ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Eight years ago, at 3:07 p.m. on November 7, 2005, a wrecking ball crashed into Busch Memorial Stadium for the first time.
Hundreds of fans gathered outside Busch to watch the wrecking ball hit. To the disappointment of many, it did little damage on its first swing.
The destruction of the second Busch Stadium would take more than a month. While most modern stadiums are imploded, fear of damage to the MetroLink station near the stadium forced crews to tear it down slowly instead.
By midnight on December 8, Busch Stadium II – home of the baseball Cardinals between 1966 and 2005 and football Cardinals between 1966 and 1987 – was no longer.
The ballpark saw its share of baseball glory, beginning with the 1966 All-Star Game, a ten-inning affair in 105 degree heat. The World Series was played at Busch in 1967, 1968, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 2004.
To the dismay of fans, only the ’67 and ’82 series were won by the Redbirds. The 1982 series was the only World Series to end on Busch Stadium turf.
16 years later, Busch was the site of Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run of the season, breaking a record which had stood for 37 years and setting a record which would last just three.
Football at the stadium was a less successful venture. The football Cardinals played only three playoff games in their 28-year stretch in St. Louis and none of the games were played at Busch. After moving from Anaheim, the Rams played their first four home games of the 1995 season at the stadium, winning all four.
Busch Memorial Stadium was preceded in death by Sportsman’s Park on the city’s north side, a stadium which stood for 64 years. Busch Stadium II lasted less than four decades.