Saturday, January 31, 2015

UCB January Project: The Timeless Ticket

It's any baseball fan's dream -- the ability to essentially travel back in time to witness any game of their choosing. Every fan, of course, would approach their choice differently; in fact, I'm sure many would find it too overwhelming to whittle their wide scope of possibilities down to one, single, solitary moment in baseball history.

No easier is the task of selecting a single game from the annals of Cardinal history, which is what the United Cardinal Bloggers have in store as a fitting cap for the year's first month. A simple glance back into one's memory may reveal countless things worthy of such a bestowal. Think of the great moments of the past, whether immortalized or forgotten. Was it the momentous occasions, the World Series matchups, the things you find memorabilia for on a bookshelf or mantle? Or was it the quieter times, where the real feel of the sport lies?

The seemingly endless days of summer, the oft-overlooked heroes of a forgotten time. What would you do for a glance at someone like Stan Musial or Bob Gibson at the height of their career? Now, after you've thought about that for a moment, what would you do for a sighting of them in their fledgling days -- those moments that lay treasured as some of the best-kept secrets in baseball.

Imagine the day -- September 17, 1941 -- nothing like the summer days I described in the last paragrahph, but a great day for baseball at Sportsman's Park. The Browns were out of town on a trip to Washington, so the Cards were alone in the city, and it was a good chance for the weekday crowd to take advantage of a doubleheader with the Boston Braves. An extra game of baseball, though, was not all that was in store.

Yes, after the Cards took a 6-1 victory in the first game, a young, lithe outfielder by the name of Stan Musial got the nod for game two. His stats, while not overwhelming, were excellent for a debut outing. He went 2-for-4 with two RBI, essentially the best batting performance for St. Louis that evening.

That little doubleheader that launched a legendary career? I'd love to be a part of the lucky crowd of 7,713 that got to witness what baseball is all about.

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