Saturday, July 08, 2006

Road Trip to the new St. Louis Cardinals Stadium

The week of June 26th, my dad and I went on a road trip to St. Louis to see a Cardinals game and made two stops to see minor league games. In this week’s blog, I’ll describe and analyze the stadiums we visited.

Tulsa:
On the way to St. Louis, we stopped at Tulsa to see the RoughRiders play the Tulsa Drillers at Driller Stadium

Here are my thoughts on Driller Stadium:
Bad – The stadium was very plain and boring.
Bad – The stadium was made of all metal.
Bad – The metal made lots of noise as people walked up and down the aisles.
Bad – There were not many good choices for food.
Bad – The Drillers had no gift shop. They only had a gift stand.
Bad – About half of seats that they have are bleachers.
Good – The stadium has a Wall of Fame behind home plate that includes eight different famous Drillers (players, owners, and coaches) including Pudge, Juan and Sosa.
Interesting – The parking lot was inside an old horseracing track next to the ballpark.

Here is a description of the RoughRiders game in Tulsa that we saw:
– The RoughRiders won 10-4.
– Steve Rowe started for the RoughRiders, giving up 3 earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched with 3 strikeouts.
– Jesse Carlson had great movement and pitched very well, going 1.2 innings with two strikeouts and no runs allowed for the hold.
- Kevin Richardson, Adam Morrissey, Jim Fasano, and Luke Grayson homered for the RoughRiders.
- Adam Morrissey (2 for 5 with 2 RBI) and Luke Grayson (1 for 3 with 3 RBI and a walk) both had great games.


St. Louis:
We saw the Cardinals play the Indians at the new Busch Stadium. We saw the game from a party room suite.

Here are my thoughts on the new Busch Stadium:
Good – The sidewalk outside the ballpark has bricks describing big moments in Cardinals history.
Good – The Cardinals sell individual tickets to suites, called Party Rooms. They are very nice and they come with food and beverages but they cost $90 apiece, which is way too high.
Good – On the outside concourse, they hung the scoreboards from old Busch Stadium, still showing the scores from the last game at that stadium.
Good – The Cardinals have cushioned seats for the more expensive tickets.
Good – The displayed their retired numbers in two different places.
Good – They displayed their World Series and National League pennants on top of the home team and visiting team dugouts.
Good – The Cardinals had nicer bathrooms than most ballparks.
Good – They displayed some old Cardinals logos (from older jerseys) around the stadium.
Good – The Jumbotron was pretty cool.
Good – Above the bullpen, they show the pitcher’s stats for the game and for the season at all times.
Bad – When you’re on the concourse, you can’t see the game.
Bad – The out of town scoreboard doesn’t show inning-by-inning scores.
Bad – The Cardinals hadn’t finished moving the statues over to their new ballpark. They moved Stan Musial but not any of the others.
Bad – The gift shops were lame. They hadn’t finished building their main team store.
Bad – The Cardinals made it extremely hard to get autographs. They won’t let you into the lower-level seating area before the game unless that’s where your tickets are.
Bad – They only had two escalators in the whole ballpark.

Here is the description of the game:
- The Indians won 3-1.
- David Eckstein had a very good game, as he was 3-for-4 with 3 singles and an RBI.
- This was the Cardinals’ 8th loss in a row.
- Sabathia pitched 8 innings, allowing 1 earned run and with 4 strikeouts.
- 2 of the 3 Indians’ runs came off of a homer by Ronnie Belliard in the top of the 1st.
- Travis Hafner was 0-for-2 with 2 walks and a strikeout.
- Pujols was 1-for-4.

The next morning, we took a tour of new Busch Stadium. It was very interesting and we got to go in the Cardinals’ dugout and out on the warning track. There were a lot of bugs in the dugout.

Then we went to the Cardinals Hall of Fame, which is across the street from the future site of Baseball Village (which is next door to the new stadium and on the site of the old stadium). It was very interesting, with replicas of some of the old ballparks, information on all the World Series and playoffs they’ve played in, plaques of everybody in the Cardinals Hall of Fame, memorabilia from Cardinals history, and Cardinals merchandise. The Bowling Hall of Fame is in the same building and they have a real bowling alley in the basement. My dad and I bowled there and I won.

We then went to visit the sites of some of the old Cardinals ballparks.

First we went to the site of Sportsman’s Park, which was the home of the St. Louis Browns from 1902 to 1953 and of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1920 to 1966. Now the site is a Herbert Hoover Boys Club.
Good – The building had a painted sign on the outside of the building, which had very interesting information about the old stadium. The sign had information on World Series that had been played there and great players that had played there.
Bad – All they have there now is a football field even though we had read that the baseball diamond was still there.

Then we went to the site of Robison Field, which was the home of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1893 to 1920. There’s a high school where it used to be. They had a plaque in the yard that was just put up in early June of 2006 that has information about the old ballpark.


Springfield:
On the way back from St. Louis, we went to my dad’s friend’s house and we all went to a Springfield Cardinals game in Springfield, Missouri. The Cardinals played the Wichita Wranglers.

The Springfield Cardinals stadium was very nice and new looking. It’s almost as nice as the RoughRiders but not quite as nice.

Here is a description of the game:
- The Wranglers won 4-3.
- The Wranglers pitcher was Junior Herndon, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He went 8 innings, giving up 3 runs and with 6 strikeouts.
- Stuart Pomeranz was the Springfield pitcher and he is a big prospect. He went 5 innings, giving up 3 runs.
- Nick Stavinoha was another big Springfield prospect and he played DH. He was 1-for-3.
- Juan Richardson played 1B and is another big Springfield prospect. He was 0-for-3 with one walk and two strikeouts.
- Alex Gordon played 3B for the Wranglers and is one of their big prospects. He was 0-for-3.

This was a great trip and I really enjoyed all the games.

Come back next week for my mid-season awards.

2 comments:

Ken Pittman said...

Grant - great blog. Sounds like an awesome trip. And congrats on beating your dad in bowling. :-) It will be interesting to see if the new Busch stadium improves much as they finish it. Sounds like they have a few things they really need to finish, but a nice park.

Looking forward to your midseason awards.
-Ken

David said...

Wow Grant. What a great trip. Hopefully, the Cardinals can fix up the few things you mentioned. So, you are a putt putt and pool basketball champion. Now, you can add bowling champion to the list. Congrats!!