I have a confession to make.
Despite travelling to the US several times in the past, I have never been to a baseball game.
Shameful, I know.
So whilst I was in St Louis my host Scott decided that it was about time that I corrected this fatal error. Being one of the most popular sports in America it seemed only fitting that I finally pop my baseball cherry and it just so happened that there was a home game for the St Louis Cardinals on my first full day in the city. Add to that the fact that they were practically giving the tickets away at $5 each and it would have been rude not to go. As luck would have it Adam, who is a massive Cardinals fan himself, was also free that day and agreed to come with us, so off we set with beers in hand to enjoy in the car parking lot pre-game (you have to do as the locals do, after all, and I am all about enjoying an authentic experience).
|These two are a pretty big deal. People know them.|
It was a nice sunny day and the beer was flowing – again, another first for me to sample Busch beer, the brewery company which sponsors the Cardinals’ stadium. We took our seats and had a great view of not only the pitch but also the Gateway Arch in the distance. Perfecto.
Despite not really being au fait with the rules of baseball, I understood the general gist of the game from having played rounders as a child at school and playing with an imaginary bat on Wii Sports. For me though it wasn’t really about studying the rules and technique of the game but more the general atmosphere and enjoying some nice cool beers with friends. I imagined it to be much the same atmosphere as a cricket match would be in England (although, again, I have to say I have never been to one. I know; the embarrassing sports confessions just keep coming today. But, I’ve watched them on TV and it looks pretty much the same…..*hangs head in shame*). The reason I say this is that everyone is much more relaxed during a baseball game than they are say during a European football match, or any more frenetic sport for that matter, where the audience are intent on concentrating on the players at all times in case they happen to miss anything important. I really liked this aspect of the sport. To be honest, any sport where I can get beer and food without leaving the comfort of my seat whilst enjoying the sunshine and not being berated for talking to my companions is all good in my book.
|Not The Big Puma....maybe The Big Leopard?|
In the last inning Lance Berkman (aka The Big Puma) scored a winning home run for the Cardinals and the crowd went wild. It was a great ending to my first ever baseball game.
|Trying to show my support by wearing red for the day|
If you want to read about my impression of St Louis as a first time visitor, check out my post on Scott's website here