Chevy "Keys To STL" has asked for my top 3 All-Star Game moments. Top 3 All-Star Game moments? That's like asking me to pick my favorite 20 dollar bill. Or my favorite Tom Cruise divorce.
What, too soon?
Champions persevere, though. And since they were the ones that sent The CD to KC for the ASG, we needed to comply promptly.
"You want a free beer", yelled the guy with a Yadier Molina jersey on.
"Serious. Free beer!"
Normally, the offer of a free beer from a random outside a stadium would have been an non-starter (Note: lie), but since the guy had a Cardinals jersey on, I had to at least see what the catch was.
"No catch. We need to head into the stadium and brought too much beer.
We're giving them out to Cardinal fans."
And he wasn't kidding. In the 15 minutes I hung out with this stranger, he literally offered every Cardinal shirt wearing person a free beer. Some took it, others politely declined. But his singular motivation was nothing more than showing some love to Cardinal fans while making every other teams fans looks like selfish brats.
Normally when you wear your colors on the road, it leads to hostility.
Instead, during the All-Star Game, a member of Cardinal Nation hung out with a cooler of free beer and made a bunch of new friends without ever getting a single name.
That's why we love sports. Couldn't point to this guy in a line-up, but he could care less. As long as he's made our city look better, he doesn't care where the credit goes. And yes, it was Budweiser.
We knew Ted was a real life version of Family Guy. But we went to the movies and laughed anyway.
We knew that MLB was going to pull out all the old tropes to celebrate America. But I loved it anyway.
From the huge flag covering the outfield to the Stealth Fighter flying over during the National Anthem. it was all designed to stir the baseball/patriotic symbolism to a dizzying height. And when I put on my free red shirt to be a part of a huge 40,000 person flag and looked across the aisle to see a veteran in full salute, I admit. it worked.
America F YEAH!
Subject to change if Mr. LaRussa decides to un-retire and go manage the Reds, but seeing his last game managed was a special moment. He's the third most winningest manager of all-time in MLB and for more years of my life than not, he's been the manager of my favorite team.
The ultimate competitor. The ultimate winner. And after the game, he looked like a guy that had just put the finishing touch on a career that will not be equaled in my lifetime. And maybe his participation in the 2012 ASG will ultimately be a footnote when the epitaph of his life is rendered, but still, we were there. The very last time he puts on #10 in a Cardinals jersey to do something other than a little role-play at home.
A fitting way to end an All-Star game experience.