Countdown Now At Three …

Regular season baseball is clearly in sight on this Thursday morning, as it’s only three days away now.

The Cardinals final game at Roger Dean Stadium is today before the team heads to Memphis to take on the Redbirds tomorrow. Wrigley Field now has its gigantic new video board installed in left field (see why the rooftop owners across Waveland Avenue were a little ticked?┬áNever mind that they’ve been profiting from the Cubs for years anyway as the rooftops turned into a big-dollar industry).

And, speaking of the Cubs, there is a No. 3 connection in recent Cardinals history. Actually, there have been a lot of No. 3s in recent Cardinals history. The last player to wear the number for longer than two seasons? Edgar Renteria, from 1999 to 2004.

So, with 3 more days to go, here’s a look at the three latest No. 3s.

3

Ah, Mark Ellis. Years ago I liked him when he was an Oakland A in the Big 3/Moneyball era. I was excited when the Cards signed him for 2014, thinking he could be a valuable bench addition. So it goes. Most fans have probably already forgotten his 73 games, 202 plate appearances and .180/.253/.213 line. Thanks for the 32 hits, Mark! And happy retirement.

APTOPIX NLCS Dodgers Cardinals Baseball

Better memories here, much better …

Carlos Beltran followed Lance Berkman in right field as a past enemy turned hero once he donned the Birds on the Bat. (Here’s to Jason Heyward continuing that tradition this year and beyond, although he was never quite the Card-killer Beltran and Berkman were.) Carlos hit .282/.343/.493 in his two-year Cardinal career, with 56 homers and 181 RBI during the regular season. And, for the first time in his then-16-year major league career, he made it to the World Series in 2013. Continue reading

Catching Up With The Cardinals: Friday Edition

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.

saint_louis_cardinals_logoNot 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.

Continue reading