Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cubs - Cardinals

The east has the Yankees and Red Sox. The west has Giants and Dodgers. But in the Midwest the rivalry is the Cubs and the Cardinals. And whether the game is in Chicago or St. Louis, each team's fan base is well-represented. Of course the Cardinal fans have much more to boast about as they come off a World Series Championship in 2011, and have had others in my lifetime. Cubs fans have a love for their team. Their last championship goes back over 100 years and it is hard to find anyone who is was alive for that title. Cardinals fans like to remind Chicago fans of their success.

This past weekend was the second time the two teams played in Chicago this season and my second time to see the two teams play each other in 2012. Earlier in the season I witnessed a rare Cubs win in Busch Stadium. Both ballparks are great venues for baseball. There is the historic Wrigley Field with the ivy on the walls and located in the middle of a neighborhood. Busch Stadium is in the heart of downtown St. Louis underneath the famous Arch. A much easier venue to drive to with the many ramps downtown and interstates running all around the stadium. Wrigley is nestled into a neighborhood block and the best way to reach it is by train or by bus.
 But it doesn't matter which ballpark the game is in, fans are intently into every pitch and the Gateway City's famous export flows freely in either stadium. I've heard of stories of Yankee and Red Sox fans getting into fights during the games, and don't forget about a stabbing outside Dodger Stadium early last season of a Giants fan. But when these two teams get together, it is a friendly rivalry that does lead to a disagreement or two between some intense fans.
WGN's Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland next to KMOX's Mike Shannon and John Rooney
 Growing up in Central Iowa both the Cubs and Cardinals radio stations could be heard on the nearby radio. The Cubs, being a team who played often during the day, would be over by the time I would go to bed. But the Cardinals boomed into my bedroom from the nearby FM affiliate. Jack Buck and Mike Shannon were the voices of my summers during my youth. I knew everything about Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Lonnie Smith, Tommy Herr and other Cardinal players from these iconic announcers. The Cubs, of course had Harry Caray and Milo Hamilton as well as Lou Boudreau. And the words, "Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air" was as popular then as it is today when Pat Hughes greets Cubs fans all around the world.
Perhaps known more to today's generation as the radio analyst of Cubs Baseball, Ron Santo was recently inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame. Santo a third baseman for the Cubs and White Sox had been on the ballot for many years, but he didn't go in until after he passed away. #10 flags, Santo's jersey number flew high above Wrigley Field all weekend long in honor of the former Cubs radio announcer.

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