Because we Loved the Game

Field_Snow

The St. Louis Cardinals former Spring Training facility, Frostbite Field, located in Alaska. The Cardinals relocated to Roger Dean Stadium after the great “Polar Bear Massacre of ’61”, which saw a pack of vicious polar bears eat over half of the Cardinals’ Double-A squad, and numerous concession vendors.

It’s a pleasure here at the Toast Dispatch to introduce to you our new guest writer – Grandpa Toast. Grandpa Toast is 101 years old and has been an avid St. Louis sports fan for over a century now.

A word of caution: Grand Pappy Toast has become a little grumpy in his old age.

Hello, I am Grandpa Theodore Ulysses Toast and I’m not happy! I don’t like things now, compared to the way things used to be. When I was young, the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t have Spring Training in sunny Florida. They had it Alaska! Every year Pappy would load up the Model A Ford and we would head up to Nome to see the Cardinals play.

Why? Because, we loved the game!

1931_Ford_Model_A_Deluxe_Tudor

The old Ford Model A that Grandpa Toast would use to make the long journey to Alaska from St. Louis.

There weren’t any beautiful beaches or swanky palm trees, only 9 foot tall polar bears trying to rip the cotton candy out of your little frozen popsicle fingers. And we would scream, “Pappy, the giant white bear is clawing my eyes out!”.  But it didn’t matter.

Why? Because, we loved the game!

 

Life was simpler back then, we did not have all the fancy minute-by-minute spring training news coverage you whipper snappers have today. If your favorite player was in the daily paper, it was usually in the obituaries.  Why? Because the night before he froze to death in a twilight double header… but it didn’t matter.

Why?  Because, we loved the game!

When I was young, the ball players didn’t make millions of dollars like the players make today. Every guy on the team worked twelve full time jobs and sixteen part time jobs just to make ends meet; and theeeeeeyyyyyy loved it!

When I was young, Opening Day wasn’t filled with all the fuss and muss you see today. We didn’t have any Clyyyyydesdales and beer. You walked through the gates at the Sportsmen’s Park, and they put a sparkler in one hand and a can of spam in the other. When the team came on the field everyone just smiled and would eat the spam and wave our sparklers and sing, I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy, until the last out was called and weeeeeeee loved it!

Why? Because we loved the game.

I’m not happy! I do not like things now, compared to the way things used to be.

About the Author


Grandpa Toast
Theodore Ulysses Toast, or "Grandpa Toast", as he is affectionately known, is a grouchy old curmudgeon who just isn't happy with the way things are. Often living in the past, Grandpa Toast is always willing to let you know how much better things were back in his day.