After a six-game prelude, the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals season really begins today at Busch Stadium. Sure, there is a game at 3:15 p.m. against the Cincinnati Reds too — but it’s everything leading up to the first pitch by Jaime Garcia that’s so meaningful and makes today so special for every Cardinals fan.
And while today will have the usual celebrations we look forward to seeing — the Clydesdales, the Hall of Famers in their red jackets, the players’ parade in pickup trucks — one huge part of opening day will be missing.
According to Tom Ackerman of KMOX, this is the first home opener since 1945 that does not include Stan the Man. And just the thought alone is enough to make you tear up.
To celebrate Stan’s opening day legacy, here’s a look back to 2001 — the home opener on April 9 when Stan played The Star Spangled Banner before the Cardinals took on the Colorado Rockies. The introduction is from Jack Buck.
Let’s hope today is that bright and sunny (no matter what the forecast might say). Go Cardinals!
Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.