the night, musical chairs, where, if there was a tie involving a lady, the lady always won!


We also saw evidence of the Springfield Cardinals 2012 Texas League championship:



It was definitely another fun day at the ballpark…maybe next summer, we’ll make it to Memphis to see the Redbirds!