Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

First Hand Last Look at Busch Stadium by George Devine, Jr.

When fans arrived for all 3 games of the recent series between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, they encountered “Sold Out” signs at all the stadium entrances. For thousands of Cardinals’ faithful, that message resembled the one they’d seen on the club’s website.

The old Busch Stadium, is sold out, shall we say, forever!

Click below for more of George Devine’s excellent story.The Cardinals have sold out much of their remaining schedule for the 2005 season; their last in a former multi-purpose facility they’ve called home since 1966. You might be able to buy a ticket for a game between now and the end of the regular season, but beyond that all the seats are gone, “Sold out, none left”, says Cards’ account executive Don Loughridge.

The Cardinals have sold every seat, from the boxes behind home plate to bleacher benches in the outfield, in pairs to the highest bidders on . So if you want a seat from the current Busch Stadium, you might have to find one on e-bay or another auction site from shall we call them; online scalpers?

St. Louis fans can also snatch up other pieces of their old ballpark in this” everything must go sale.”

You can buy pieces of the scoreboard, chairs from the luxury boxes, menu signboards from the concession stands, restroom fixtures, banners, and even the tractors and other rolling stock used by the grounds crew.

Take a look around the press room, pictures of Cardinals’ legends like shortstop Ozzie Smith, broadcaster Jack Buck, and the great Stan Musial cover the walls. A small hologram sticker covers the lower, right-hand corner of each photo. An expert at authenticating memorabilia for Major League baseball put them there, to certify that these items actually hung in the old Busch Stadium.

And if your tastes include items that you need a large truck to haul away from the condemned yard, how about the buffet used to serve the meals in the press room, according to Loughridge, it’s, yeah, you guessed it, already sold. Don’t ask about the bar or any of the tables and chairs in the press room, they’re gone too, sold to the highest bidders.

But many items remain available, and with those strict carry-on requirements the airlines enforce these days, I did some asking about smaller stuff.

How much for that banner I asked Loughridge, his answer, “Go online and make a bid. People are buying everything.”

I’ve seen people jam some awkward items into the overhead bin, but I think I’ll take my chances with the folks at FedEx or UPS if I win my bid for a genuine Busch Stadium trash can, complete with an Anheiser-Busch logo superimposed over a silhouette of the stadium.

So what will the Cardinals do when they move into their new ballpark just behind the right field wall of their old one, Loughridge simply replies, “Buy new stuff.”

Once the baseball ends and the old Busch, which for the Central Division leading Redbirds, could be in game 5 of the World Series, a 3-week countdown starts. Crews have 21 days to take all the artifacts from the ballpark out and prepare it for the explosive experts who’ll take the old house down. Busch will be imploded, just like similar “cookie-cutter” venues in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Atlanta before it.

The construction folks need to stay on time because much of the field of the new Busch Stadium will occupy the same space where much of the current stadium’s outfield stands sit. Fans can even catch a glimpse into the layout of the new ballpark from the old one; a miniature foul pole rises from the seats behind the current right field line, which marks the left field corner in the new park.

So as the dump trucks haul off the rubble of the old Busch Stadium, ironworkers and masons will lay the foundation for the stands behind 3rd base and along the leftfield line of the new one. By March, a finished structure will be outfitted with seats and the other finishing touches needed to open the turnstiles. The Cardinals and their contractors plan to work around the clock until the umpire shouts “Play Ball” next spring.

Back at home, some Cardinal fans will pull up a couple of old stadium seats and enjoy their favorite team on the tube. Maybe the folks who bought the old grounds crew equipment will crank up their transistor radio, as Mike Shannon brings them to the park, and they connect to their team’s history while completing yard chores


1 Anonymous { 08.22.05 at 1:25 am }


I attended the first games in this stadium, against the Braves–they were in mid season, the Cardinala opened that year in the old park on Grand Ave —we all thought the new stadium was incredible, in a baseball paradise like St. Louis, we could not imagine anything better,

And the first two full years in the stadium, the Cardinals brought in the World Series–amazing times for sure — I realize the stadium is multipurpose — but the rolling parapets and the overrall traditions made this a memorable place

thanks for the memories

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