Friday, March 26, 2010

Opening Day 2001

Another YouTube find posted by someone else. This one is of Opening Day at Busch Stadium in 2001. Thank you quincymike.

What follows is a very interesting video from an historic perspective.

So much has changed in 9 years. Consider that:

- 9/11 was 5 months in the future.

- Old Busch Stadium still stood proud. The new stadium lobbyists were really pushing hard, though. Fools.

- This was Jack Buck's last opening day. He would be dead in 14 months. The sound of his voice over the PA at the beginning of the video is comfortingly familiar yet a little haunting. And his appearance later on shows a very thin man affected by Parkinson's.

- Will Clark had just retired and was asked to throw out the first pitch.

- Mark McGwire was untouchable as an icon of his sport. It was also his last year.

- A young kid named Albert Pujols had surprised everyone and made the club that spring. And he does look like a kid, making his first appearance at just past the 1:00 mark, and being introduced to fans for the first time at Busch Stadium later on.

- A young pitcher named Ankiel was seen taking a few practice cuts. Probably wondering then if he could make it as a hitter in a few years. Remember, he was coming off a disastrously wild 2000 post-season.

- Future Cardinal Larry Walker, with hair, appears at the 3:30 mark. With ex-Card Ron Gant watching.

- Tony LaRussa- okay, he just looks the same.

It's fun to see old faces I had forgotten appear during BP.

Stan the Man was still a vibrant man, playing the Star Spangled Banner on harmonica, with accompaniment.

The first 5 minutes are a little slow, but it's fun to just take in the old stadium once again. So be patient. The video really gets going about the 5 minute mark.



I do miss the old place. Which is why I finally ordered this.

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