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Busch Stadium, Home of Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals

sunny 80 °F

(Saturday) A trip to St. Louis would be incomplete without a tour of Busch Stadium. Named for the Busch Family who are synonymous with St. Louis, the beautiful structure sits in an area of downtown St. Louis called 'Cardinal Nation'. Across the street from the stadium is a city block of eateries and bars, all with a baseball theme. The Cardinal Museum is there also. Surrounding the ballpark are ticket booths and gate entrances. In front of gate #3 are various 'action' bronze statues of Cardinal greats. All-Stars such as Ozzie Smith, Roger Hornsbee, Dizzy Dean, and other Cardinal players are featured. At gate #5, the main entrance, is a large (20') bronze statue of Stan 'The Man' Musial, one of the greatest players to play baseball. The docent told us that only Babe Ruth was a better all-around ball player. Musial's achievements on the field are amazing and known by anyone who follows baseball. The tour inside the park was most interesting. Of course, there is a bronze statue of August Busch. We toured the luxury boxes, the press boxes, the dugouts, and learned that a section of seats in right field is on a hydraulic platform. It sits above an inclined tunnel. On special occasions, such as, Opening Day, the All-Star Game, Playoff games, and/or the World Series the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch & wagon enter through this tunnel and circle the field in all their glory just before the game. The Warning Track which encircles the baseball field is 15' wide and consists of ground up volcanic ash, dyed red, & shipped from Hawaii. For drainage purposes, the track is 18" deep (think of the volume of ash required!). The grass field is irrigated and fed from beneath the sod so it is always green & is mowed twice a day. The locals love their Cardinals!

(Sunday) The St. Louis Zoo is one of the top zoos in the US, and houses for than 24,000 animals, many of them rare and endangered. The day was beautiful so I decided to go. Located in a huge 1,371 acre city park, called Forest Park, it includes 4 museums, athletic fields, & golf courses. It is the site of the famous St. Louis World's Fair (Exposition) of 1904 and was a treat to see. In addition, it was Oktober Fest at the Zoo featuring 2 German bands playing their 'oom-papa' music. German food and beer were available, as well. After 4 hours of walking around, I decided to leave for a tour of the Old Courthouse, a National Historic Site operated by the US Dept of Interior. There, I saw exhibits with artifacts of the Westward Expansion era. A docent-led tour took us to the second floor Court Room where the Dread Scott case was tried. As you recall, Dred Scott and his wife were African-American slaves who sued for their freedom in 1857, before the Civil War. It was a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court to win their freedom, unheard of in those days. The Old Courthouse is one block from the Gateway Arch. A beautiful site.

(Monday) This was a day of rest and recovery. I had laundry to get done and drove to nearby St. Charles' Historic District for lunch in a garden cafe. A very nice day. Tomorrow I leave for Lebanon, MO and another Elks Lodge for an overnight on the road. It is about half-way to Branson, my destination this week.

Posted by dixter 08:05 Archived in USA Tagged and st. the zoo tour stadium louis busch

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