Last night we were watching the game and more than anything I was listening to the organ. What I remember about going to Cards games as a kid really has everything to do with ambiance and little to do with sport.
I remember how hot it always was...St. Louis Sticky. I remember driving downtown, circling around for parking. There were only a few reasons we ever went dowtown: VP Fair, St. Patrick's Day Parade (and I think I went to that with my friends' families, not my own) and Cardinals games. So, it was very exotic to be among the big buildings and see the seedier parts of town that were as foreign to my life in Glendale as going to the moon.
I remember how as we got closer to Busch Stadium the crowds grew. So many people in red and white waiting at the light to cross; vendors hollering and selling caps and shirts and pennants; laughing about the Bowling Hall of Fame across the street; passing the big statue of Stan the Man (is that even right? how would I remember that?); handing over my ticket and pushing through the turnstile; and then starting our ascent around the outside ramps and escalators of the stadium to find our seats--the energy of those thousands of people, the worry that I might loose sight of the back of my dad's head as I followed my parents through the sea of fans.
There was always a last minute stop at the bathroom, which involved waiting in a long line, and being advised not to sit. Then meeting up with my dad and brother back outside and heading for the stands. We'd go from the wide open exterior of the stadium into a dark, enclosed hallway, as we went under the seats and then BAM! We'd come out the otherside into the blinding light of the stadium. The brilliant green field, huge lights, tiny seats across the way, advertising banners for Lou Fusz and Schnucks, but everywhere...EVERYWHERE was Budweiser.
The lynch pin memory of Cardinals baseballs games, for me, was the Budweiser song. Sure the call to "Charge!" is good fun, and the Mexican Hat Dance with it's claps of crowd-participation is nice, but the Budwesier song--King of Beers or Here Comes the King, I'm not sure which is the official title--is the end all be all in Busch Stadium organ music.
I kept waiting to hear it last night to no avail. I sang it for Paul and he didn't recognize it at all (Cincinati fan, whaddaya expect?). I searched around on the web and found that it's played at the end of the seventh inning (Take Me Out to the Ball Game is played during the stretch) so the commentators were probably yammering and cutting to commercial so I missed it.
It's such a great song. It's jaunty and catchy and I can just picture the Clydsdales pulling that wagon full of beer with a dalmation on the seat (is there really a dalmation or am I getting confusded with fire trucks?). I love that song. I found it here so you can hear it too. Melanie gets to hear it live tonight at Busch Stadium III (not the Busch Stadim II of my memory, but we can't stand in the way of progress, now can we?). So whether or not I can hear it on the broadcast I will sing it and clap along with myself.