MLB Parks Tour #10 – Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO – 2009
St. Louis was the last stop on our three city, four ballpark road trip covering the St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City. We often talk about this road trip as one of our favorite times as a married couple. While Chicago may have been the highlight of the journey, St. Louis in no way left us wanting. From the summit of the Gateway Arch, to the ridiculous food, to the indescribable homemade jungle gym of City Museum, we had such a great time at the Gateway to the West.
Early in the day, we took in the views from the iconic, and disorienting apex of the Gateway Arch. A tiny carousel-looking elevator takes you up to a compact room at the top, where you could take in the sights of downtown from tiny windows along the top of the walls. From there we ventured to Pappy’s Smokehouse, a BBQ joint off Olive Street featured on Man vs. Food. We gorged ourselves on smoked meats, and to punish ourselves further, then made the trek over to Krown Kandy Kitchen, where Adam (from MvF) took the milkshake challenge.
Allow me to paint the scene here: we walk in to this somewhat famous den of milkshakes, a tiny place in a quiet area outside downtown St. Louis. Frozen in time, this 50’s style diner features some of the best baked goods and candies in the area. Before we order, we notice on a table near us two people partaking of milkshakes out of your typical parfait-style glasses. We see the prices, $3-4 per shake, and we’re on board. We order two. They hand us empty parfait glasses. Then they hand us the 30oz mixing cups they just made our milkshakes in. Each of the cups fills the parfait glasses FOUR TIMES. We did our best to consume our shakes, but I’m fairly certain I remember neither of us being able to finish them. This is the most full I can remember ever being, on record. I couldn’t stand up straight. But before you brand me a glutton, let me say, I’ve learned my lesson. This will NEVER happen again. Those places need to be frequented on different days.
Food comas aside, we still had a ballgame to attend. We made our way to the new Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis to rest off our punished bodies. The new Busch Stadium is a great new ballpark, built partially on the same footprint of the old Busch Memorial Stadium, which was collapsed to make way for the new park. It opened in April of 2006, with the final construction pieces finishing throughout the 2006 baseball season. Being a new park, it doesn’t have quite the history yet of many historical parks we’ve visited, nor that of it’s predecessor, but it does hold within its grounds one of the most historical and iconic baseball teams in the league: the Cardinals.
A few notes:
Couldn’t have asked for better weather from St. Louis, especially after the windy craziness from Chicago. It was a beautiful day for baseball.
We’ve been fortunate to see many all-star (and even legendary in some regards) ballplayers hit homeruns, and many in their home parks. David Ortiz, Paul Konerko, A-Rod, Ivan Rodriguez, Derek Lee, Joe Mauer, and many others are among those we’ve seen hit bombs. But among those, none was more impressive and more iconic to me than seeing Albert Pujols hit one off the Big Mac sign in left field, knocking the letter “I” out in the process. He’ll be a hall of famer, and we saw him bust lights out at his home park. Couldn’t be cooler if we wanted it to be.
As if this post didn’t contain enough food references already, I have to mention one more. Like in Kansas City, St. Louis was part of this road trip where we chose to camp out rather than stay at a hotel. We brought with us some leftover Chicago pizza from Giordano’s and Gino’s that we grilled back to brilliance. If you’ve ever been to either of those pizza places, you know it’s worth mentioning.
Chicago Cubs – 1
St. Louis Cardinals – 3
Tuesday, May 21, 2009, 8:15PM
Time of Game: 2:20
Weather: 80° F, Cloudy.
Winning Pitcher: Adam Wainwright (4-2)
Losing Pitcher: Sean Marshall (2-3)
Save: Ryan Franklin (11)
The hot dog:
(Hot Dog ratings are for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to hot dogs, either real or fictional, is purely coincidental.)
I’ll admit up front, this was a little unfair. After the trip to Pappy’s Smokehouse, and Krown Kandy Kitchen, our ability to taste and/or shove anything else in our stomachs was pretty hindered. Nevertheless, we had to give the dogs a go. They didn’t disappoint, but I can’t remember them really blowing us away either.
Score (out of 5): 3.5 Dogs
Now for photos!
Cheers, and play ball!