Monday, December 21, 2009

Baseball Place No. 77: St. Louis Walk of Fame; No. 77A: Busch Stadium walkway

One of the reasons St. Louis is such a nice city is that downtown is very “walkable.”

I was in town in 2008 for a conference, and got up early each morning just so I could take long walks to see the dawn light reflecting off the glorious Arch and the ballpark, then later to Union Station.

Josh Pahigian takes us to the city’s Loop neighborhood for place No. 77 in his “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out” for the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

It’s another place with questionable baseball ties, since only 11 of the 116 people honored have ties to the game.

The list includes people you’d expect, people who either played for the Cardinals like Bob Gibson and Lou Brock or are from the city, like former Mets Manager Yogi Berra.

I found a more baseball-related walk of fame on one of my morning strolls. That would be:

Baseball Place No. 77A: Sidewalk around Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals, it should be noted, tend to do things properly. They don’t just have a fan walk, where fans can purchase beloved bricks with their names. The Cards use those bricks to surround stones that tell stories about great players and events.

I couldn’t help but get sucked in, reading the stones and learning things with each step.

Two Mets, one stone: Fernando Tatis gets some love for his two grannies off Chan Ho Park.
This one has some accuracy issues in the headline. Carlton baffled most of the Mets that night, but not Ron Swoboda, who hit two home runs, leading Carlton with 19 Ks but one L for the night. Just shows you how magical those 1969 Mets were in September.
The new Busch overlaps with the previous stadium, and the walkway shows some of the landmarks, such as where the outfield wall.
Walking around the front of the stadium and you see statues of great Cardinals and Cool Papa Bell that used to be at the previous Busch. It seems a little odd that they're small, but that makes them pretty accessible, too. They're easy to see and photograph.
The greatest Cardinal of them all, Stan Musial, always had the largest statue at Busch. Now he gets his own plaza on the walkway.

The mighty Mississippi is just a couple blocks from the ballpark, and this shoot of the moon and the Arch is my favorite from the morning walks.


Anonymous said...

I have got to admit I got a little nervous mixed with some consternation when you said shoot a moon near the arch at night. First, I thought, well if no one is around, the cool breeze may feel good. Then I started to strategize. Yes, one would require pants that pull down and up quickly, preferably sweat pants with boxers, Mets or Jets boxers would do. Then I started to think about your career and wife and lovely children and I got the best as I can describe as a “pee Wee Herman” moment. No, I am not saying your incident would nearly as vulgar, but in the dark, who knows what people would think? Then I saw your photo (beautiful by the way) and a huge sigh of relief came over me, he meant “shoot the moon, not shoot a moon.” That’s what I get for reading quickly. With much relief!!!

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