As fans pile into Busch Stadium before every St. Louis Cardinals game, the public address announcer booms the phrase “Welcome to baseball heaven!” And for countless Cardinals throughout history, that sentence is 100% true.
The supporters of the Cardinals have a reputation as the best fans in baseball, a moniker christened upon them by some players who were grateful to wear the birds on the bat. Opposing fans like to jump at the chance to criticize Cardinals supporters because of the supposed holier-than-thou attitude among them, but many players have said the same thing: St. Louis isn’t like other places. Fans live and breathe baseball here. It's not just a sport; it's a way of life and a key point of camaraderie among locals.
St. Louis (and most places, really) loves players who display hard work and grit, especially those who emerge from obscurity to make a contribution to the Cardinals. Think of the wildly popular Bo Hart and, to a lesser extent, Jeremy Hazelbaker. But on the flip side, Cardinals fans can be finicky and critical when it comes to players who don't meet lofty expectations thrust upon them.
As much as Cardinals fans carry their team and their devotion as a badge of honor, not all players have had great experiences when playing in St. Louis. Whether it's because they failed to meet contract expectations or didn't seem to give the effort fans wanted, some Cardinals have had a rough go of it when it comes to how fans have responded to them.