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Archive for the ‘The Greatest Sports Town’ Category

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT? THE CARDINALS GOT TALENT

The clouds and tall buildings rose to blot out wind-whipped banners on Wednesday night, surrounding the National League Championship Series III at Busch Stadium. Like a Bastian cartoon, the crowd’s cheers, howls and roars seemed to bump the bridges over the Mississippi. The tailgaters twisted, jerked and jammed in social baubles. Outside the stadium there seemed to be the biggest mob this side of a Cecil B. DeMille production. They arrived early and raised the question: Didn’t anyone work in this crazy city? The grounds of the proposed Ballpark Village was strewn with bodies like a battlefield.

KMOX’S MARK REARDON & CO.

Kevin Wheeler and Mark Reardon

Near the entrance to the stadium, KMOX’s remote broadcast tent was commandeered by dynamic Mark Reardon with his entourage – Scott Warmann, Kevin Wheeler, Fred Bodimer and Stacy Gentrey. Reardon, 46, a grad of Parkway-West and Mizzou, was born in Chicago but came here with his parents in the 1970s. He did a stint in Milwaukee, where he met his wife, Rebecca. He pointed out, “My wife is wearing (Brewers) blue tonight, while I’m in red. I don’t like the Cubs. I love St. Louis because it’s a sports town. I’ve wrapped my arms around this city.” Asked why he enjoys radio over television, where he does movie reviews on Channel 4, Reardon quipped,  “I don’t have to shave on radio.” He continued, “I enjoy clean living and haven’t had a drink in 21 years. I just cycled 103 miles around Alton.” The couple has two sons, Evan, 14, and Aiden, 11

CARDINAL FEVER

Julie and Will Mozeliak

The team that knows how. That’s the Cardinals all over. History might prove the team is more precise than the cryptic Phillies. “Who you for – the Cardinals or the Phillies?”, asked the daring columnist of the tailgaters on Tuesday at the risk of being beat up. “We just came from the pet blessing at Ste. Genevieve du Bois Church,” said charming Julie Mozelliak, wife of Cardinals vp and gm John Mozeliak. With her was their son, 6 year-old Will, who professed his ambition to be a player – not a manager. Then, a visit with beloved Fanny Sehollin the Red Bird Roost. It’s a tradition to pay homage

Fanny Seholl

to the 95 year-old who’s been flipping homemade hamburgers in both Busch Stadiums for 42 years. Retirement? “When the good Lord wants me to,” she said. No frozen hamburgers for Fanny, who enjoys preparing her own seasoning and uses fresh ground meat. She proudly exclaimed she grew up on Fourteenth and O’Fallon Streets and attended the St. Lawrence O’Toole School. Member of the Cardinal ownership, Fred Hanser, popped in to hug Fanny as did his wife, Kathy. Joining Kathy was Bill Wallaceof U.S. Vets St. Louis. He revealed a new home for homeless veterans will be

Fred Hanser, Fanny Seholl

established in an apartment building in St. John. The 12 homes in the nation are funded by various federal and HUD grants. “We are the largest provider for homeless vets in the country,” Wallace said. Meanwhile, remember that wonderful, long gone restaurant and cigar bar – Joseph’s Italian Cafe and Jo-Jo’s in Kirkwood? Joe Consolo and his family are about to bow a dinery in Naples, Florida, where he and his wife, Geri, now call home. Their daughter Tiffany, lives here with her husband Eric LaRocca, who was catching the game Tuesday with Tom Murphy – both with Weiss Insurance.
As I paradiddled my fingers on the keyboard

Kathy Hanser, Bill Wallace

on Wednesday, the thought occurred to me that when a telecaster says, “Well, things could be worse,” you know he has given up the search for something better. “Down but not out,” predicted a news reader. Others: “Are the Red Birds done?” “The comeback Cardinals,” “I hope I’m on a plane to Philly in the morning,” cheered Frank Cusumano on Channel 5. Meanwhile, can you just hear Tony LaRussa telling the team, “Hey, what’re you guys trying to do with old Tony?” As the curtain fell on the loss, fans revolted and sounded a little menacing, too. Good luck tonight to the Cardinals, the team that won’t

Tom Murphy and Eric La Rocca

give up!

