The last time the St. Louis Cardinals played at Busch Stadium with fans in attendance was October 12th, 2019. On April 8th, 2021 fans were finally in attendance to watch the Redbirds take on the Brewers of Milwaukee for the home opener at Busch Stadium. Fans rushed down to downtown St. Louis to a smell of Hot Dogs, Peanuts, and Popcorn as the anticipation of seeing Nolan Arenado, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright was building. The Cardinals were coming off a series sweep in Miami against the Marlins. The Brewers on the other hand won their series against the Chicago Cubs, 2-1.
Only 32% of people attended Busch Stadium, but the atmosphere felt like game seven of the World Series. Adam Wainwright said in an article on MLB.com “It's so special to pitch at Busch Stadium in front of our people, in front of our fans". "They always do such a really great job of making me feel loved. They really do. … I can't wait to go out and compete for them.”
The day started off with the traditional Clydesdales ceremony, followed with the Cardinals Hall of Famers being introduced, which then lead to the player parade. The home opener was a little different this year as before the season started, Cardinal's legends Lou Brock and Bob Gibson both passed away. There was a moment in silence in placed for all the individuals we lost this past year which then led to the singing of the National Anthem! Third Baseman Nolan Arenado threw the first pitch to Hall of Famer and former Third Baseman of the Cardinals, Scott Rolen.
Play Ball! The very first batter for the Brewers was former Cardinals second baseman and Gold Glove winner, Kolten Wong. As he approached the plate, a roar came from the stadium, supporting Wong. He recognized the crowd, and with tears in his eyes took the first pitch of the ball game. Wong would later say “"It was a great run. I had a great time in St. Louis. I learned how to play the game the right way and do things the right way. I'm never gonna say anything bad about St. Louis. It's always going to have a special place in my heart,"
The Cardinals would go onto to win the game 3-1, after Nolan Arenado would hit a late two run home run in the 8th inning to eventually seal the game for the Redbirds.
Filled with emotions, St. Louis was ready and excited to see the Cardinals finally play. From Ballpark Village, to Cardinals Hall of Famers, to new addition Nolan Arenado, baseball is back in downtown St. Louis and as the great Jack Buck would say, “Go Crazy, folks”.