Mt. Vernon Register-News


January 16, 2011

Cardinals come to town

MT. VERNON — Beverly Tolley has been a St. Louis Cardinals fan ever since she can remember.

Tolley was one of several hundred people who arrived at Veterans Park in Mt. Vernon to see the St. Louis Cardinals Caravan on Sunday. Even an hour before the event started, a long line of people formed in front of the Rolland Lewis Community Building.

“This was the first time I was able to come, and I’m enjoying it very much,” Tolley said.

Fans had a chance to hear current and former players answer questions from the crowd followed by an autograph session. Colby Rasmus was one of the current players at the event. Rasmus played in 148 games last season and finished with a .276 batting average. Rasmus said getting a chance to interact with the fans was exciting.

“That’s what it’s all about, being able to come out and see these kids and how much they love the game,” Rasmus said. “I’m all about baseball so the more baseball players we have the better.”

One of the Cardinals offseason moves included the addition of Lance Berkman, who has 327 career home runs. Berkman joins St. Louis sluggers Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols. Rasmus said he expects the Cardinals to have a powerful offense this season.

“I think we’re going to bang the ball around a little bit,” Rasmus said. “(We) made some changes so we’ll see how those work out and everybody likes them. It’s going to be a long season, just going to grind it out.”

Pujols is under contract this season but will be a free agent after the year. Talks are still ongoing as St. Louis’ spring training approaches.

“He’s his own man,” Rasmus said. “He can do what he wants to do. For me, (I’m) just going to play the game, come in like I always have ready to work and looking forward to bringing home a World Series if we can.”

Daniel Descalso is hoping he can stay with the team all season long this year. Descalso played in 11 games for St. Louis. He was called up to the Cardinals late in the season, but he’s trying to make the squad in spring training.

“Last year I went to spring training hoping to open some eyes, make a good impression,” Descalso said. “This year I’m hoping to get a chance to make the team.”

St. Louis will soon travel to Jupiter, Fla. for spring training. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14 with position players arriving on Feb. 19.

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Tom Lindley Sports