Redbird Rants Has a New Co-Editor


Celebration at Busch Stadium following the Cardinals’ World Series win (Source: Doug Pensinger/

I may live in Michigan, but I bleed Cardinal Red.

I understand that, in St. Louis, the Cardinals are the top sports franchise. St. Louis is a vibrant sports community that really gets behind the Blues, the Rams and college basketball.

Come February, however, pitchers and catchers reporting is reason to take a day off and celebrate. I ought to know. I’m one of them.

Okay, maybe I don’t take the day off, but I’m one of those that counts down the days to spring training. I’m ready for baseball season.

My name is Steve Ungrey, and I am your new co-editor for Redbird Rants. I look forward to working along with co-editor Daniel Solzman and the writers of the Redbird Rants staff to produce a site that people love to visit every day.

Beginning Monday, I’ll shift into baseball mode and contribute up to a couple posts per day, but I wanted to start by talking about some of my favorite… and not so favorite moments… as a Cardinals fan.

I mourned the week the Cardinal community lost Darryl Kile at a young age. I was heartbroken when Jack Buck passed away. I couldn’t believe when Don Denkinger blew the call at first base. I cheered when Ozzie Smith did every backflip on the Busch Stadium turf. Now, I get to write about the Cardinals, so here are my five favorite memories in reverse order:

5. Mark McGwire‘s home run chase. Yes, it came with controversy in the end, but that summer of 1998 was fun while it lasted. It brought a lot of fans back to baseball, right or wrong, and it gave us something good to talk about after a few years of people bashing the game.

4. David Freese‘s heroics in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Just when I was prepared to see the Texas Rangers walk away with the championship, along comes Freese’s two-run triple to tie the score. Then Freese hits the game-winning homer in extra innings. Having seen Jack Buck say “and we’ll see you tomorrow night!” back in 1991, hearing Joe Buck say it 20 years later was the perfect bookend.

3. Being there in person for the final game of the 2002 Division Series in St. Louis when the Cardinals knocked off the Arizona Diamondbacks courtesy of an eighth-inning comeback.

2. Watching the team clinch titles in 1982, 2006 and 2011. The 2006 title was especially bittersweet for me considering I live in Detroit Tigers country and the Cardinals and Tigers were in the World Series. I have not lived it down with my friends ever since.

1. “Smith corks one down the line… it may go!… Go crazy folks, go crazy!” Where were you in 1985 when you heard Jack Buck say that on the radio? That was my ringtone on my phone for a while.

Anyhow, enough about me. From here on out it’s all about the Cardinals, with a little of my opinion thrown in.

I love the Cardinals, and I welcome all of your comments. Welcome to Redbird Rants.