Aaron Miles’ Fastball covers the St. Louis Cardinals. The gritty scrappiness (or is that scrappy grittiness?) of the name and logo are courtesy of Michael Foutch. The site is dedicated to the 1.00 WHIP by Aaron Miles in his five pitching performances — all as a Cardinal, by the way.
The creator and lead writer of Aaron Miles’ Fastball is Christine Coleman, and you can find me on Twitter at @ccoleman802. Follow the blog at @AMilesFastball.
Past writers for AMF are Miranda Remaklus (@missmiranda) and Tara Wellman (@tarawellman).
AMF is a member of the United Cardinal Bloggers.
How I became a Cardinals fan
I am a long-time baseball fan who grew up going to my brother’s Little League games coached by my Dad coached and occasionally visiting John O’Donnell Stadium in Davenport, Iowa, then home to the Quad Cities Angels. Once, my Grandpa took my brother and I to a game where Bob Feller was signing autographs. I vaguely remember Grandpa explaining to me who Feller was; I was about 10 and not really paying attention. I did get Feller’s autograph on a paper picture of him that was handed out. Sadly, my Grandpa, the picture and now Feller are all gone.
Major league baseball caught my attention soon after and, once we got cable TV, I became a die-hard Cubs fan who adored Jody Davis. (Yes, really, the Cubs.) 1984 was a wonderful thrill until October when the team went to San Diego, and I still hate Steve Garvey.
I so loved baseball and the Cubs that I pursued and was hired as an intern in the media relations department in 1988. Working there was an interesting and eye-opening experience for a very naive college student — so much that I quit following baseball altogether after the season ended. That lasted until Harry Caray died in February 1998. I’d met Harry during my internship and delivered the media notes to him each game day, enjoying that he always addressed me “Dear” and never by name even though I’d introduced myself countless times. Hearing of his death was heartbreaking and reminded me of all the times, pre-internship, where he’d kept me company on WGN. Slowly I began following the game, and the Cubs, again in 1998. It was another thrill of a baseball season, especially the home run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire.
And it was because of both of them that in 1999 my interest in the Cubs began waning and my interest in the rival Cardinals increased. What seemed like unthinkable thoughts began crossing my mind: could I stop being a Cubs fan? Could I actually switch loyalties and become a Cardinals fan? In 2000, I decided the answer to both of those questions was yes. Much harassment from my Cubs fans friends and family members ensued. My uncle Jim, a lifelong Cardinals fan, was and remains my ally — and we’ve pretty much gotten the last laugh thanks to 2006 and 2011.
This is now my 15th season as a Cards fan. I’ve endured the mostly ups but also the downs, cried when Jack Buck and Darryl Kile died, savored the 2006 World Series championship and am still amazed over everything that transpired in September and October 2011. I’ve gone from marveling at McGwire’s homers to admiring the determination and tenacity of Chris Carpenter as he came back again and again and again. I’d still rather watch him pitch than anyone — and it was a no-brainer to travel to Chicago in September 2012 to see him come back from “season-ending surgery,” even if that no-brainer ended up costing me a $100 red-light camera ticket and $50+ when I ended up with bronchitis from sitting in the rain at Wrigley to watch him. Totally worth every penny. And I’ll never, ever get tired of watching my DVD of Game Five of the 2011 NLDS. I’ve actually watched it more than my DVD of Game Six of the 2011 World Series.
I still attend games at John O’Donnell Stadium regularly, though it’s now called Modern Woodmen Park. I loved that the River Bandits were a Cardinals affiliate for eight seasons and the list of Cardinals I watched during their A ball days is now very long and includes such names as Jaime Garcia, Colby Rasmus, Matt Adams, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal, although my favorite remains Rick Ankiel during his first days as an outfielder. Back when the team was an Astros affiliate in the late ’90s, I even saw Aaron Miles play.