NFL DILEMMA, STRAUB’S 110TH ANNIVERSARY, AG KOSTER ON REELECTION, GATEWAY CLASSIC

Collector of Revenue Greg F.X. Daly, Associate District Judge Nannette Baker, Stacy and Chief Juvenile Judge Jimmie Edwards, an honoree.

Westminster College in Fulton has frozen tuition through 2013 at $19k for the two-semester year. . .SLU has delayed the $2 million expansion of the law school building due to “”faltering economy”. . .WashU students are complaining they’re having difficulties with WiFi in residence halls. . .Almost two-thirds of U.S. adults say they watch NFL football for as much as 10 hours a week, according to an Adweek/Harris poll. . .Docs are saying that since the advent of 24-hour news, almost
19 percent of viewers exposed to mass violence and natural disasters are affected with a wide range of psychopathological consequences. . . PNC Bank has filed a motion seeking approval of sale procedures and a private sale of the Susan Pines Apartments, a 36-acre, 336-unit apartment complex in St. Louis county ( a Gannon/William Franke business). . .Missouri Attorney Gen. Chris Koster is seeking donations to his reelection campaign. He writes: “We want to be well-prepared for whomever may come our way”. . .Tongues are still wagging about the exciting Gateway Classic foorball game Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome, where the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff was pitted against the Clark-Atlanta U; Missouri Southern State vs. Lincoln U.  The games and lifetime achievement honorees were honored at a gala that preceded the games with proceeds going to scholarships for area needy black students. The football classic was co-sponsored by Ameren Missouri and helmed by
Rich Gray, son of the classic’s founder Earl Wilson. During the black-tie gala at the Hyatt Regency, Judge Jimmie Edwards and his wife, Stacy mingled with Lou “Fatha” Thimes and seen there were such luminaries as Dr. John Wright, Cong. Lacy Clay, Jonathan Butler, Dr. Arlene Ackerman, Ruth Smith, Barbara and John Noble, Greg F.X. Daly, Jim Buford, Dawn Fuller with DeWayne Butler, Brian Leonard and Shirley Stennis, Mattie Moore, Kitty Ratcliffe, Judge Nanette Baker. Emcee was  Denise Thimes. . .To mark the 110th anniversary of the treasured Straub’s markets, fifth generation owner Jack “Trip” Straub, III., will offer at his four stores special sale prices, tastings from “Straubalicious” items and more surprises beginning Oct. 8. ..Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will perform Bruch‘s Violin Concerto on Saturday night as part of the Red Ball at Powell Hall. . .Congrats to the esteemed Leadership 100 of top diverse professionals, who were
honored by the Regional Business Council on Tuesday night at the Peabody.

JIM HANIFAN, BOB PETTIT, VINCE COLEMAN, WALLY MOON – ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE

That lovable, historic landmark on not-always-lovable Washington Avenue – the handsome Missouri Athletic Club- (MAC) – brought to minds on Thursday night sports heroes, who became household names  Painless nostalgia is hard to beat, when you meet up with the honorees at the “Rookie of the Year” event. presented by the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and the MAC.  The program and dinner drew such notables as:

  • Football Cardinals’ Ottis Anderson: “I live in New Jersey and build amateur football fields.”
  • Football Cardinals head coach Jim Hanifan: “My heart goes out to Bill Bidwill, who’s affected by Alzheimer’s. Some people ask me why I feel that way because he fired me. and I tell them, ‘Yes, but he hired me.'”
  • Baseball Cardinals’ Wally Moon: “I’ve written a book, ‘Moon Shot,” and it’s about my years in baseball, including  from 1954-1958 with the Cardinals, when I played with Stan Musial and Kenny Boyer.”
  • St. Louis Hawks Basketball’s Bob Pettit: “I’m totally retired nowadays – no more challenges.”

