Dear Tigers (and Baseball Fans of All Stripes):
It is my pleasure to welcome you to St. Louis, the proud home of the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals. We’re thrilled to have you here to settle a matter last discussed between St. Louis and Detroit in 1968.
As you walk between your hotel and our new Busch Stadium, there are some things you need to know about St. Louis:
The cranes and scaffolding you see throughout the City are the steel evidence of a major economic renaissance that has seen more than $5 billion of new investment — in important projects begun throughout the City and in more than 20,000 new or rehabbed homes constructed in our 79 neighborhoods over the past five years. To help you keep track: the Downtown lofts, the Washington Avenue streetscape, the Forest Park improvements, and the Ballpark are new. The Courthouse, the Cathedral, and the Post Office are old. We’re proud of all of them.
If you’re lost in St. Louis, just ask someone — we are a very friendly place. However, not all of our major streets — Chouteau, Gravois, DeBaliviere are pronounced the way you might expect them to be.
We’re a City of more than a hundred ethnicities, and we’re learning to celebrate our differences. We’re an island of political blue, the home of the NHL hockey Blues, and one of the birthplaces of the musical blues, but you’ll learn that we favor the color red this time of the year. Come back next summer and you’ll find us on the riverfront at Live on the Levee.
We fry our ravioli, freeze our custard, and eat our brains for lunch. A slinger is our culinary response to sharing a City with the World’s Largest Brewery. You’ll find great restaurants in most parts of the City, including the Hill and the Central West End. You should try them.
And, when you are not at the games, there are two places — both within walking distance of Busch Stadium that you really ought to visit: the Arch and City Museum. I won’t spoil your fun by telling you what you’re going to see.
I would be an ungracious host if I said that I hope you leave St. Louis disappointed — not with our City, but with the outcome of the Series. I just have the feeling that it is our year, not yours. But win or lose, I promise that our City will give what Bob Gibson always guaranteed our fans: a good performance.