St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of January 3-9

photo: Rogers Hornsby

In the last week for the St. Louis Cardinals, signals are mixed. MLB labor negotiations may resume this month. On one hand, the team canceled its Winter Warm-Up fan festival, but on the other, opened the single-game sale of spring training tickets. Our history feature highlights the Hall of Fame career of second baseman Rogers Hornsby.



MLB lockout updates

Labor negotiations between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are likely to restart soon, according to Evan Drellich of the Athletic as reported on Friday, January 7. No specific date for the resumed negotiations was given other than sometime in January.

The report states that MLB is preparing a core economic proposal to present to the MLBPA when the two sides meet. This will be the first such economic proposal from MLB since the lockout began on December 2.

The resumed talks do not signal that spring training and/or the regular season will start on time according to Drellich. Neither side has an incentive for quick action at this time, as they are not at the point of financial consequences for a delay.

The MLBPA is seeking changes to the way the sport has operated over the last several collective bargaining agreements. MLB on the other hand wants little if any change, as they have been the recipients of deals that heavily favored owners.

Nevertheless, a delay in the start of spring training and the regular season will have serious financial repercussions for the owners, as they are only one season removed from the sizeable  loss of revenue suffered in the shortened 2020 season.

Players also will be financially affected, so it is hoped that both sides will take the need for action seriously as the time for spring training to start draws near.

Cardinals Annual Winter Warm-Up Canceled

As expected, the Cardinals announced on Tuesday, January 4 that the annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up, scheduled for January 15-17 will not be held in 2022. The annual fan-focused festival will not take place due to the ongoing lockout of major league players. The Warm-Up is expected to return as usual in 2023.

Fans who already purchased tickets will receive an automatic refund to the credit card used for the purchase. The Cardinals Care 50/50 online raffle, however, will continue as scheduled. Raffle tickets can be purchased until January 17 and the winner will receive half of the jackpot. The other half will be used to fund Cardinals Care youth programs. Participants must be 18 years or older and be located in the State of Missouri at the time of entry. Raffle tickets can be purchased here.

Spring Training tickets now on sale

The Cardinals have announced that single game spring training tickets are now on sale. Fans can now purchase tickets for all 15 spring training home games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.

The first home game is scheduled for February 27 against the Washington Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT. The Cardinals will finish their home schedule on March 27 against the Houston Astros.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

On December 1 the MLB/MLBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement expired. No new agreement was reached and the Commissioner’s Office announced that the owners of all 30 teams voted unanimously to institute a lockout of MLB players effective immediately.

As a result of the lockout, all major league transactions are halted indefinitely. Players and team personnel are prohibited from communicating with each other and players are not permitted to use team facilities. The parties may continue to negotiate to reach an agreement that would end the lockout.

The Cardinals annual Winter Warm-Up scheduled for January 15-17 has been canceled due to the continued MLB lockout. Anyone who purchased tickets will receive an automatic refund. The Cardinals Care 50/50 raffle will go on as scheduled.

The deadline for teams and arbitration eligible players to submit salary figures is January 14. This deadline will likely be extended to a date after the lockout ends.

There will be no major league activity to report for the foreseeable future as long as the lockout continues.

Blast from the Past

Rogers Hornsby

Fifty-nine years ago this past week, a Cardinal great passed away of a heart attack at the age of 66. Considered the second best hitter in Cardinal franchise history after Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby played for the Cardinals for 13 seasons and for 11 more seasons with four other franchises. Known as “The Rajah,” Hornsby still owns the National League record for career batting average at .358. Hornsby was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1942.

This week’s Blast will cover interesting facts about the Rajah. Below is a selection of Hornsby trivia, both professional and personal.

  • Hornsby’s first name, Rogers, was the maiden name of his mother Mary. He was the youngest of six children.
  • Hornsby was married three times and had two sons by two of his wives.
  • Hornsby’s son Rogers Jr. was killed in a plane crash on December 23, 1949, at the age of 28.
  • Hornsby’s second son, Billy, played baseball in the minor leagues from 1946-51 but never reached the majors.
  • Hornsby’s brother Everett also played in the minor leagues.
  • Hornsby’s NL leading .358 career batting average was also the highest in baseball for a right handed hitter.
  • Hornsby won seven NL batting titles, which included an average of .424 in 1924, a mark that no other player in MLB history has ever matched.
  • Hornsby is the only NL player to win the Triple Crown twice.
  • While Hornsby is considered the greatest right-handed hitter of all time, his career as a manager is less than stellar. He has a losing managerial record of 701-812 with six different teams, including the Cardinals.
  • Hornsby was notoriously difficult to get along with and was not well-liked by players with whom he played or managed.
  • Hornsby did not read or go to movies because he was afraid it would affect his eyesight and thus his ability to hit.
  • Hornsby did not drink or smoke but did have an issue with gambling. He had financial problems all his life because of his excessive losses.
  • In addition to his three wives, Hornsby had a long-term relationship with a woman between his second and third wives. This relationship ended when the woman committed suicide by jumping out of a third story window.
  • While many major league players went to fight World War I, Hornsby applied for and received a draft deferment.
  • Hornsby made his famous quote about what he did in the offseason (stared out the window and waited for spring) in 1929.
  • Hornsby’s death occurred after he entered the hospital for cataract surgery in the fall of 1962. He suffered a stroke while there and remained in the hospital through the end of the year. He had his fatal heart attack on January 5, 1963.

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