Baseball, particularly Cardinal baseball, is the civic religion in St. Louis. And in a few minutes the 2009 Major League All Star Game will begin at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. And many (not all, of course) St. Louis residents are having a blast and enjoying the celebrities and merry-making that come with the game.
One of the highlights of the planned festivities for me and many of my friends is that President Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch tonight. He will apparently wear a Chicago White Sox jacket and hat while he takes his star turn. I believe that I speak for most St. Louisans when I say that he is forgiven for wearing the ChiSox garb because he, at least, avoided Chicago Cubs regalia.
The days leading up to tonight's game have been full and filled with delightful surprises. Sheryl Crow gave a wonderful free concert under the Arch Saturday night. Billy Bob Thornton drank in a few bars downtown. Jenna Fishcher, Nelly and handsome Jon Hamm (all St. Louisans) have been hanging out with ordinary mortals.
Even Barack Obama brought a surprise. Air Force One touched down 90 minutes ago and we learned that Obama brought us a gift. Say Hey Willie Mays traveled to the game with the President. KSDK has a story up about Willie. Mays talked to reporters on Air Force One:
Baseball legend Willie Mays says he was so proud the night Barack Obama was elected president that he "cried for most of the night."
The 76-year-old Hall of Fame centerfielder spoke with reporters as he flew with Obama from Michigan to St. Louis for Tuesday night's All-Star game.
There's a lot to worry about. There's a lot to do. But for tonight, I'm going to enjoy my President in my hometown and think about Willie Mays crying all night on Election Day because he was so proud. I'm proud too.
Rec List! Thank you. I'm glad that my fellow Kossacks know what's important--baseball, our President and great Americans like Willie Mays.