Contrasts in Consistency

Cardinal tradition is everywhere.

On a picture-perfect morning in Jupiter on Sunday, I took my first stroll of the day around the minor league fields. Four squads of red-attired minor leaguers, the future of the team, were doing their early stretching. Up pulled Bruce Manno, Director of Player Development, in his golf cart. Manno made a bee line for Minor League Field Coordinator Jim Riggleman. They earnestly discussed the plans for the day. Nearby, Triple-A pitching coach Dyar Miller was scanning his charges as they executed their drills.

As I moved onto the main field, I encountered a wide circle of major leaguers stretched out on the grass, getting loose in preparation for their upcoming drills. Coach Dave McKay was standing nearby and our conversation about teaching major leaguers baserunning skills will be the subject of an upcoming interview.

As I headed back toward the clubhouse, action in the batting cages caught my eye. There, in one cage, Albert Pujols was working up a sweat taking extra hitting with Hal McRae, as he does every single day. In the next cage was Tyrell King, age 11, son of the Cardinal reliever. Proud papa was watching the lefty-hitting Tyrell getting bunting instruction from Sunday's manager Jose Oquendo. 82-year-old Red Schoendienst ambled by.

It is difficult to describe what the Cardinal tradition feels like, but I definitely experienced it this morning. What a spectacular day it is to be a Cardinal fan!

Addendum: After a Cardinals comeback win, my final image of the day to share is that of a group of children running the bases after the game.


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