If the St. Louis Cardinals wind up winning the World Series, it’s possible their fans will apologize. No joke.
It’s true what they say about St. Louisans being impossibly polite. They are the Ned Flanders of Major League Baseball fans. But that doesn’t mean folks here aren’t taking the World Series seriously. On the way to the park Sunday, we tuned into KSHE 94.7 — “The Rock of St. Louis” — and heard the drive-time DJ vow not to play any songs about Boston, or by Boston bands, for the remainder of the series. Unfortunately, they did happen to play “In the Mood” by Rush, so we changed the station.
So sickened by the end of Game 3 were we that our first stop Sunday morning was the five-story redbrick building on South Broadway, just a block from Busch Stadium, where Tums has been producing its antacid tablets for over 80 years. And it was just what the doctor ordered after watching umpire Jim Joyce’s questionable call that cost the Sox the game the night before.
Then it was on to Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood, the super popular downtown restaurant owned by the celebrated former Redbird who played in three World Series for the Cardinals. But just because his name is on the door doesn’t mean he’s inside. Kind of like Jerry Remy, who’s often in absentia when the appetizers are served at his restaurants, Shannon was MIA.
Handling the national anthem Sunday was country act Rascal Flatts, whose hit “What Hurts the Most” was much on our mind after Game 3. Turns out the band’s singer Gary LeVox has buddies on both teams, but admitted to us he’s rooting for the Cardinals.
“I’d like to see them win even though brother [Jake] Peavy and I have been friends for a long time,” said LeVox. “We just finished our tour last night and he’s here, so that’s really cut into our hunting time.”
What do they hunt? White-tailed deer.
Though Rascal Flatts are seasoned pros who have performed the anthem at events ranging from the Kentucky Derby to the Brickyard 400, LeVox said it’s still nerve-racking to sing in front of a (television) audience of millions.
“You kind of just say a prayer and let it go,” he said.
Also hanging around on the field before the game was REO Speedwagon guitarist Dave Amato, who grew up in Framingham and is rooting for the Red Sox. Amato said his band, best known for the saccharine 1980 hit single “Keep on Loving You,” played Saturday in Wisconsin, and then he winged his way to St. Louis at the invitation of former ballplayers Kevin Millar, Sean Casey, and Al Leiter.
“I hope it’s gonna be a great night for the Sox,” he said.
In a subtle way, Major League Baseball also acknowledged the passing Sunday of legendary songwriter Lou Reed, playing his 1972 song “Perfect Day” over the PA while the Red Sox took groundballs before the game. On a gorgeous fall evening, it was a nice touch.