The Cardinal Nation, TheCardinalNation.com, 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 Complex Cardinals.
In 2017, TCN returned to independent status after more than 12 years with the Scout.com network (affiliated with FOX Sports and later CBS/247 Sports), and continues to feature the same insiders content Cardinals fans have relied upon for more than two decades.
Memphis Redbirds reporter
James Brisentine is a native of Memphis, TN and has been a longtime follower of the Cardinals. He is a junior at the University of Memphis majoring in journalism. He has previously covered the Memphis Tigers football and men’s basketball team for the campus newspaper The Daily Helmsman. James serves as TCN’s beat reporter for the Memphis Redbirds.
Kevin Garcia is a passionate sports fan and student at Florida Atlantic University from West Palm Beach, Florida pursuing a degree in Multimedia Studies. He covers the Palm Beach Cardinals for The Cardinal Nation.
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 a former substitute teacher. Marilyn authors our Monday St. Louis Notebook and is part of the team delivering minor league game recaps each morning in-season. Prior to joining TCN in 2015, she was a staff writer for Redbird Rants from 2012 to 2014.
Complex Cardinals reporter
A native of Chicago’s South Side, Paul Ivice 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.
As a St. Louis native, Luke Kotcher has grown up in a Cardinal baseball family. Luke is continuing on the path to working in the sports world as a sports communication major with a social media marketing minor at Bradley University. In Peoria, he has become an avid minor league baseball fan and follows teams regularly. Luke is on the team delivering minor league game recaps every morning.
Matthew Lucas, a native of Newark, Illinois, is a junior Sports Communications major at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. From coaching grade youth sports, to writing for the sports section for the campus newspaper The Scout, Matt has been around the sports world his whole life. Matt serves as TCN’s reporter for the High-A Peoria Chiefs.
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.
Blake Newberry is a native of Columbus, Ohio and a long-time follower of the Cardinals system. From Hillsdale College, he graduated as a dual major in mathematics and history. He is an avid baseball fan, who is seeking to stay connected to the game even though his playing days have ended. Blake spends his free time watching baseball, listening to baseball, or reading about baseball. Here at TCN, he has specialized on Cardinals drafts, rookies, those playing across the globe in winter leagues and develops scouting reports on the organization’s prospects. Blake joined TCN in 2019.
Growing up in St. Louis with the 1960’s and 1970’s Cardinals, Lou Roesch is married to a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan. Retired from the US Army, he pursues his sports passion through freelance sports writing and broadcasting. Lou’s work has been published on SB Nation, Fansided, LJRSportsMedia and the Chicago Sun-Times. He is the lead play by play announcer for the Texas high school championships in soccer, cross country and swimming and diving. The author of two books, Lou enjoys cooking and traveling with his wife Karen, visiting their family as they try to see every MLB stadium in the U.S.
Nicole Walker is a native of Kansas City, Missouri and is currently a senior studying journalism at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. She grew up a big sports fan, and is currently a Sports Reporter for The Standard, Missouri State’s campus newspaper. Nicole is also one of the co-host for The Standard’s podcast, “The Growl”, where they discuss weekly sports topics about Missouri State athletics. Nicole serves as The Cardinal Nation’s beat reporter for the Springfield Cardinals.
Brian Walton has closely followed the St. Louis Cardinals for more than 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.
Among the national sites where Brian’s work has appeared regularly include FOXSports.com and Yahoo.com 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, FOX Sports Midwest and for the Cardinals Gameday Magazine for two years. He also appears with Cardinals television voice Dan McLaughlin on his “Wednesday with Walton” podcasts at ScoopsWithDannyMac.com.
Since its creation in 2014, Brian has been a member of the “Red Ribbon” Committee for Cardinals Hall of Fame selections. His historical research has been published in multiple SABR journals.
As an analyst, Brian has guested on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and FNTSY Sports Radio Network as well as on a number of radio stations across the Midwest, including KxNO in Des Moines and semi-regularly on St. Louis’ 101 ESPN Radio. 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 column at CreativeSports2.com while competing in a number of fantasy industry baseball leagues, including National League LABR and Tout Wars, the latter which he won in 2009 and serves as a board member.
Brian joined this team in 2003 and became its sole leader in 2009.