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St. Louis Cardinals…History and Heroes

St. Louis Cardinals…History and Heroes

It was 1975 and I walked down Grand Avenue (St. Louis, Mo) in search of a tranquil place to listen to the St. Louis Cardinals on my small and very fragile transistor radio.

I ultimately rested on the church grounds of St. Alphonsus Rock Church, providing me with what I had sought, tranquility and peace. My Cardinals eventually lost that game and did not fare so well that season with a record of 82-80. Considering they featured the likes of Hall of Famer Lou Brock, Ted Simmons and Keith Hernandez I was hopeful that the Cardinals would turn it around the following year and win it all. These were my heroes and I believed in them.  One would be hard pressed to find any St. Louisan who was not a Cardinal fan, but I was the biggest (so far as I knew).

A few miles north of my designated place of tranquility, St. Alphonsus Rock Church,  stood the old Sportsman’s Park, located at Grand Avenue and Dodier Street. Sportman’s Park was the Cardinals home (and St. Louis Browns until 1954) before their current home, Busch Stadium. That grand old park was the site where legends of Cardinals past set the stage for the current crop of Cardinal greats.  Though I was born too late to see Sportsman’s Park I’ve been told there were some baseball titans to pass through there. Rogers Hornsby (triple crown winner in 1922 & 1925), Stan Musial (3 time NL MVP) and Dizzy Dean (the last NL 30 game winner). Rumor has it that a player from the opposing team (by the name of Babe Ruth) once hit a homerun that cleared the entire stadium and crashed through the window of the old YMCA on the other side of Grand Avenue.

In 1963 Stan “the Man” Musial retired and the Cardinals beagn looking for his replacement. As good fortune would have it the “Brock for Brolio” trade occurred in 1964. The Cardinals obtained left fileder Lou Brock from their archrivals Chicago Cubs for pitcher Ernie Brolio and two other players… The Cardinals-Cubs long standing riavalry is one of the oldest and most embittered in baseball history and this would be a new chapter.

This would prove to be a great transition to the modern day Cardinals heroes who went on to play in 3 World Series that decade (beat the Yankees in ’64, the Red Sox in ’67). They lost only to the Detroit Tigers in 1968 despite a record setting World Series by pitcher Bob Gibson.   After a regular season that saw Gibson win the Cy Young Award as well as the NL MVP Award, he pitched 3 complete games in the World Series allowing only 3 runs in the process. His  35 strikeouts set a World Series record and his 1.12 ERA is still the lowest of any pitcher since 1950. The Cardinals wouldn’t make it back to the the World Series for another 15 years.

In 1982 Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman led a cast of “new” heroes which invigorated Cardinal nation. The fans were treated to a style of play affectionately known as “Whitey Ball” (in honor of manager Whitey Herzog). Speed, defense, pitching, clutch hitting, solid fundamentals and fireman out of the bullpen – that was “Whiteyball.” They went on to beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1982 World Series to earn the  franchise’s 9th World Series Championship.

Current Cardinal Albert Pujols has provided some great moments in his 10 years in a Cardinal uniform – including winning it all in 2006. While he has achieved some great individual numbers we can only hope that he and the modern day Cardinals will help the team add to their 10 World Series championships.

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During his lengthy career Chaz has worked in various areas of the media. As an actor he has appeared on such shows as "Less Than Perfect" "CSI New York" and "Outlaw". He's performed on stage in such plays as "West Side Story", "The Wiz" "Oliver" and "Sugar". He has also landed roles in several commercials most notably as a reporter for "NFL Legends" and as a model for Ameriquest Mortgage. Chaz's extensive background in the broadcast industry has given him invaluable experience in several areas of the business. His work as an assignment desk intern as well as in the news and sports departments at the local ABC and NBC TV stations in St. Louis, MO has given him experence on various levels of news production. Chaz is a former host of of his own radio show "The Spirit of Chaz", where he was also writer and producer at KXEN in St. Louis. As a Marketing Consultant at KSDK-TV (NBC) Chaz was a major contributor to the station's #1 position in overall sales in the St. Louis market. At KEZK radio he was awarded "rookie of the year" for his achievements in sales. The St. Louis Business Journal recognized Chaz as one of their "40 Under 40" awardees for his work in the community with youth. Additionally, St. Louis public Schools recognized him as "Role Model of the Year" in 1995 & 1996. He is the recipient of the 1989 edition of "Outstanding Young Men of America". Chaz currently resides in Los Angeles where he owns Nicolexis Inspirations a motivational and life coach company.

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In response to “St. Louis Cardinals…History and Heroes”

  1. Steven Keys Aug 2 201110:44 pm


    Born in Evanston and a Grandfather who saw both Hornsby (Cards) and Sisler (Browns) play, I’m a big fan of Cubs-Cards rivalry. And I’d argue it’s hands down the oldest and most colorful in MLB history.

    The rivalry dates back to the 1880s when Cap Anson’s NL-Champion White Stockings (Cubs) would play the Chris von der Ahe owned, AA Champion Browns (Cards) in a series of competitions. The Yanks and Red Sox weren’t even zygotes.

    1. Chaz Ingram Aug 3 201111:10 am



      First of all, thanks for being the first to comment on my article. I think your statement that the Cardinals- Cubs rivalry dates back to the 1880′s supports my theory that it is ONE of the oldest rivalries. I agree that it may not be, to quote you THE oldest, but I think we can agree that it is clearly one of the oldest. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Christopher Rowe Aug 3 201111:39 am


    Steven-bonus points for using the word “zygotes”; also bons points for the history knowledge AND knowing that Browns and White Stockings were nicknames for Cubs and Cardinals long before they became American League teams in those same cities 20 years later!

