Day Trip to St Louis

May 31, 1989

The Arch, The Cardinals, Dinner and Home

In 1989, Dave was supporting Allison Transmissions in Indianapolis, flying over from Detroit for two days each week. At this time, Southwest Airlines started operating from Detroit's City airport with deeply discounted fares to 4 cities: Chicago, St Louis, Nashville (and Indy) literally $19 each way, non-refundable. Northwest immediately matched the ridiculous price. Dave started same-day commuting to and from Indy as it was actually cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Jesse was just a year old, and our Cincy-Indy long weekend car trip had been unsatisfactory. With lots of willing babysitters in the neighborhood, Dave suggested "day-trips" to Chicago and St Louis, to see a few sights, enjoy in a baseball day game, and then beat it home for bedtime.

The St Louis Cardinals offered a few "businessman's escape" games on Wednesdays when the team was heading out the road (to get a jump on their flight). We pick one in May against the Astros and had the novelty of seeing Dan Schatzeder, an ex-Tiger, pitch for the Astros. We flew in, visited the Arch and riverfront for an hour, then headed to the stadium for the game. Then we headed to Union Station for dinner, and a taxi back to the airport and home in time for bed. A great day for $38 each. We were jet-setters!

Arch and Riverfront

Cardinals vs Astros

Union Station

St Louis Arch

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis Trip - May 1989

Dave at the St Louis Arch
Lyn at the St Louis Arch

St Louis Trip - May 1989

Since the arrangements were non-refundable and had to be made weeks in advance, the weather was the great unknown. But the day turned out to be spectacular with blue skies and sunshine. It was so sunny, in fact, that we both suffered dehydration during the game and we both sported sunburns the next day.

From the airport we caught a taxi downtown to the arch, took some quick pictures, then headed up the elevators for a bird's eye view of the city . Dave had been to St Louis a couple of years previously, for a convention, and generally knew enough of downtown to get us around and plan a day. After the arch, we walked down to the riverfront which nearly abandoned in the days before gambling boats. Then it was time to head to Busch Statdium for the game.

Boarding the elevator at the arch

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis riverfront before casino gambling boats
Busch Stadium from the Arch

St Louis Trip - May 1989

The view of downtown St Louis from the Arch (May 1989)

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Cardinals vs Astros

St Louis Trip - May 1989

From the arch, we walked over to the stadium and plenty of good seat were available. We bought our tickets from a "scalper" at the corner, but paid only face value for the low profile mid-week game. Dave was excited to finally experience his first game in the modern circular stadiums that he had only seen on TV, so different from aging Tiger Stadium with its rusty girders and obstructed view seats. However, it became quickly apparent to us why many fans held these "Modern Marvels"  in such low regard, as all the seats were both far from the field and totally exposed to the elements (on this day, the blaring hot sun). Dave would eventually make it to Cincinnati's Riverfront park. But both Three Rivers Stadium and Veterans Stadium would see the wrecking ball without seeing us.

Our seat neighbors were a couple of goofballs, that introduced themselves as a local 'businessman' and, honest to god, his secretary. We just took them at their word. He bought their tickets from the same scalper, and bragged that he had actaully haggled the price down below face value. Dave asked a lot of questions about St Louis; industries, property value, weather, schools, etc, as he was starting in earnest his search for his answer to the question "Where do you want to live?" It would be only six years before we ended up in Florida.

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis Trip - May 1989

The day was painfully sunny but that just made the contrast between the rich aqua astroturf and red Cardinal uniforms all the more visually stunning. Dave was taken by the sight of neighboring downtown skyscrapers visible across the top of the stadium roof.

The Astros were still decked in their 1970's rainbow uniforms, and Dave quickly snapped pictures when Whitey Herzog appeared to calm down his pitcher.

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis Trip - May 1989

Dinner at Union Station

St Louis Trip - May 1989

St Louis Trip - May 1989

After the game, a taxi took us to Union Station to buy some souvenirs (a tee shirt for Jesse) and a nice dinner. He asked to pick us up for the ride to the airport and was waiting in a couple hours when it was time to go. Our flight home was easy, and Dave's parents joined us as we watched the game reply (on the 'new-fangled' ESPN network) as we showed everybody our seats and told them about the various plays. We were exhausted and headed off to bed.




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Last Update: February 23, 2003