ST. LOUIS (KMOX.com) – With the holiday season in full swing and 2013 winding to a close, what better time to take a look back on the big St. Louis sports stories from the year.
From our beloved Cardinals in the World Series, to several international soccer matches in St. Louis, KMOX.com is recapping the 10 most-viewed sports stories of the year:
Nothing helps cure the winter blues in St. Louis like the return of baseball season, or at least spring training. In February, the Cardinals announced that fans would be able to catch more than half of the club’s 2013 spring training games throughout coverage on FOX Sports Midwest, ESPN and KMOX-Radio. As in years past, veteran broadcasters Mike Shannon and John Rooney were at the reigns for 18 spring training games on the team’s flagship station KMOX (AM 1120) and the Cardinals Radio Network.
It was a tough year for St. Louis Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford – he suffered a season-ending ACL tear on October 20th. Shortly after the injury, the team announced that they had signed free agent quarterbacks Austin Davis and Brady Quinn to their active roster, and planned to match them up with backup QB Kellen Clemens to form a trio of signal-callers tasked with the duty of replacing Bradford.
Members of Cardinal Nation rushed out to pick up a copy of the May 27, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated. The cover featured the Cardinals’ five starters — Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Jamie Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook — sitting in a row in front of their jerseys. It was a pose “inspired” by the iconic October 7, 1968 SI cover that featured Lou Brock, Mike Shannon, Bob Gibson, Tim McCarver, and Roger Maris.
The second of two international soccer matches held at Busch Stadium this year made headlines in St. Louis. Relevent Sports and the St. Louis Cardinals brought in the Argentina national team to face Bosnia-Herzegovina on November 18. In the friendly match-up, Sergio Aguero scored twice which let to a 2-0 exhibition victory over Bosnia. This match followed Manchester City’s 4-3 win over rivals Chelsea on May 23, 2013 in front of a capacity crowd of 48,263.
This October, nothing could match the excitement of the World Series in St. Louis. Cardinals fans came to KMOX.com not only for game recaps, analysis and photos, but also to find out about all of the fanfare surrounding the World Series games at Busch. Hall of Famer and Cardinals Legend Ozzie Smith threw out the ceremonial first pitch of Game Five of the 2013 World Series as part of a pre-game ceremony that also included American Idol’s Harry Connick, Jr. singing the National Anthem.
In August, Cardinals Broadcaster Mike Shannon underwent a successful surgical procedure to replace his aorta valve.
“I would like to thank everyone for their prayers, heartfelt well-wishes and kind words. It means a lot to me,” Shannon said, “I’m looking forward to getting back in the booth and back to the game I love.”
Shannon returned to the Cardinals broadcast booth on September 23rd.
Backup running back Isaiah Pead was rejoined the team in mid-September after serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Pead, a second-round selection by the Rams in the 2012 NFL Draft, was one of the players Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher was counting on to help replace Steven Jackson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards for St. Louis for the eighth straight season last year, but then signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent this season.
The viral video The Fox, from Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis, took a St. Louis spin when the Cardinals released “What The Cards Have,” a music video of the postseason’s catchy anthem to rally Cardinal Nation. The video, shot inside Busch Stadium, features Fred Bird as the front man with back-up dancers, player highlights and clips of fans and employees dancing.
This spring, the Cardinals announced that English Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City would play each other at Busch Stadium May 23. The exhibition was the first soccer game played in Busch Stadium III and drew a crowd of more than 48,000 fans.
“We are honored to host this historic match,” Cardinals President Bill DeWitt II said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for St. Louisans to see some of the best soccer players in the world. We look forward to showcasing the versatility of Busch Stadium as a multi-use sports venue.”
Attendees at a University of Missouri football game drew national attention when fans were heard booing at the mention of the president of the United States during a halftime ceremony. New members of the Missouri National Guard were being sworn in during the ceremony, said Chad Moller, spokesman for University of Missouri-Columbia athletics. But during part of the oath that reads “I will obey the order of the president of the United States” members of the crowd could be heard booing, according to the Missourian.
From anticipation of the Cardinals 2013 season to crowd of booing fans at a Mizzou game, those are the top St. Louis sports stories of 2013. As we gear up to start a new year, stay with NewsRadio 1120 KMOX and KMOX.com for the latest sports headlines that matter to St. Louis.