I recently spent some time talking to Mark Lamping about his future. He told me that with his kids grown and the new Busch Stadium built he was considering an unexpected — and unsought offer to take on a challenging job back East. As he counted off the reasons to stay — the Cardinals, a City he loves, his friends, his co-workers, his bosses, the food — and the reasons to go, I could tell that he hadn’t quite made up his mind.
Tomorrow, we learn officially that he has decided to leave. I wish Mark and Cheryl Lamping well. I — and the City and Cardinal Nation — will miss them.
Mark Lamping is, in so many ways, the St. Louis in the St. Louis Cardinals. Friendly, practical, straight-talking, modest, passionate about baseball, possessed of an encyclopedic knowledge of St. Louis neighborhood trivia, with a strong preference for a particular brand of locally brewed beer — he is quintessentially one of us.
His departure is our strong loss, and the Meadowlands’ gain.