Interrupting the regularly scheduled blogcasts just to say:
The cards probably don't know this yet, but they had a huge influence on my life. When I was a kid, they had a program where you could get free game tickets if you got A's at school. There was a limit of six tickets for six A's, and in high school, that was a motivation for me to keep all the grades up. It was easier in grade school where they hand out grades for just about everything, and even a mediocre student could grab a handful of A's on something like penmanship or school spirit. In high school, I had to work harder to get free nights out with Dad.
Right after graduation, I'd send in my report card and it would come back with a schedule that Dad and I used to plan our summer. This was the only time we did anything together by ourselves, so a really big deal for me. Dad liked to go downtown to get more night camera shots of the arch, which was sort of like his Monet haystack. We were usually confined to Tuesday or Thursday nights, and I usually picked the Phillies or the Pirates so we could watch Roberto Clemente or Tim McCarver after he left the Cards. This was the era of Bob Gibson at the mound and Harry Carey at the mike so Holy Cow!, it was entertaining for all.
Going into town was a big deal for me, too. By the time I was a teen, the city had become pretty rough, and we didn't just go down there without a purpose. We parked in dark vacant lots and still had to walk for blocks and blocks, but around game times, it was crowded enough for me not to be scared.
So, thanks! Cards! I hope you win the World Series.