Saturday, July 23 – Dodgers 7, Cardinals 2
St. Louis was my first stop on a four-city air and rental car swing. I’d seen old Busch Stadium from the outside, but never attended a game in the city. But just for the history of the team, this was one of the most anticipated visits of the summer.
Access: I drove in from my hotel in suburban St. Charles and found a parking garage at $20 just two blocks from Busch Stadium. The exit was typically congested for the few blocks leading to the interstate.
Seats/pricing: I sat almost directly behind home plate on the upper level for $71.90, purchased on-line three weeks in advance and including the assorted rip-off “convenience” charges.
View: Lots to see from Busch Stadium, including the St. Louis Arch, a bridge east to Illinois, the original capitol building that now is city hall, and other downtown buildings.
Food: I asked for something local and was steered to a specialty from The Hill, the Italian section of St. Louis where Joe Garagiola and Yogi Berra grew up. The taste treat was a meat ball cone: five giant meat balls (four or five bites each, not those little cocktail size) topped with a marinara sauce and plenty of cheese in a firm, but not crisp, cone. Really good
Beer: Mostly $8.75 to $9.50, naturally featuring the offerings of Anheuser Busch.
Crowd: 45,477. Cardinal fans are among the baseball world’s most loyal, knowledgeable and decked out in team attire. But they didn’t have much to cheer about at this comfortable Dodgers’ victory.
Neighborhood: Cardinals Nation, the Budweiser Brew House, and Ballpark Village form a complex just across the street from the left field stands is a huge gathering spot pre- and post-game. There are a number of food, ice cream, and beverage spots, plus an outdoor mini-field for little kids. Other spots are just another block away.
Arts and visuals: With their rich history of championships and stars, the Cardinals have numerous statues outside Busch Stadium and plaques lining the sidewalk.
Baseball Moment: Justin Turner’s two-run double in a four-run third inning broke the game open early for the Dodgers.