‘Skipping school today’ Cardinals fans come out in droves for home opener

Opening Day is a special occasion in St. Louis, many Cardinal fans would argue it should even be a holiday.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:56 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Opening Day is a special occasion in St. Louis, many Cardinal fans would argue it should even be a holiday.

Fans clustered around Ballpark Village throughout the morning and early afternoon, some going to the Cardinals - Blue Jays game, others just absorbing the atmosphere around Busch Stadium. Some of those going to the game stood in line for hours hoping to get into the stadium early and to see all the pageantry the day had to offer.

“First of all I think it’s when the horses come out on the field and the wagon, I have goosebumps and I cry,” said Linda Pusey, a Cardinals fan.

Tom Lange wasn’t as concerned with getting to the game early. He calls himself the ‘hat man’ and makes a custom hat every year. This year’s version includes a Nolan Arenado figurine on a top hat, with a series of awards and honors the slugger has received.

“He’s going to be the next Cardinal baseball Hall of Famer and this is, I call it his luggage, this is everything Nolan Arenado brought with him to St. Louis,” said Lange.

A group of ladies from Ste. Genevieve have made coming to Busch Stadium on Opening Day an annual tradition.

“We got a hotel package, we spend the night, we reconnect with friends and have a fun time,” said Diane Miller.

Plenty skipped work to be at the game Thursday. Some lucky kids even played hooky from school.

“Just skipping school today,” said Curren Young.

Young and his family came to St. Louis from Arkansas, he’s hoping to watch Wilson Contreas closely.

“I’m going to try and get him to sign my catcher’s mitt,” said Young.

Then there are a few Blue Jay fans, of course. Alex Kennedy is even from St. Louis, but he’s not rooting for his hometown team.

“I started watching them in the mid-2000′s when Roy Halladay was a big pitcher for them. I just gravitated towards them, I loved his pitching style,” explained Kennedy.

Randy Phelps was sporting an interesting look. He had a Blue Jays hat and a Cardinals jersey, clearly a conflicted man.

He got the hat from his nephew, Dave Phelps, who just retired from the MLB after playing in Toronto last season. Before pro baseball, Phelps went to Hazelwood West High School.

“It’s kind of weird, but I had to wear it, he gave me the tickets.”

Nearly every fan believes the Cardinals have the lineup to make a postseason run, yet again.

“Oh we’re going all the way,” said Alan Gray.