ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) —A local historian says there is no other fan in the nation like a Cardinal fan — and he says the reason is KMOX Radio.
University of Missouri St. Louis Professor of History Emeritus Chuck Korr says Cardinal fans were created decades ago by the Cardinal’s Radio network at a time when there was no other Major League Baseball team south or west of St. Louis.
“You talk to anybody over 40 who’s a Cardinal’s fan and he’ll tell you it’s because of KMOX Radio,” Korr said, “But even today before a Cardinals game, go to the parking lot and count how many states the license plates are from.”
Following the play-by-play from a signal that bounces into 40 states on a clear night, Cardinal fans developed a multi-generational loyalty for their team.
“People are coming to St. Louis as a result of a four generational tradition of being Cardinals fans,” Korr said, “and some of the younger fans who are not St. Louisans probably don’t have a clue why they are Cardinals fans.”
Korr tells the story of a friend from college who lived just north of New Orleans. He was a Cardinal fan who had been following the team for years strictly over the radio.
“I took him to his first Cardinals game years later close to age 50,” Korr said, “He was a fanatic Cardinal fan and had never been to a game before then. He just listened on the radio.”
Korr’s observations about how far away Cardinal fans exist is borne out by research conducted independently by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. CVC President Kitty Ratcliffe says Cardinal fans journey long distances to see their team.
“We know that on weekends about ten thousand people who come to the Cardinals games come from out of the area,” Radcliffe said, “We draw from about a 300 mile radius.”
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