David and I have been watching Ken Burns' "Baseball" for what seems like the entire summer. 10 discs worth, but I love it. I love baseball.
I am a die-hard Cardinals fan, I freely admit it. I'll follow the games even if the Redbirds don't have a chance in hell. I haven't been to Busch stadium this year because funds are a little tight, but that's o.k. I'd almost rather listen to the game on the radio.
I grew up in Illinois which should have made me a Cubs or White Sox fan, but I grew up in Southern Illinois - big difference. Downstate folks don't really consider Chicago a part of their state but an entity all it's own, sort of the alien state of Chicagoland.
My Grandpa and Mom were both Cardinals fans, so it was sort of a family tradition. And the stadium was only 2 hours away.
Early in the 1987 season, a friend of mine scored some tickets to a Cards/Mets game and asked if I wanted to go. The Mets were (and probably still are) the second most hated team in Cardinal nation - right behind the Cubs - so I jumped at the chance.
Plus, it was seat cushion night.
One of the promotions that season involved giving free seat cushions to patrons attending the game. I don't remember if you had to be first in line or everybody in attendance got one, but I remember heading to our nosebleed section seats clutching our free cushions. They weren't the nicest things in the world - a thin square foot of padding covered by white plastic and printed with a huge Cards logo - but the seats did get a little hard after a while, and our asses were grateful.
The game was neck and neck most of the evening and the stadium was packed. Midway through the game after a particularly exciting Cards defensive play, someone in the upper seats discovered that the free seat cushion made an excellent Frisbee. They didn't just plummet to the field. It must have been something about their design - the cheap lightweight materials used, the size and shape, the convenient handle on one side, the humidity in the air - that caused them to float, twirling down to the field like snowflakes. This spurred others on to the extent that officials kept having to stop the game to clear the field. Threatening voices began coming over the loudspeakers that if patrons didn't stop throwing things the Cards would be forced to forfeit the game. This was met with boos and a few cushions gliding through the air.
The game was still tied in the bottom of the ninth. Top of the tenth, the Cards had managed to load the bases with 2 outs when Tommy Herr came to bat. His grand slam home run beat the hated Mets 12-8 and electrified the crowd. I think every person in that stadium - including yours truly - threw their free seat cushions into the air.
It was a beautiful sight, one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. People screaming and jumping up and down, hugging each other while Tommy Herr rounded the bases in what looked like a snowstorm. Thousands of seat cushions were lazily twirling down to cover the field. It was almost majestic, like something out of The Natural.
I don't think the Cardinals had another seat cushion night for almost 20 years.
Comfortable Under This Rock, Thank You
4 years ago