It figures that my phone woke me up with snow this morning. Nothing says welcome to winter quite like a fresh dusting but at least the last year taught us that some things will not be stopped!
And with that I welcome you to the Winter Warm-Up for 2021. No one outside of maybe Lance Berkman thought getting together was a good idea so credit the Cardinals for picking the perfect first event for the St. Louis staple of events.
Anyone who thought a Zoom call couldn’t be fun never saw members of the 2011 club hamming it up for an hour. Dan McLaughlin was more den mother than moderator for the Champions who appeared to not miss a beat. Mostly long-retired but hardly forgotten, Berkman was joined by David Freese, Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan, Allen Craig and Ryan Theriot in reminiscing an October to remember.
The World Series moments opened the festivities with Freese providing much the same as what we have all heard the last decade. Motte’s beard was longer and everyone looked content until Lance joined. From that moment on, it was as if you were transplanted to the dugout that magical stretch with everyone instantly remembering things forgotten for a decade.
Multiple players on the panel mentioned how much fun that team had and honestly, you could tell by the interactions just how relaxed that group was overall. Much of that gets drowned out by the intensity of Carpenter and La Russa, but the 2011 Cards truly were a special team.
Then you add in the self-proclaimed clown of the crew in Theriot and lookout below! Getting to catch up with a few of the major contributors was impressive enough but no one left without leaving hope that the entire team makes an appearance at Busch this upcoming season.
That is if Albert doesn’t play ‘until he is 60’ per Berkman. One fact I wasn’t previously aware of had to do with the ball that Craig caught at the end of Game 7. Turns out TLR ended up with it since he was retiring and all. But now that he is going back to the dugout, sounds like someone may ask for it back!
Well done to the Birds on the Bat for overcoming both logistics and masks to make it a successful kick off to the 2021 Warm-Up! Just don’t ask Lance about his current living arrangements as the rest of the guys will never let him hear the end of it.