Redbird Dugout is a St. Louis Cardinals’ blog founded by Jon Doble in December of 2010. Later, deciding that he really knew very little about the Cardinals’ minor league system and couldn’t write intelligently about it, he brought on Jerry Canaday to write primarily about the minor leagues. Here is a little about the Redbird Dugout writers.
Jon Doble - Founder, Editor, Writer, All around good guy
I didn’t really grow up as a Cardinals’ fan, though my Dad is a Cardinals’ fan. I spent a good part of my life rebelling against the idea. I did, however, become an Andy Benes fan on my 12th birthday as he pitched a rehab start for the Prince William Cannons against the Lynchburg Hillcats, in 1997. After the game, Mr. Benes took the time to sign autographs after the game and he signed my baseball, “Happy Birthday Jonathan, Andy Benes.”
So in 1998 when Benes became an Arizona Diamondback, I began cheering for them. Even after he left to return to the Cardinals, I stayed a Diamondbacks fan, mostly because I thought their jerseys and logo were cool. Then I got to watch them win the 2001 World Series as one of the few teams to ever get to Mariano Rivera in the playoffs.
It was the 2003 season that I decided to stop rebelling and finally accept my fate as a Cardinals’ fan. The 2003 offseason was the one where I really started following the Cardinals closely and despite many other fans being dissatisfied with the offseason, I predicted that the Cardinals would make the World Series the following year. Come October, I wished I’d actually predicted they’d have won the World Series, but you get what you ask for.
It was an NLDS game in 2006 against the Padres where a popup was misplayed by Mike Piazza when I turned to my Dad and said, “We’re winning the World Series this year.” Of course, he laughed it off. I’d noticed that the little things that could go either way were all going the Cardinals’ way that fall.
I remember the 2005 NLCS game against Houston where Albert Pujols hit the big home run off of Brad Lidge. My roommate, a big Yankees fan and fan of the game in general, and I were watching the game together. I turned away at the beginning of the inning going, I can’t watch this! A couple guys get on, Albert Pujols comes up to bat. He says, “Turn around, you’re going to want to see this.” The very next pitch Albert takes Lidge deep.
And those are just a few of my favorite Cardinals memories.
Jerry Canaday - Life Long Cardinals Fan and Minor League Writer
I grew up a Cards fan in the mid-80′s with WhiteyBall. I was amazed with the continuous pressure the Cards speed put on the opposing team with the likes of McGee, Coleman and Ozzie and Lonnie Smith. Then just when you think you are taming the running game Clark or Pendleton blasts a HR. Those were the days…
As I grew older in the late 80′s and early 90′s I realized that I was blessed with some natural athletic ability. I played just about every sport known to man but still baseball was my love. As I grew older I focused almost all my time on playing the infield and hitting. Like most athletes your talents only take you so far though I had the opportunity to play college baseball and built a lot of lifelong friendships along the way.
My all-time favorite baseball moment was when I was 17 and our summer league team played a game at the Busch Stadium II when it still had the astroturf. On the bus ride up to St. Louis it started pouring down rain and it continued as we arrived at the stadium. As you could imagine we weren’t going to let a little rain ruin our once in a lifetime opportunity. We got to see some of the behind the scenes areas of Busch and then arrived in the dugout…it was everything I could have imagined and then some. Just as we were getting our equipment out the rain stopped and we jumped on the field to take it all in. We had contests in the outfield to start running full speed and slide to see how could slide the furthest on the wet turf…it was amazing. We then moved to acting like we were robbing HR’s hit on our favorite pro park. The game got underway and before you knew it we were done…it went way too quickly. The end score or stats of the day were irrelevant as you got to play on the field you dreamed of playing on since you were in grade school. No chance any experience could trump that one…
Today I live locally in the St. Louis area and root on my Cards through good and bad. I attend anywhere from 10-25 games a year and rarely miss the remaining games on TV. It never gets old. GO CARDS!