The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that the first-ever Hot Stove LIVE! event at Ballpark Village to serve as the official kick off to both the Winter Warm-Up and Cardinals Caravan this weekend.
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The free event is open to the public and will start at 6 PM at the FOX Sports Midwest LIVE! inside Ballpark Village. On hand for the programming festivities will be Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny, Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr., President Bill DeWitt III, and Rookie of the Year finalist and NLCS Game 2 hero Kolten Wong. Making his first public appearance as a Cardinal will be newly acquired outfielder Jason Heyward. A fan question and answer session will be emceed by Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin. A season preview and “State of the Cardinals Nation” address are expected as well.
“Winter Warm-Up weekend has always been the unofficial kickoff to baseball season in St. Louis,” Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals, said in a team statement. “We anticipate this event will solidify that, and we look forward to this new opportunity to connect with our fans.”
Free seating and standing will be available to fans but only on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you are not able to make it to Ballpark Village on Friday night, the program will be broadcast live on both FOX Sports Midwest and KMOX Radio.
The Cardinals Caravan will cover six states in four days. More than 30 current and former players will tour Cardinals Nation, making 22 stops in 21 cities from January 16-19th. As is the case with previous Caravans, an autograph ticket system will be in place at each stop with the first 400 kids 15 and under receiving a free ticket that guarantees an one autograph each from both current and former players.
My advice to the Cardinals would be to have the Caravan lead into the Winter Warm-Up rather than compete with the festivities.