St. Louis was recently rated the Best City for Baseball Fans by WalletHub, a personal finance website. We talked to fans who attended the day game Wednesday at Busch Stadium. It didn’t hurt that the Cardinals scored 5 runs in the first inning and won the game 7-3.
“We definitely like the atmosphere, and how much the fans like the Cardinals. (My daughters) both play softball. (Mikayla) catches and loves Yadi. (Kennah) wants to pitch. They play for the Khoury League in Belleville.” Their favorite treats? “I love the nachos. The girls like the ice cream in helmets.”
Stacy Barringer, 30, of Belleville, with daughters Mikayla, 9, and Kennah, 7. Stacy sells Scentsy products.
“I love Cardinals baseball. We go to spring training every year and this is just a continuation. To be a Cardinals fan goes clear back to when I was a kid growing up around Effingham. It’s about 70 percent Cards fans over White Sox there. Where we live (between Decatur and Springfield) is 60-40 — 40 percent Cubs fans. You don’t see them till they start winning. I was probably about in fifth grade when I went to my first game at Sportsman’s Park. I remember walking up in the stands and seeing how green the grass was. It blew my mind. It was in August. At home, the grass was brown.
“My favorite game was Game 6 in the 2011 World Series. (David) Freese hit a triple and a home run. The stadium was actually shaking underneath me. I saw Freeze in spring training the next year and said, ‘You have let an old man see another World Series championship.’”
Ken Brammer, 70, of Illiopolis, retired from USDA/RMA in the crop insurance field, attending the game with wife Carol
“I like everything about baseball. Just the game in general. It requires a lot of skill and it’s fun to watch. Thre’s a lot of action. This is the second time I’ve been here this week.” Favorite players to watch? “I like Justin Hayward a lot, and Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong.”
Elijah Jones, 15, sophomore at Civic Memorial, Bethalto, who plays third base, first base and pitcher on his team. He was standing near third base field boxes with friends Lukas Jones, 18, and Nick Hale, 17.
“I just like being able to sit down and relax. It’s a slow game. You don’t have to worry about missing anything and the people are really nice no matter were you sit. We’re in the bleachers today. This is the first time in a real long, long time. This is my dad. I remember him taking me to games when I was a boy. I’m taking my two kids to their first game.”
Kyle O’Heron, high school math teacher who lives in Houston, Texas. “I listen to games on the radio on the phone.” He is with daughter Sophia, 8, going into third grade, and son Aidric, 5, going into kindergarten
“The best part of the game is when you walk in and see the field. The excitement builds. It’s really neat to be here.”
Scott O’Heron, 59, Belleville, works at Scott Air Force Base as a flight manager
“Cardinal baseball is tradition I just brought my 14-year-old daughter (Emily) here last weekend. I took her through the museum. I enjoy hanging out with good friends and coming to the game. In Springfield, it’s 50-50 Cards-Cubs fans. You want to watch a team win. I grew up on my grandparents’ front porch, listening to the games. Get a jug of beer and listen to Jack Buck and Harry Caray every night. We’re sitting in the bleachers today. It’s my fourth game in a week. This is a different group. Sometimes we stay here. Sometimes we drive back.”
Favorite memory? “I think it was the ’82 series. They hung a bunch of Cardinal flags over all the entries. We were young, and took possession of some of them. Well, the game was rained out. We took the flags and held them over our heads to stay dry and the ink (ran) all over.”
Billy Earl, 53, of Springfield, retired from production department at State Journal Register and from a job with the State of Illinois, with friends, Michelle Hammitt, left, Lane Larsen, Rachel Walker, Lori Evans and Tim Monical
“I love it here. I have a great time with friends, but they’re still not going to convince me to wear a Cardinals shirt. I’m a Cubs fan and an eternal optimist. We’ve got a chance. We always have a chance. My father (Lloyd Mosley) is a Cubs fan. He passed way. I can’t be anything but that.”
“I’ve been a Cardinals fan since I was 5. We are from Iowa. We are brothers. I’ve lived here for 30 years. I live in Waterloo now.”
Rachel Walker, 50, investigator for state of Illinois, Springfield
Tom Schwab, 64, of Waterloo, sat alongside brother Ken Schwab, 66, of Wentzville, just inside Ballpark Village. They grew up in Iowa.
“We come to all these afternoon games and spend time together. We solve the world’s problems together when we come over here.”
Tom Schwab, 64, of Waterloo, sitting alongside brother Ken Schwab, 66, of Wentzville, just inside Ballpark Village. They grew up in Iowa.
“Now we are trying to figure out if the Rams will stay,” said Ken.
“They will stay,” said Tom.
“The biggest disappointment was Pujols leaving,” said Ken. “It felt like I got punched in the gut. But St. Louis came together. Wow, I thought, ‘I am going to recover from this real quick’ — and we did.”
“I used to lay in bed listening to baseball on the transistor. I got drafted in 1968. We were up 3-1 in the World Series against Detroit. It took me two months to find out what happened. (The Cardinals lost in seven games.) When we played Detroit in the 2006 World Series, I got to see the Cardinals win. I was here. It was exciting. I’ve been to 36 opening days. I like the tailgating outside beforehand. Oh, gosh. I love baseball. I get chills every time I am here. I loved the old ballpark, but the more I am here, the more I like it. I went to PNC Park (in Pittsburgh) a couple weeks ago. It was nice, but nothing like Busch Stadium. Opening day is a holiday for us. We are playing hookey today. We planned it a couple weeks ago for when the boys were out of school. We wanted to take them to a game.”
Bob Foster, 67, of Belleville, a retired too and die maker who owns Complete Cleaning with son Matt. He was at the game with Matt, daughter-in-law Shannon and grandkids Noah, 13, Evan, 10 and Jack, 7 1/2.
“I just like watching the game here and at home. I guess I like it because my dad and grandpa both like it.”
Noah Foster, 13, of Belleville, eighth-grader at Cathedral Grade School
“I like the atmosphere, the people, the social aspect of it. I like sititng up higher. The people are friendlier. Tommy Herr has always been my favorite player.”
Matt Foster, 42, of Belleville, holding son Jack, 7 1/2
“I think the fans are supportive and really considerate, even for the away team. Just growing up, my parents bought us here when we were little. We still like to come.”
Bridget Fleming, 26, of Edwardsville, an ob nurse, with husband Brian, 34, who works for Nestle Purina, and daughter Harper, 2 1/2 months, attending her first game
“It’s fun to watch. Fans are very supportive of both teams when they do good plays.”
“I like how everyone gets along on the team to win and how everyone is here to support them.” Their favorite snack? “Pretzels with cheese.”
Taylor Rebmann, 17, of Edwardsville, sitting up high in the outfield, with Chad Rallo, 18, a 2015 grad of Edwardsville High School
“I think it’s a really fun atmosphere. I grew up in Rockford. I love the atmosphere here. They just have a beautifl stadium. It’s a great experience. We like Matt Holliday.”
Jill North, 44, of Granite City, attending the game with daughter Victoria
“I like the way they hit the ball very high, like a home run. (Favorite player Matt Holliday) is a big muscle man and he throws very good. I brought (stuffed Fredbird) just for good luck.”
Victoria James, 9, student at Wilson Elementary in Granite City, who got a free ticket during a stadium tour field trip