Breaking into Busch: The Story Behind the Name

Busch Stadium - we made it!
Busch Stadium – we made it!

Going to Fenway was a nice convenient side trip; however, Doug and I knew that in order to get the other 29 mini helmets, some level of effort had to be made to go out of our way to say, Missouri.  Thankfully, Doug is a huge Cards fan so we were able to rationalize a trip to St. Louis this summer (sorry Kansas City, you’ll still have to wait til #30).  We actually turned the trip into a midwestern jaunt of sorts, with a visit to Springfield to see our friend Shannon and also a road trip to see Doug’s Cards play my beloved Cubs at Wrigley (yeah!!  More on that later).

Flying into St. Louis was not easy.  At least not when you’re on a budget.  Thanks to Priceline, our low bid earned us a 6am flight to St. Louis out of WESTCHESTER.  With a layover in Detroit.  For those not familiar with NYC, Westchester airport is not in NYC nor near NYC.  Having to go 45 minutes north of NYC, we had to take the Metro North train to White Plains only to still require a taxi to the airport.  Since we had to get there by 5am and the first train of the day typically leaves NYC around the same time, we actually had to take the last train of the night, the previous night.  So there we were at Westchester airport at 2am, feeling like we were in the movie The Terminal, wandering around a completely closed and empty airport save for the one guy vacuuming.  We couldn’t even get through security (as the airport was literally closed), so we found a bench and slept on it for a few hours.  By 5:30am, we were awake and through security, fully boarded on the tiny aircraft, when we got the news that our flight was delayed for 2 hours.  So the slumber party at Westchester was for nothing!  Unfortunately, our layover in Detroit was scheduled for less than 2 hours, so obviously, we missed our connection.  We ended up getting bumped to a 2:30pm flight, so we decided to kill the remaining 4.5 hours by conducting our self-guided bar crawl through Detroit airport.  By the time we landed in St. Louis at 3pm, the 1:15pm game was already in the 6th inning.  By the time the light rail got us to Busch Stadium, it was already the 9th inning.

So not only did we fly into St. Louis to see the game that was already in the 9th inning, but we didn’t even have tickets.  We’d planned on scalping these outside the stadium, but needless to say, those scalpers came and went hours ago.  Bubble was deflating, fast…we walked to the entrance hoping to at least sneak a glance of the ballpark since we couldn’t get in.  But the game was still scoreless, and destined to go into extra innings.  Just as we were about to try to sweet talk the ushers into letting us go in quickly to just buy the damn mini helmet, we looked over and saw fans leaving the game through the team store.  The team store that was connected to the stadium…lightbulb!  Maybe we could just go in to see what kind of merchandise they sold…or…maybe this store opens DIRECTLY into the ballpark!  Bingo!  And there we were…inside the stadium with the ballpark as our oyster.  Since so many fans (and seat ushers) had already left, we helped ourselves to standing in the lower level right behind home, and then right behind first, and pretty much everywhere we wanted.  The game ended after 11 innings with Philly driving 2 in, so at the end of the day, we got to see 2 innings from a sweet vantage point, for free.  And with mini helmet in hand.  Score!

Result: Cards lose to Phillies, 0-2

Most Excited to See: no one.  C’mon, I’m a Cubs fan!

Location: lower level, wherever we felt like going (for 2 innings though)

Fellow Fans: just me and Doug for this one

Memorable Highlights: sneaking into the stadium, naturally

Food Review: no time for food this time around!

All aboard the Metro North...barely...en route to Westchester airport at 2am
All aboard the Metro North…barely…en route to Westchester airport at 2am
En route to Busch Stadium...so close...
En route to Busch Stadium…so close…
This is what breaking into Busch Stadium looks like
This is what breaking into Busch Stadium looks like
And we even caught 2 innings of the game
And we even caught 2 innings of the game
With ice cream helmet in hand...success!
With ice cream helmet in hand…success!
Hanging around post game to actually experience the stadium
Hanging around post game to actually experience the stadium
Busch Stadium with downtown STL in the outfield
Busch Stadium with downtown STL in the outfield
Doug's hero, Ozzie Smith...a crowning moment in his baseball watching and playing career
Doug’s hero, Ozzie Smith…a crowning moment in his baseball watching and playing career
Doug and me, exuding Nelly at the Arch
Doug and me, exuding Nelly at the Arch

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