It is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States. I am not one to tell people how to spend their holiday weekends; while it would be downright awesome if everybody took a moment out of their three-day weekends to bear in mind the reason behind Memorial Day, I will not judge those who enjoy an extra day off work.
Many of you will spend the weekend traveling. Some of you may have already traveled and are spending your mini-vacations reading me ramble on about nothing on VEB (I can't think of a better way to spend my time, personally). Many from the St. Louis area will travel across the state, be it to Kansas City, the Lake of the Ozarks, or anywhere, really. I will be traveling halfway across the state for a wedding (shout out to my friend Will, getting married today, who for some reason I am assuming will read this even though he's at most a casual baseball fan and, you know, it's his wedding day). And thinking about my travels, and the travels of others, got me thinking about the state of Missouri.
Did you know, for instance, that Missouri has, in addition to the independent city of St. Louis, 114 counties? For extremely boring reasons, I'm pretty good with knowing the counties, but I sure can't name all 114. You probably can't either. But rather than list them off, which I'm sure would be gripping blogging, I want to focus instead on the greatest Missouri natives to play in the big leagues.
Here is an all-star team of some of the best players from Missouri.
C: Yogi Berra: A native of the St. Louis neighborhood known as "The Hill", Berra was a three-time MVP who won the World Series ten times as a player with the New York Yankees who won three more titles as a coach. He is arguably more legendary off the field than on it, and he was an obvious Hall of Famer on it.
1B: Jake Beckley: Born in Hannibal, the talented first baseman and 80-grade mustache haver was inducted into the Hall of Fame 53 years after his death, and 64 years after his MLB career ended with his home-state team, the St. Louis Cardinals.
2B: Lonny Frey: The St. Louis native is a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Frey, who lived until the age of 99, was a three-time All-Star and won the World Series twice: with the 1940 Reds and with the 1947 New York Yankees.
SS: Ivy Olson: Kansas City's Ivy Olson was a steady shortstop primarily during the Dead Ball era. Because of his era, his 13 career home runs look very poor, but he posted a respectable fourteen year career.
3B: Ken Boyer: The greatest (eligible) Cardinal not in the Hall of Fame, the native of Liberty, MO who was later raised in Alba, MO was an All-Star in seven seasons, he won an MVP, and he was a five-time Gold Glove winner.
OF: Zach Wheat, Al Smith, Smoky Joe Wood: Wheat is a Hall of Famer from Hamilton, MO. Smith isn't a Hall of Famer but he was a nice player from Kirkwood who attended Douglass High School in Webster Groves, MO before becoming an All-Star twice in the majors. Smoky Joe Wood, however, is the most clearly interesting player of this group, as he was a strong pitcher (he led the AL in wins in 1912 and in ERA in 1915 with the Boston Red Sox) but later went on to convert to full-time outfielder. He was Rick Ankiel before Rick Ankiel, and he was from Kansas City, MO.
P: Carl Hubbell: There are many worth candidates, including current Best Pitcher In Baseball Not Named Clayton Kershaw Jake Arrieta of Farmington, but the native of Carthage, MO Carl Hubbell deserves the nod. He won 253 games, was a nine-time All Star, and legendarily struck out, consecutively, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.
Anyway, here's the links.
I wrote about how worried the Cardinals should be about Carlos Martinez. The short version of it: eh, kinda?
Apparently Matt Carpenter is averse to swinging on the first pitch of his plate appearances (well, more than he typically is, at least) and Lil Scooter has it covered. Though if he wants to hit a 550 foot home run on the first pitch, I would be okay with this.
Ebo has the prospect report. Although I fail to see how a team that currently employs Stephen Piscotty needs other young players, it is nice to know that the Cardinals have such unnecessary overkill.
As somebody who got his start writing on Viva El Birdos with fanposts, I will always celebrate a promoted one whenever I get the chance. Yesterday's was from Lynnelot.
The Friday night recap
The Cardinals won 6-2. Jaime Garcia outdueled Max Scherzer, who you may or may not have heard attending Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, MO (yes, folks, this is what we in the business call a "callback." Here's the recap via mister_manager.
The Cardinals play again tonight. Hopefully they win.