I donated some money to a charity because with the donation came a chance to have a VIP pass to watch the old Busch Stadium demolished. Low-and-behold, I was picked! Awesome!
My father and Lance Donze went with me and it was cool. They gave all the winners a beautiful lithograph of the hall-of-famers who played in Busch stadium signed by eight of them: Jackie Smith, Dan Dierdorf, Ozzie Smith, & Stan The Man.
While there, I was intervied by several TV stations about my GGFather owning the Cardinals. One of the interviews was live. Very Cool.
What a great day.
The same day I presented the photo to Tony LaRussa, I also presented a photo to Fred Hanson and the owners of the St. Louis Cardinals. We spoke for almost ten minutes in his office about Cardinal history. It was wonderful.
I received this letter from Mr. Hanson earlier this week that states they will be putting the photo in the Cardinal’s Hall of Fame next year located inside the new stadium.
I had the opportunity to talk to St. Louis Cardinals baseball manager, Tony LaRussa, on Friday. I presented him with a copy of the photo of the 1899 St Louis Baseball team which my great-grandfather owned from 1898-1917. The team included three hall of famers including, most notably, Cy Young.
I walked in the front door of Busch Stadium at 4pm on the first day of a three day series with the New York Yankees and asked to speak to Tony LaRussa’s secretary. I showed the 13″ by 17″ photo and his secretary escorted me down onto the field where the Cardinals were taking batting practice (yes, I tried to time that one and it worked). Tony was doing TV interviews but after 20 minutes of waiting (Larry Walker, Scott Roland and several others batted while I waited) Tony came over.
I presented him the photo and he was extremely grateful. He asked several times if he could do anything for me in return and I kept saying, “it is just an honor to present this to you.” Finally the third time he asked I told him I had two small boys at home, he wrote down their names and ages.
When Ben (my six-year old) found out what had transpired he said, “DAD! You mean the Cardinals coach asked you if there was ANYTHING he could do for you? And you didn’t ask him if Pujols could come over to our house for dinner?”
What was I thinking!?!
In 1898, Edward C. Becker purchased the St Louis Cardinals baseball franchise (at that time it was the St Louis Browns) from the founder Mr. Vander Auhe. 100 years later and in honor of this former owner, I (Edward’s great-grandson) got to sing the national anthem in 1998 on a hot August evening when the Cardinals took on the Atlanta Braves.
Many extended family members from all over the country and friends converged on St Louis as we celebrated the event.
My loving brother, Bob, tried to jinx me at the last moment. In the hotel elevator on the way to the stadium, my brother said, “Now, is it proof through the flight or proof through the night?” Nice…real nice.
It wasn’t a stellar job, but one person stopped me afterwards and said, “I’ve never heard the audience be so quiet for the National Anthem from begining to end. It was very special.”
Since the event, I’ve had two total strangers recognize me in a crowd as singing the National Anthem that day. Just last year some 7 years after I sang, I had someone say, “I was there the day you sang the National Anthem, I’d never heard it sung with such passion.”
I am very proud of the fact that from 1898-1917, my great-grandfather owned the St Louis Cardinals baseball team. It was his under leadership, prior to his first season in 1899, that a trade with Cleveland brought baseball legend Cy Young to St Louis. You can read more about my baseball heritage at http://BeckerBoys.com/Cardinals.