About 400 guests assembled in the ballroom, where Hall of Fame’s president Greg Maracek pointed out that the $25,000 raised from the event (including a generous donation from Bob Costas) will be used to underwrite the maintenance of the Sports Hall of Fame at Scottrade Center and to create an educational platform for the youth and adults “to know and understand and learn life lessons from the greats.” Here ‘n there were: glamorous event planner Kristie Schneidegger; Todd Worrell; Johnny Roland; Jim Leeker; Vince Coleman; Willie McGee; Roy Sievers; Bill Verdon and Ted Sizemore.The MAC is a point of view that points to itself with pride. Now, watch some spoilsport suggest it should be steel-balled. Later, the club’s exec David Weiss settled down with the columnist in the jumping Jack Buck Grill, teeming with associate club members (31 years-old and younger)  Weiss touted the MAC’s history and facilities. There are currently 2,400 members of the club, said prez Tom Albus. Among the younger set was Henry Elster, an attorney who specializes in constitutional law, who explained, “It’s more scholarly than any other field. I enjoy it, because there’s so much history involved. But, I won’t make a fortune.”

RAMS RADIO RUNDOWN

101 ESPN Radio has inked its radio broadcast team and show line-up for the 2011-2012 season. Randy Karaker will host the pre-game show with analyst coach Rick Venturi. In-game coverage play-by-play will be helmed by Steve Savard and color analyst D’Marco Farr with in-game reporting by Tony Softli while studio host will be Tom Casey. Post-game host will be Zach McCrite with analysts Howard Balzer and Gus Ferotte.

ATTORNEY ALLAN ZERMAN ON CURT FLOOD

Curt Flood, yesteryear center fielder for the Cardinals, will be the subject of a documentary to be aired at 8 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) on HBO. Titled “The Curious Case of Curt Flood,” it will feature interviews with our town’s Allan Zerman, who was Flood’s personal attorney during Flood’s challenge in refusing to accept a trade, which resulted in solidarity among players to fight against the reserve clause and their seeking free agent status.

A CARDS SWEEP AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL

A galaxy of baseball idols was scattered around the room at the Four Seasons Hotel Thursday night for the Thompson Foundation for Autism Dinner & Auction, which garnered $500 k.. Folk hero Mark McGwire chomped on a stick of Spearmint gum, while he greeted the throngs of fans surrounding him as though he was attending a homecoming at his alma mater, Damian High in LaVerne, CA. Shaking hands, signing baseballs, mugging for the photographers and acknowledging a bevy of swooning onlookers, McGwire was later required a posse to spirit him away to the dinner. Tony LaRussa was in obvious discomfort with what he described as “an infected eye,” while he greeted newly sworn-in Ladue Mayor and wine merchant Tony Bommarito.  More than $500k was raised through the dinner and auction at which Fayette, Missouri’s fourth generation banker, Jay Jacobs,  bought Albert Pujols’ bat.  Skipper Tony LaRussa’s six field box seats were purchased twice for $6,000 each.  A stay at the Three Forks Ranch was purchased for $7,000.  An offer to match a bid of $5,000 for the charity got hands up from four buyers. KMOX’s Charlie Brennan served as a standout host, while Bill Thompson, who founded the Thompson Center Center for Autism & Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders with his wife Nancy, presented Mike Keathley with its 2011 distinguished service award.

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ALBERT PUJOLS GOES ON “60 MINUTES”

Barring any late-breaking news or major news development, Cards slugger Albert Pujols‘ profile will air on CBS’ “60 Minutes” this Sunday.  That’s the word according to KTRS mid-day man J.C. Corcoran as told to him by the show’s correspondent Bob Simon.  Said J.C.: “The piece is expected to show Pujols everywhere from his home here to the Dominican Republic.”  J.C. spoke with Simon recently in Jupiter.

CARDINAL NATION

Though Cardinal Nation is understandably fixated on the start of the baseball season, Sunday’s edition of The New York Times learned one Missourian’s pioneering role in another sport – basketball. It seems that in the 1930s, John Miller Cooper purportedly took the first jump shot ever at the collegiate level while playing at the University of Missouri. “My feet left the hardcourt surface and it felt good,” Cooper said before his death last year at the age of 98. “I knew I had discovered something.” (His coach, however, reportedly benched him and warned, “Don’t ever do that again!”)


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