Even as Mother Nature reminds that winter really is here and spring is still a long time away, baseball season can feel a little bit closer with both the Cardinals Caravan and Winter Warm-Up coming up soon.
The Cardinals announced details of the annual Cardinals Caravan yesterday — here is the information from their news release.
In addition to annual stops in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Tennessee, the 2015 Caravan will add a sixth route with additional stops in Kentucky and Indiana. Altogether, more than 30 current and former players will embark on the journey making 22 stops in 21 cities throughout Cardinals Nation fromJanuary 16 – 19th.
A combination of current players, future stars and former Cardinals will travel on each caravan emceed by a current team broadcaster. Some of the current players include 2014 Rookie of the Year finalist Kolten Wong, Michael Wacha, Matt Adams, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Marco Gonzales, and Randal Grichuk. Minor-league prospects include Stephen Piscotty, Greg Garcia, Tim Cooney, Xavier Scruggs and more. Brad Thompson, Danny Cox, Kerry Robinson, Alan and Andy Benes, and Al Hrabosky, among others, will represent Cardinals alumni, while broadcasters John Rooney, Rick Horton, Mike Claiborne, Tom Ackerman, Chris Hrabe and Dan McLaughlin will serve as emcees. Team mascot Fredbird will also make an appearance at several Caravan stops. Continue reading
Cardinals fans from around the Midwest and Mid-South regions got a treat this weekend has several current and former players came to their towns as apart of the organizations annual Cardinals Caravan.
The Caravan came to Jonesboro, in Northeast Arkansas, on Monday and featured several treats for the kids. The event also served as a fund raising event for the city’s Miracle League, which is building a softball field and basketball court for children and adults with special needs.
Ricky Horton served as emcee for the event which included Andy Benes, Al Hrabosky, Kerry Robinson, Seth Maness, Randal Grichuk and Keith Butler.
Some of the topics discussed by the panel of former and current players:
* Why Shelby Miller didn’t pitch in the postseason. Benes’ guess? Match-ups didn’t work in Miller’s favor to pitch.
* Benes also expressed appreciation to the city of Jonesboro, which is home to Arkansas State University. Benes’ son, Drew, played for the Red Wolves before being drafted by the Cardinals in 2010. Drew played for the O’Fallon, Mo.- based River City Rascals of the Independent League last summer.
Friday at last, of a seemingly very long week — guess the polar vortex and snow will do that. And, with just over a month until Cardinals pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter on Feb. 12, baseball still seems far away.
Not that there hasn’t been baseball in the news this week, with the results of the Hall of Fame voting revealed on Wednesday (and all the moralizing and lecturing and pomposity from too many of those who voted spewing out both before and after). Ahead of that, though, Graham Womack at Baseball Past and Present on Monday unveiled his fourth edition of the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame. It’s a long and great read, well worth the time for the information on each player (although three listed now are Hall of Famers — congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas). There are several Cardinals on the list, including Ted Simmons at No. 26, Joe Torre at No. 34 (as a player, since he’ll be inducted as a manager in July) and Ken Boyer at No. 40 (and I was privileged to write about him for the project).
Speaking of Simmons, if you haven’t read The Sin of Being Second to the Best Ever by Derrick Goold yet, read it now.
Also, check out Legendary Cardinals Instructor George Kissell Deserves a Spot in the Hall of Fame from Stan McNeal at Fox Sports Midwest. Definitely would be a deserving honor for a man who did have, still has and will continue to have such an impact on the Cardinals and all those who have played for the team.