The Cardinal Nation staff

The Cardinal Nation,, is the online leader for exclusive, objective and independent coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals, specializing on end-to-end coverage of its minor league system.

Founded in 1998 as The Birdhouse, we provide the ultimate fan experience through community interaction with our team of writers, analysts and locally-based reporters at all of the Cardinals minor league ballparks – from Triple-A Memphis to the backfield action in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

In 2017, TCN returned to independent status after more than 12 years with the network, and continues to feature the same insiders content Cardinals fans have followed for two decades.

Brett Barnett
Johnson City Cardinals reporter

Brett Barnett is originally from Columbus, Ohio, which explains how he became a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He attended East Tennessee State University majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Journalism and Marketing. Brett runs a website called Pirates Review where he outlines the organizational proceedings of the Pittsburgh Pirates and serves as TCN’s Johnson City Cardinals reporter for 2018.

Josey Curtis
Minor league writer
/ Twitter: @Curtis_Josey

Josey Curtis is an aspiring sports journalist with a passion for baseball. She contributes to four websites, including The Cardinal Nation, Hardball Scoop, Viva El Birdos and Baseball Essential Network. With career ambitions to cover the beat of a Major League Baseball team, she is determined to produce quality work while gaining the necessary skills of the profession. You can contact her via Twitter or Instagram (@Curtis_Josey) or email. Josey joined The Cardinal Nation staff in 2017.

Link to articles by Josey

Cooper Deck
State College Spikes reporter / Twitter: @CooperDeck

A native of New Hartford, New York, Cooper Deck is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism with a concentration in sports while minoring in Spanish at Pennsylvania State University. Cooper had a short stint playing baseball at Utica College before transferring. He serves as a play-by-play commentator for a variety of Penn State sports on CommRadio and is its editor. Cooper also works for the Daily Collegian as the women’s basketball and men’s gymnastics reporter in addition to covering the State College Spikes for TCN in 2018. His dream is to become a play-by-play commentator for a major sports network.

Ryan Finkelstein
Palm Beach Cardinals reporter / Twitter: @FinkelsteinRyan

Ryan Finkelstein is a Multimedia Journalism major at Florida Atlantic University. Born and raised in sunny South Florida, Ryan spent his youth playing baseball seven days a week, 365 days a year. Now with his playing days behind him, Ryan is focused on staying connected to the game through a career as a sportswriter. In addition to covering the Palm Beach Cardinals for TCN this sesaon, Ryan works as a writer for Minute Media’s website 12UP.

Jeremiah Graham
Memphis Redbirds reporter / Twitter: @JGraham_95

Jeremiah Graham is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and currently attends the University of Memphis for journalism with a concentration in news. He is the sports editor at the student-run campus paper, The Daily Helmsman. Jeremiah is covering the defending Pacific Coast League champion Redbirds for The Cardinal Nation during the 2018 season.

Marilyn Green
Staff writer
/ Twitter: @Marilyncolor

Marilyn Green is a native of Missouri and is a long time Cardinals fan since childhood. She grew up in a passionate baseball family who has loved the Cardinals for generations. Marilyn is a retired attorney and part-time substitute teacher. She is a regular poster at both The Cardinals Nation message board and blog, where she is known as “crdswmn”. Marilyn was a staff writer for Redbird Rants from 2012 to early 2014, and presently writes about the Cardinals for her own blog, Red Cleat Diaries. She joined the TCN team in 2015.

Link to articles by Marilyn

Paul Ivice
Gulf Coast League Cardinals reporter

A native of Chicago’s South Side, Paul has been a professional journalist since 1977 as a writer and editor, mostly in the news and business departments of daily newspapers. Currently, he is self-employed as a writer, mostly for daily newspapers, and as a media relations consultant for private businesses. Baseball, though, is his hobby and passion. Since 1997, he has worked as official scorer in the Southern League, Florida State League and Gulf Coast League, and for 10 years was umpire for high school and youth baseball and softball. Paul joined The Cardinal Nation staff in 2011.

Link to articles by Paul

Leonda Markee
Minor league writer

Leonda Markee only follows winners. She is known on our message boards as “UConnCard,” honoring her other passion in addition to the Cardinals, University of Connecticut women’s basketball. Other than Brian Walton, Leonda is the longest-serving member of The Cardinal Nation staff, having been contributing statistically-oriented analysis and commentary focused on Cardinals minor leaguers since 2005. She also serves as a moderator for TCN’s popular message boards.

Link to articles by Leonda

Scott Schook
Draft analyst
/ Twitter: @scottschook

Scott Schook has spent his entire life in St. Louis cheering for his hometown Cardinals. The graduate of Missouri Baptist University has spent the last 10 years in youth ministry and following the Cardinals’ minor league system and drafts. When he’s not serving students or writing about the Cardinals system, Scott leads a marketing team in the St. Louis area. He joined The Cardinal Nation in 2015 after covering the minor leagues and draft for

Link to articles by Scott

Derek Shore
Springfield Cardinals reporter
/ Twitter: @D_Shore23

Derek Shore resides in the Springfield area and continues as our local reporter for the Double-A Cardinals along with covering high school sports for OzarksSportsZone. Readers may know him best from his work with The Cardinal Nation’s top prospect list. He not only organized the fan voting on the message board, he also represented the community by writing capsules with a scouting orientation for each of the top 50 players. Derek is a former contributor to Future Redbirds and joined TCN in 2013.

Link to articles by Derek

Brian Walton
Publisher and editor
/ Twitter: @B_Walton

Brian Walton has closely followed the St. Louis Cardinals for half a century. Recognized as perhaps the most knowledgeable individual about the Cardinals minor league organization not employed by the team, he stokes that passion running The Cardinal Nation. Since its creation in 2014, Brian has been a member of the “Red Ribbon” Committee for Cardinals Hall of Fame selections.

Among the national sites where Brian’s work has appeared regularly include and as well as USA TODAY, FOX Sports and Fantasy Baseball Guide magazines. Brian previously authored regular columns on Cardinals minor leaguers for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and FOX Sports Midwest and has done the same in the Cardinals Gameday Magazine since 2017. He also appears with Cardinals television voice Dan McLaughlin on his Wednesday minor league podcasts at

As an analyst, Brian appears regularly on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and FNTSY Sports Radio Network as well as on a number of radio stations across the Midwest. As a reporter, perhaps the most notable story he broke was Albert Pujols’ $100 million contract with the Cardinals in 2004. Brian also pens a weekly column at while competing in a number of fantasy industry baseball leagues, including National League LABR and Tout Wars, the latter which he won in 2009. He joined this team in 2003 and became its sole leader in 2009.

Link to articles by Brian

First-hand news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals™ and their minor league system for 20 years