Posted on August 29, 2008 at 8:00 AM
Filed Under: Baseball
| United Cardinal Bloggers
EDIT: After I posted this, I noted that the last portion (including my fourth member) had been cut off. Find the rest after the jump....
installment of the United Cardinal Bloggers, we are taking a break from the
on-the-field stuff to deal with one of those traditional hypothetical questions
that get asked at ice breakers and job interviews.
could invite any four people to a dinner party, who would it be and why?”
being that this is a UCB project, we are putting a Cardinal twist on it, in
that the four people must be tied to the St. Louis franchise, be it as a
player, a manager, a general manager, a broadcaster or whatever.
other participating blogs to see how similar—and, likely, how different—we are. Rockin' the Red, Cardinal Nation Globe, BertFlex and Redbird Ramblings have posted theirs. (Fungoes is up now as well!)
down to just four people is a difficult proposition. The Cardinals have such a rich history that
there are numerous selections that could be made.
considering my four, I tried to consider both my favorite players and
personalities from my knowledge of Cardinals past plus how rich the baseball
discussion would be. With that in mind,
let’s go around the table.
I’ll go current and select Albert Pujols. Not only is Pujols one of my favorite
players, but I think being able to ask him questions about hitting, his thought
process, how he goes about things would be fascinating. Stan Musial was a great hitter as well, but I
don’t know if he put the thought into hitting that Albert does. It may be Musial’s natural humility, but his
most famous quote on hitting is “Wait for a strike and hit the [expletive] out
of it.” Besides, Pujols would probably
have numerous stories about the current and recent band of Cardinals. And you’d have to ask him about the time he
took the bat out of John Rodriguez’s hands, basically saying he wasn’t going to
I think it
would be fascinating to listen to Pujols talk to another one of the guests, Bob Gibson. To hear the best pitcher in the franchise’s
history talk to one of the best hitters, talking about how they approached
their craft, would be astounding. To
find out what he was thinking during those World Series games, how he finished
an inning with a broken leg, and, of course, talking about 1968 would be
awesome. And, if the food takes too long
to arrive, who better to do some intimidation for some good service?
to have around a table telling stories, though, than the legendary voice of Jack Buck. He could talk about working with Harry Carey,
seeing numerous World Series teams, or just how he did follow what Mike Shannon
was talking about. And what would be
better than hearing, after he’s tasted his food, “That’s a winner!”
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The final spot at the table
is a tough call. You could put Musial
there, to add another hitter to the discussion. Imagine Pujols and him exchanging thoughts and tips. You could bring in Dizzy Dean for
storytelling flair, though of course you’d have to decide which ones were
actually true. One of my all-time
favorites, Ozzie Smith, could talk about the 1980s and where the backflip came
from. Getting into the mind of a
manager, whether Tony LaRussa or Whitey Herzog, could be fascinating,
especially if a specific game or instance could be asked about. Having a GM at the table, someone like Walt
Jocketty or Bing Devine
could bring a different perspective to the baseball discussion.
But I think, in the grand
tradition of using a utility man, I’m going to bring in Red Schoendiest for my final spot.
No one has been in a Cardinal uniform longer. No one has filled as many roles.
He could talk about playing with Musial or managing the Redbirds. He’s been a coach and he’s seen over 60
years of Cardinal baseball. There’s
little that Red hasn’t done for the Cardinals.
He could even talk about being traded, of how it was to play against the
Birds on the Bat after wearing it for so long.
There are so many others that
have a connection to St. Louis that could be considered, from Branch Rickey to
Jim Edmonds to Harry Carey, even, and you really can’t go wrong with any of
them. But if you’d let me have a few
hours with the people above, that’d be a baseball night to remember.