Here's a little something I wrote for the News-Democrat's Everyman Magazine earlier this year:
The Cardinals' rivalry with the Chicago Cubs is one of the oldest and most storied in the history of Major League Baseball.
“I grew up in Champaign, Illinois midway between Chicago and St. Louis. At an age too tender for life-shaping decisions, I made one. While all my friends were becoming Cardinals fans, I became a Cub fan. My friends, happily rooting for Stan Musial , Red Schoendienst, and other great Redbirds, grew up cheerfully convinced that the world is a benign place, so of course, they became liberals. Rooting for the Cubs in the late 1940s and early 1950s, I became gloomy, pessimistic, morose, dyspeptic and conservative. It helped out of course that the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, which is two years before Mark Twain and Tolstoy died. But that means, class of 1998, that the Cubs are in the 89th year of their rebuilding effort, and remember, any team can have a bad moment.”
Several Hall of Famers have worn both Cardinals and Cubs uniforms including Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Lou Brock and Bruce Sutter. But only two players have played in the both uniforms on the same day.
Both outfielders, Flack was a Belleville native who was a lefty swinger. He hit .283 in 1,003 games with the Cubs from 1915-22. Hitting .222 at the time of the swap, Flack hit .292 with the Cardinals for the rest of the season and finished his career with St. Louis, retiring after the 1925 season.
Heathcote was a righty hitter. He broke in with the Cardinals in 1918 as a 20-year-old outfielder and hit .270 in his time with St. Louis. After the swap, he played nine years with the Cubs, batting .280 in 856 games.
In what came to be known as “The Ryne Sandberg Game,” the Cardinals appeared to have matters well in hand, chasing Chicago starter Steve Trout as they built a 7-1 lead. The margin was 9-3 after the Cardinals batted in the sixth. But the St. Louis bullpen blew up and the Cubs cut the advantage to 9-8. Redbirds manager Whitey Herzog had seen enough and called for closer Bruce Sutter, a former Cy Young Award winner with the Cubs.BACK AT YA BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR