My Lost Moment In Cardinals History

In 1988, I dropped the ball.

Working for Sports Collectors Digest, I was in the press booth at Busch Stadium. I met Colin Jarrett, the engineer of the Cardinals radio broadcasts.

Realizing how many years he had worked in baseball, I asked him about some of the favorite parks he had visited.

He named some bygone venues. Then, he handed me a small photo album, with photos of ballparks paintings.

“You collect paintings?” I asked.

He snorted. “I painted those!”

Jarrett explained that he had time on road trips, and that this was a good way of remembering.

He told me he gave the paintings as gifts, or donated some for charity auctions. I believe he said that one of his works was hanging in Mike Shannon’s Restaurant.

When I asked if I could write more about him and his stunning works, Jarrett seemed to grow embarrassed. He said no.

How many times did his name get mentioned on Cardinals broadcasts? Try finding out about Colin Jarrett today.

History’s window closes quickly. Get the stories while you can.

(Red)bird Watching: (Re)writing Todd Worrell + Nine St. Louis Cardinals From My Past

Unlike Worrell, Tyson
signed by mail for
me (in the 1970s). I
loved Mike’s looping
sig and his
Gashouse Gang faces!

After the Cardinals overcame the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday, my thoughts turned to Todd Worrell. When he took St. Louis by storm in 1985, I wrote him. And wrote and wrote and…

He’s signed for many, according to http://www.sportscollectors.net/. However, in recent years, he’s been a man on the move. Some collectors have collected nothing but RTS returns, unable to find a current address.

I think I’ve located him. If St. Louis can have a storybook season, why not me? One more try!

I wondered if other former Cardinals will be by their TVs, too, hoping that their former employer gleans October glory once again. I wanted to devote my current crop of envelopes to St. Lou alums.

My other letters this week are headed to:

Cliff Chambers
John Fulgham
Jim Lindeman
Larry Miggins
Al Olmstead
Ted Power
Stan Royer
John Tamargo
Mike Tyson

Coming Thursday: Surprising words from Giants and Athletics broadcaster Lon Simmons.

St. Louis Native Bud Byerly Grew Up To Live, Pitch ‘Dizzy’ Cardinals Dream

Kudos to the site
http://www.krispaulw.com/ for sharing
this great 1983 TCMA  card. I remember
retirees in the 1980s loving
to sign such obscure images.

Numbers tell only part of the story. Stats are limited.

Eldred “Bud” Byerly was born Oct. 26, 1920 in Webster Groves, Missouri. What do you ask a 90-year-old former pitcher? I wanted to know how it felt to debut for the nearby Cardinals in 1943, then participate in a World Series championship a year later.

Byerly responded:

“The Cardinals were my favorite team and Dizzy Dean was my idol.

So living in in St. Louis was great.

A couple dozen friends and family attended the games.”

Coming Thursday: Thoughts on finding baseball addresses on your own.

Did Cardinal Mike Ramsey Know The Secret Of Don Sutton’s Mound Magic? One HR Says Yes

“SS-2B”? The card should
have read: Comfortable
at everything but
P and C

I loved the look of Mike Ramsey. Like a super-hero, he’d appear anywhere he was needed. In the midst of that super-subbing, he had a few moments in the spotlight.

Take June 3, 1980 versus the Mets — three singles and a double, with three runs scored. He recalled:

“The best part of the 4-hit night was that it helped a Cardinal victory. It also solidified my spot on the team and was part of a modest hit streak I was on.”

Ramsey humbled a future Hall of Famer July 25, 1982. In front of a home crowd, Ramsey’s three-run homer made the difference in a 4-3 win against Don Sutton. (Thanks for the flashback, http://www.retrosheet.org/!) I asked for HR details, and insight into whether Sutton threw illegal pitches. Years earlier, Lew Burdette told me that just the thought of being a spitballer was enough to conquer some hitters. Ramsey added:

“The pitch: a 3-1 fastball inside. We knew he did something to baseballs, but it wasn’t saliva, but rather he scuffed them with something. Still, he was a great pitcher without the extra help.”

I asked this super-sub and ultimate team player if he ever faced the prospect of pitching or catching in a pinch.

“Only 7 positions would I have been comfortable playing. I was never asked to catch and that would have been most difficult for me.”

I don’t believe it. Clark Kent, not Superman, answered that question. I think that if Whitey Herzog called today, you’d see the wild-haired utilityman behind the plate or on the mound.

Grateful Pitcher Kurt Kepshire Pays Tribute To Fallen St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Darrell Porter

Dan Cote dazzles again. I’m a weekly follower of “Signed DC.” Dan collected Kepshire in 2010.
The Portland picture is priceless. Smile, Kurt!

I took a chance writing to pitcher Kurt Kepshire.

This guy is a speed signer. I saw samples of his abbreviated autograph, combined with his speedy response time. He’s the kind of guy who might sign the cards before the postman gets the mailbox lid opened.

I worried that he might not take the time to respond to, or even read, a question in a letter. You know the type? The person who gets your e-mail and writes back HA HA before seeing the second sentence.

Impressively, Kepshire fielded all three of my three questions. When I asked about memories of batterymate Darrell Porter, Kepshire wrote:

“Him helping me with back-to-back shutouts. Great guy. Sad loss.”

The beginning and the end are the keys to Kepshire’s delight over beating San Francisco in his debut July 4, 1984. (Thanks, http://www.retrosheet.org/!) He replied:

“Taking the mound for the first time and getting a standing ovation at the end. Great memory.”

Lastly, the grateful hurler avoided any chest-thumping bragging when I asked about his back-to-back shutouts in September, 1984. Not only did he beat the Cubs (at home!) and Expos, he faced other call-ups, foes he couldn’t have extensive scouting reports on. How does he recall those wins?

“Pitching against some great players and achieving that goal with the help of my teammates.”

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