Opening day 2012 was a slog.
The annual STL holiday was one to forget as the Cardinals not only got their asses handed to them, but the city was soaked by rain, causing hours of delays to the eventual start. Any sort of carry-over from the magical 2011 post-season run was rebuffed by piss-poor baseball and Mother Nature.
The next morning I got a call from Coach Mac.
He had his work tickets and was going to entertain two clients. He needed someone to go with him to the game. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to go. The drinking slash cold slash soaking from the day before had really taken its toll, but Mac wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
After all, it was ring day. And we got a replica of the real ones the Cardinals were getting. How the hell could I pass that up?
In 2007 I went to replica ring day and got what amounted to a fancy toy. The fake ring was plastic, bulky and worst of all… attached to a stand so you couldn’t even wear it. (Sadly, even though I was long out of college, I broke it off the stand so I could wear it.)
Maybe it was this fact that had drawn down expectations. Maybe it was the hangover. But I promise you that when I walked into Busch Stadium I wasn’t expecting much of a promo item.
I got the single best give-a-way the Cardinals, or any St. Louis sports team has ever done.
In fact, during the on-field real ring ceremony, Coach Mac and I started taking pictures of each other in the stands and texting them to out of town friends. When the rain delayed the game before the first pitch, we actually left the stadium and went home. The day wasn’t getting any better. We generally acted like 8 year olds.
So it comes as no surprise that when the team announced that they were having a SECOND ring night that tickets went almost instantly. (More surprisingly was the Cardinals willingness to buy 45K more rings. I’m sure they’re not more than 4 bucks when you buy in bulk. But that’s way, way more than the normal magnet or poster.) Now the price gouging on tickets to the next night has become news:
Let me just say this: It’s worth it. I still wear the thing around. And damn it, people want to call me a douche, but they can’t. IT LOOKS THAT REAL!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for story time today.