The Cardinals organization, and the baseball community in St. Louis, knew Erv primarily as the Historian for the Hall of Fame Museum- -the man who somehow always knew the answer when others were stumped on a year or a statistic. They also knew Erv as an active member of the Society For American Baseball Research, and a key member of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club.
I knew him as my Dad, the man who would do anything for you, all you had to do was ask -- the man who literally would have given his last dime to someone in need, and the man who loved his family more than anything in the world.
Dad was the Cardinals' biggest fan, having spent more than 70 of his 80 short years with a passion for the team and baseball that few could match. He landed his "dream job" of actually working for the Cardinals organization late in life after retiring from his career in the insurance industry. Dad was the voice of eternal optimism when he was interviewed on national TV before the first game of the World Series with the Boston Red Sox a few seasons ago, and he was the man who helped to ensure that all of the displays in the Hall of Fame Museum were accurately annotated so that they could not only be appreciated by all, but also be a learning tool for any "young Ervs" out there who aspired to remember those important dates and statistics of past and present baseball greats.
Dad inspired a love for the game of baseball in all of us in a very special way, and he was often discouraged with some of the recent controversies in the game. My memories and love for the game go back to the times I attended games with Dad in the old Sportsmans Park watching Harry Caray leaning out of the broadcast booth trying to catch a fly ball in his net; or sitting with Dad on a cold April day in 1978 when Bob Forsch pitched his 5-0 no hitter against the Phillies. I have a special remembrance of that day with my Dad in my office even now. I also remember fondly the many times growing up, when Dad would be watching a Cardinals game in our living room, and he'd suddenly yell out "It might be...it could be...it is ...a home run!" I think for a long time I thought that rendition was Dad's own because it was so familiar to me, and it seemed such a genuine _expression of his excitement when a game was going well.
Dad is gone now, and he can never be replaced. I'm not sure that the hole in our hearts will ever heal, but I know how fortunate we all were to have loved him, and to have known him. He leaves behind a baseball legacy for the Cardinals, and for all of us - - a simple and pure love for the game- - an event that can trigger wonderful memories of family and friends even though we're years older and perhaps miles away. We honor Dad by going back to that simple love of the game, and by remembering and appreciating the man who remembered all those statistics in his head so that he could pass it on to those around him. In those simple ways, he'll always be with us. Dad, we love you and we miss you.