ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Don’t be surprised if you run into Marcell Ozuna at Pappy’s next week. You might bump into Tommy Pham at the mall, see Adam Wainwright singing karaoke, or exchange hellos with Yadier Molina. It’s January in St. Louis, after all.
Yes, this month means frigid temperatures in this area, but it also signals the start of the baseball season… with a heavy dose of activities planned for Cardinals fans.
Let’s “warm up,” shall we?
1) Cardinals Caravan, Jan. 12-15: Before the annual Cardinals Winter Warm-Up gets going, fans outside of St. Louis get a first look as the Cardinals Caravan covers 20 cities (in six states) over a four-day span. There are five buses sent out, all of them filled with current and former Cardinal players, broadcasters and staff. It’s a very successful endeavor that allows fans of all ages to ask baseball questions, but the autograph sessions are saved for the kids. The first 400 children (15 and under) through the door on the day of the event get an autograph ticket guaranteeing them a signature from each player. And yes, Pham will be at the Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro, Ark.
2) Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up, Jan. 13-15: The mother of all baseball team conventions takes place at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, with proceeds benefiting Cardinals Care, the team’s community foundation supporting kids. There’s memorabilia as far as the eye can see. Q&A sessions and on-stage presentations. KMOX broadcasts live throughout the event, with Alex Ferrario (Sat. 10a-1p), Chris Hrabe (Sat. 1-3p), Mike Kelly (Sun. 10a-12p), Mike Claiborne (Sun. 12-2p), yours truly and Charlie Brennan (Mon. 8:30-11a) holding court in our broadcast booth. But make no mistake about it, the draw is the autographs… and it’s a massive list. Some autographs are free; others require a donation.
3) St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner, Jan. 14: Celebrating 60 years of one of the area’s most anticipated events, the St. Louis BBWAA is rolling out a star-studded lineup of Cardinals legends from each decade the dinner has been in existence. Just a sampling of the honorees and presenters: Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, Tony La Russa, Bruce Sutter, Willie McGee, Mark McGwire, Keith Hernandez, Mike Shannon, Ted Simmons, Tim McCarver, Ray Lankford, Chris Carpenter, Jason Isringhausen and Wainwright. Approximately 1,000 people attend annually, making it a lively, appreciative crowd.
4) “An Evening With The Cardinals,” Jan. 20: For a more intimate setting, check out Dan McLaughlin’s excellent fundraiser to benefit the National Children’s Cancer Society. The Cardinals broadcaster sits down with Herzog, McGee and Hernandez to reminisce about the 1982 World Champions and other baseball topics.
5) Listen and Follow KMOX, 24-7: And of course, you can always listen to KMOX 1120AM and follow all the latest Cardinals news on Twitter, @KMOXSports. Check KMOX.com for the latest updates on the Cardinals’ offseason moves. There is a sense of urgency now with a little over a month from the start of spring training. Can you believe it? See you at the ballpark… soon.