Nolan Arenado got to experience his first home opener at Busch Stadium Thursday and amazed St. Louis Cardinals fans.
Nolan Arenado endeared himself to the St. Louis Cardinals faithful during his first game at Busch Stadium Thursday. A limited crowd was able to attend a baseball game at Busch for the first time since 2019 due to the global pandemic that prevented fan attendance in 2020.
It was one of the most anticipated moments since word of his trade to the Cardinals in January – his first Opening Day before a returning fan base that has long wanted him to join the franchise’s storied history.
He received a warm ovation during the opening ceremonies of the game as well as each at-bat of the game.
In the eighth inning, the game was tied at one. Austin Dean walked and Arenado came to bat. And then this happened:
Arenado knocked a 96 mph fastball off Brewer Drew Rasmussen, 373 feet to left field. The homer had a nice, smooth ride with a 95.7 exit velocity, per Baseball Savant. It was beautiful and his emotional reaction to his first home run at Busch as a Cardinal was wonderful to see.
His teammates’ reaction as he came to the dugout was amazing as their faces lit up. With high fives and hugs abound, his teammates had to urge him to answer the curtain call from Cardinal fans waiting to applaud the blast that gave their team the lead.
Arenado got to the top step of the dugout, turned and waved to the crowd and gave a fist pump in appreciation to an overjoyed fanbase, many of whom gave a fist pump in response.
Arenado told reporters after the game that the curtain call was the first of his career. After eight seasons with the Colorado Rockies in which he had many memorable moments, it is incredibly shocking that he never received a curtain call. That alone almost answers why he might have wanted out of Denver.
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Arenado’s contract can keep him with the Cardinals through 2027. I have a feeling Arenado will have to get used to curtain calls. I’m sure he’s going to answer many, many more of them in St. Louis.
In his press conference, starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, who started his sixth home opener at Busch, told reporters Paul Goldschmidt approached him after the game saying that it is great to finally be on the same team as Arenado. Wainwright agreed.
After one week and one amazing Home Opener at Busch, all Cardinal fans are happy to finally have Arenado on their team. Here’s to more standing ovations and curtain calls for Arenado. He is on our team, Cardinal fans. For that, we can all rejoice.