JUPITER, Florida (KMOX) – Fifteen years before St. Louis Cardinals assistant hitting coach, Bill Mueller helped break the curse with the Boston Red Sox, he was an infielder for the De Smet Jesuit High School Spartans.
Playing against Metro Catholic schools like SLUH, CBC and St. John Vianney, Mueller says it was those intense rivalries that later helped him in his professional career.
“We played such good competition,” Mueller says. “We were able to excel because you were playing the best and had a good measuring stick to see where you were. And it was a good time to be a Cardinal fan, and be in high school back in the day.”
He was among the lucky Cardinals fans to grow up in the 1980s, watching the stars of Whitey ball.
“I went to the seventh game of the World Series there in ’82 and sat in the nosebleeds and watched us win it,” Mueller says. “And in ’85 we were there again and it was just an exciting time to be a kid and be attached to your sports team.
“I was trying to be Willie McGee and Tommy Herr and all those guys wrapped into, all those guys, Ozzie Smith wrapped into one. You know Whitey put together such a exciting team and they were fun to watch with Vince Coleman stealing all those bases, man I had a lot of fun watching those guys.”
In his third spring training with the Cardinals, Mueller is now among those players he once emulated.
“Sometimes what gets lost in the mix is a lot these guys are talking about those life experiences, not just the game of baseball,” Mueller says. “So it’s wonderful to get those guys here to be able to talk about the game as well as life.”
Mueller was on the Spartan’s varity team for three years between 1987-89, winning a District Championship in his junior season. Now, in each of De Smet’s last three seasons it has reached the District Championship.
“I try to keep track a little bit of De Smet and see how they are doing and it’s always nice to see when we can beat CBC, and SLUH and Vianney and all those teams, it’s wonderful,” Mueller says.