    Chaz & Steven – Cubs-Cards is older and more storied than Yankees-Red So or any of the contrived rivalries… the only caveat is that Cubs and Cards have rarely been contenders at the same time as that would make a great pennant race.

    1. Cubs-Cardinals (historical & current)
    2. Dodgers-Giants (historical & current)
    3. Yankees-Red Sox (historical & current)
    4. Phillies-Mets or Braves (past 30-4 yrs)
    5. Chisox-Twins (past 10 years)

    What do you think? Would realignment set up new rivaries – like Mets-ankees, Orioles-Nationals, Cubs-Chisox, Dodgers-Angels, Giants-A’s, Rangers-Astros?

    1. Steven Keys Aug 3 20112:04 pm


      Chris: You know me (per NFL talk). I’d go back to pre-1969 and keep the two Leagues (Conferences) and do away with the divisions (NFL, NBA & NHL too). Not knowing the money reasons behind them, as a fan, I find divisions arbitrary, contrived and a major complication in trying to create sensible alignment for six groups. Ridiculous.

      Cities / metropoli with two teams (NY / Chicago / SF-Oak / LA): Brooklyn v NY Giants notwithstanding, I wouldn’t put them in the same division as I’d see it detracting from other regional, intra-division rivalries which you want to encourage.

      Florida: Great State, great fans, great spring training…but I’m starting to think it’s not a MLB franchise market. Marlins especially, not sure about Tampa market yet. It seems anything short of a Yanks, Cards type of decades-long commitment to winning and most of the seats are empty.

      Have to be a real juggler-of-issues to figure it all out.

      1. Christopher Rowe Aug 3 20112:47 pm


        Always a thinking man’s sports fan… I think IF one is to have divisions, then they MUST make sense geographically… otherwise they are arbitrary as you say

        Florida… agreed, fans simply aren; supporting it and it has been 18 years now… Miami draws 12 people per game while Tampa has to dole out free tickets to postseason games… embarassing… all the more reason to reward cities that would support a team (Charlotte, New Orleans, Vancouver, etc.)

  3. gify Oct 13 20115:25 am


    The post you wrote is really nice.

    1. Chaz Ingram Oct 14 201110:09 am



      Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate you following.

  4. ebooki Oct 14 20114:32 am


    This article was really good. I look forward to reading another one.

  5. Christopher Rowe Oct 14 20113:42 pm


    Now the question remains… tied at 2-2, which teams wins the rematch of the 1982 World Series in order to reach the 2011 Fall Classic?

    1. Chaz Oct 14 201110:28 pm



      I must say that after the first game Cardinals pitching have held the Brew Crew in check for the most part. And with the way LaRussa is using his bullpen I give the edge tothe Cardinals.

      Themis, much to my dismay it’s a real possibility.

  6. Themis Katris Oct 14 20114:14 pm


    Pujols to the Cubs!

    1. Christopher Rowe Nov 3 201111:31 am


      Fielder to the Cubs is a lot more likely. I’d bet money Pujols stays with the Cardinals for less than $300M (but possibly for a portion of team ownership)

  7. Chaz Ingram Oct 14 201110:44 pm



    More Cardinals articles for your reading pleasure. Simply click on MLB and scroll to St. Louis Cardinals. Thanks for following.

  8. Jody Goldies Oct 30 201111:29 am


    Congratulations to the Cardinals, that was simply one of the greatest World Series ever, and last night’s Game Six was definitely the most memorable game of all times (and this is a Red Sox fan saying that…) THIS ONE WAS FOR YOU, GEORGE BUSH ! ! ! Do you have any idea how many people in this country rooted passionately against the Rangers because of you? Everyone saw your smirking face sitting in those seats and we wanted to wipe that grin off

    1. Chaz Ingram Nov 3 201110:11 am



      LOL…my exact sentiments! Wow, this coming from a Red Sox fan makes your comment that much more appreciative. Thanks for reading.

  9. jak założyć firmę Nov 3 20114:34 am


    I like reading such articles. They are very good and give me big portion of information.

    1. Chaz Ingram Nov 3 201110:08 am



      Thanks for reading. I will continue to post articles periodically throughout the off season for your reading pleasure.

  10. lynn maclin Dec 8 201111:35 pm


    being born and raised in st. louis i am definitly a cardinal fan. i remember my first live bb game at sportsman park in ’63 watching the great stan the man. what a thrill and my favorite player of all times was baby bull, orlando cepeda. but after living in the chicago area over 30 years i am now a cubs fan as well. that makes the rivary that more intense for me. when the cards and cubs play its a no lose situation for me. i was praying that pujols would come here to help my cubs out. i remember taking you to your first whitesox game. lots of memories.

    1. Chaz Ingram Dec 9 201112:20 am


      Hey bro, for some strange reason I remember u and I talking about going to the White Sox game but i don’t actually remember attending. But hey that was 30 yrs ago and I don’t remember a lot of things that happened then. Anyway, I knew that if any team offered Pujols anything north of $250 mill I knew he was gonna walk. I have mixed emotions about whether they should have offered it or not (read the current article to get my opinion on that.)

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