It’s hard to describe the feelings of being at an All Star Game, especially being in my hometown for it. It was really overwhelming and emotional for me. Totally worth the trip and the exorbitant ebay ticket prices!
I arrived a couple hours early, and met up with friends for beers. We walked around the stadium, getting excited for the festivities to come. We saw the teams posing for team photos and some batting practice. I was sitting in the my same seat in the left field bleachers again. Above, you can see the view from my seat and the cool arch and courthouse mowed into the field.
The pre-game festivities were amazing. The clydesdales came out. If you grew up in St. Louis like I did, home of Anheuser-Busch, seeing the clydesdales will always be emotional. I was definitely getting teary-eyed at this point.
The emotion got even higher when our living hall-of-famers entered the
field: Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Bruce Sutter, Ozzie Smith, Red
Schoendinst. Only one key person was missing, and then the side gate
of the stadium opened. Stan Musial emerged on a cart. The stadium
erupted in cheers. I had been worried he wouldn’t make it when he
didn’t appear in the parade, so it was a thrill to see him.
Iraq war vets came out with a ginormous flag. Sheryl Crow performed the National Anthem and the flag was rolled out. Even the most cynical person was feeling patriotic and emotional by this point. All Stars Among Us were introduced – normal folks who have done great work in the community. A highlight reel of all the living presidents talking about service work played to introduce this segment. The teams were introduced. And then President Obama came out to throw the first pitch.
I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that the videos of George Bush and George W. Bush seemed to get more applause from the local crowd than Obama. There were even a lot of boos for Obama in my section. This was disappointing to me, as I think our President deserves respect, regardless of ones party leanings. I guess that was a reminder to me of why I live in LA, even though I still love St. Louis. A leftie like me fits in better in California.
Obama wore jeans and a White Sox jacket and threw the first pitch to Albert Pujols. He then greeted all the hall of famers. The stadium was at a fever pitch for the game. I was sure this would be the year the National League would get a win. I have friends with 12-year-old kids who have never seen the National League win an all star game in their lifetime! But alas, it was not to be. American League won 4-3. It was a pretty lackluster game. Hometowner kid Ryan Howard had the best chance to get a lead for the National League but struck out on a bad pitch. Unfortunately, the game did not live up to the pre-game show.
Even Cubs and Cards fans get along at the All Star Game! I was sitting very close to Mama Lucy (pictured above, with headphones) and she kept the game exciting with constant cheering.
Cards fans were missing Jack Buck, and this fan paid a nice tribute. Personally, I was missing my dad a lot that night. He was a big Cards fan and died in 2007. It would have been awesome to share the All Star Game experience with him, but in a way, I felt like he was there.
It was an amazing experience to be at the All Star Game. I
walked around the stadium for a while after the game, soaking up the
atmosphere. I just didn’t want it to be over – I was in baseball
I had hoped to arrive earlier, but was only about 30 minutes early for the Red Carpet Parade. Luckily I was still able to find a spot in the 2nd row of fans along the route. It was fun to see all the players, their hot wives (who had been especially made up and dressed for the occasion), and their kids. The majority St. Louis crowd was pretty generous in applauding everyone, even Cubbies.
Cardinal fans were treated with glimpses of most of our hall-of-famers. Here’s a shot of Ozzie Smith and Bruce Sutter. Bruce is such a good ol’ boy – he looks like he should be hosting a bass fishing show.
Yadi! Yadi! Yadi!
Sorry for the long delay in finishing my All Star Week report. Life has just been way too busy, but luckily it seems to be slowing down to allow for a relaxing end of summer. I think I still remember most of the good stuff.
Monday night was the Home Run Derby. I got down there early to be there for some batting practice. It was exciting to see all the big names. David Cook kicked off the festivities with a couple songs and a fair amount of pyro. I like that attention was paid to Missouri celebs throughout the all star festivities. Nikko Smith, Ozzie’s son and an American Idol finalist, sang the National Anthem.
I was primed for the excitement and wondering if I might actually catch a ball, since I was seated in the left field bleachers. It didn’t take long for a ball to come near me. The first gold ball home run was caught by a guy in the row just in front of me. He gave it to his son, who was beaming. It was really exciting. Apparently I was visible on ESPN – trying to get out of the way. Yeah, without a glove and being female, I didn’t stand much of a chance in the ball-grabbing frenzy.
Home town fans were cheering loud for Albert Pujols, and he made the finals, but didn’t seem to have his best stuff that night. Prince Fielder really put on a clinic, even launching one into the upper deck. It was a thrill to watch. Poor Brandon Inge got no homers and I felt bad for him, but that just serves to remind us how difficult this is. The rest of the players put on an awesome display of power and it was totally worth the money to be at this event.
Afterwards, I walked around a bit and admired some of the great fan outfits. I was just counting the moments til tomorrow’s game!