Wednesday, September 18, 2019

American Cancers Society Day at Busch Stadium

I mentioned in yesterday's post that the family and I went to the Cardinals game this past Sunday.  Each year the Cardinals sponsor 2 American Cancer Society days, one for Illinois and one for Missouri.  I am not sure why there are 2 days because you do not have to be from the specific state to attend the pregame activities.  I could not attend the Illinois date, so we made it a point to attend Sunday's game.  The tickets were cheap, $85 for 4 bleacher seats.  Pregame activities which started at 9:00 for the 1:15 game included dugout tours, a pregame parade around the warning track, and autographs from 3 current players and 4 retired alumni. 

If you have read my blog, you would know that the autographs were the main reason we were going.  It was great of the Cardinals to release the names of the autograph signers on Thursday so I could prepare for them.  I know some events like this you never find out who will be there.  We arrived about 8:40 not knowing if there would be a big crowd.  There may have been 50 people at the gate we were at.  I was expecting more because almost 8,000 tickets were sold for this event.
The gates opened at 9.  The giveaway for the day were adult and kids stocking hats.  Nicely made, but a little on the small side.   My kids will be able to wear the adult sizes.  Anything free is always nice.  The autographs started at 9:15 and lasted until 11:00.  The players were scattered along the concourse on the first level.  We were provided a map of the locations, but not of who would be where.   We chose to hit up 2 current players first.

Andrew Knizner was my top priority.  He should be the full time back up catcher next year, and eventually take over for Molina if he ever retires.

This is a ticket from his MLB debut.  I was lucky to have a friend attend this game.  It is getting harder and harder to find hard copy tickets these days.  I forgot to mention that autographs were 1 per person.   Good thing there are 4 people in my family. 

I have gotten Ryan Helsley's autograph before when he played in Peoria.  I would guess he will be a bullpen piece next year.  He can throw 100mph, but has been prone to the home run so far.

Going into the day, I was only hoping to get Knizner and Helsley.  Anybody on top of that would be a bonus.  It only took 20 minutes to get through their lines.  Our next focus were 2 former players I had never received autos from.

I only had 1 card for Acevdo, so my wife and daughter stood in his line.  He only played in St. Louis for 2 seasons so there are not many Cardinal cards of him.  I always prefer my autographed cards to show the player in a Cardinals uniform.

My son and I hit up the Julian Tavarez line.  He also only played 2 seasons in St. Louis.  Both lines were pretty quick, so we split up again.

Lane Thomas had a fairly large line, but it moved along pretty quick.  My son and I waited in his line.  He does not have any MLB cards in a Cardinals uniform, so I used the stadium card from 2019 Topps.  Thomas hit a home run in his first big league at bat this year.  He has some nice potential, but the Cardinals outfield is pretty crowded.  He has a slight chance to be the 4th outfielder next year.

My wife and daughter got Politte while we waited in the Thomas.  They headed to the last alumini line while we were in the Politte line.  With 40 minutes left, we had one more line to make it through.
I was shocked to see how long the line was for John Costello.  He signs almost every year at Winter Warm Up and several other functions.  Pretty soon I will have a autographed copy of all his cards.   My son and I made it to his line just as my wife and daughter were close to the front.  We made it through all 7 lines in a little over an hour.  Pretty good for getting 21 autographs.

We did not do the dugout tour or pregame walk.   We have done the stadium tour twice before, so neither of those 2 activities were a big deal for us.  It was also Fiesta Cardenales theme day at Busch Stadium.   On the fourth deck there was a Spanish celebration with music and booths set up.  I bought a $20 theme ticket for a talking double bobblehead featuring the Cardinals Spanish announcers Polo Ascensio and Benji Molina.   The bobblehead is awesome.  From what little Spanish I know, they are calling a Yadier Molina home run.  The best part was they both were there signing the bobblehead.

This is the first bobblehead I have ever gotten signed.  It looks pretty sweet, but I doubt if I will get too many more autographed.  Most do not have a good spot for the signature like this one does.  After getting this signed, we sat done for lunch.   A free hot dog and 20oz soda was included with our ticket.  Overall  a great day until the top of the 9th inning.  It hurts to relive that, so I will end here.     




  1. I went to that game, but I was given the tickets when someone couldn't make it, so I had no idea about the pregame activities. My tickets were listed a little pricier than that for seats, but also has the ACS designation on it with the free hot dog/soda like you described, so I wonder if I could have gotten into the autograph sessions too.

    And yes, it was an excellent 8+ innings of baseball.

  2. You could have done everything that I did. Face value of my ticket was around $44 I believe. Next year I may try to hit up both days. If I can remember, I will let you know when the tickets go on sale. I believe I got mine in late February or early March.