Tonight we just had to break out a good wine to salute a wonderful baseball player. Yes, by now you know we are fans of the game – true to our Redbirds, but love them ‘stros. Today baseball lost a legend – Stan Musial. Now we’d like to tell you that we’ve met him, or even watched him play an inning or two – but truth be told, we’ve done neither. But – We did see him riding on the Anheuser Busch Beer Wagon at many a Cardinals games at the old Busch Stadium.
He won seven National League batting crowns, was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals capture three World Series championships in the 1940s (just a wee bit before our time). He spent his entire 22-year career with the Cardinals and made the All-Star team 24 times – baseball held two All-Star games each summer for a few seasons. There is no doubt he was “Mr. Baseball”. From what we hear, never a bad thing was said about Stan – something we should all aspire to. He loved the game, played it with dignity and no doubt will be missed. There is a statue outside of Busch Stadium – home of the Redbirds – as a tribute to a man that lived a good life and played the game of baseball.
Musial’s versatility was immortalized in verse, by popular poet of the times Ogden Nash, who in “The Tycoon” wrote of the Cardinals star and entrepreneur:
“And, between the slugging and the greeting,
To the bank for a directors’ meeting.
Yet no one grudges success to Stan,
Good citizen and family man,
Though I would love to have his job
One half tycoon, one half Ty Cobb.”
Stan, you will be missed – heard there is quite a ‘pick-up game’ in heaven – it’s where the REAL field of dreams exists – we think they’ll pick you for the team in a heartbeat.
To give ourselves comfort tonight, we returned to an old friend. Clayhouse “Adobe Red” has been around the block a few times. We first tried it more than 5 years ago – and always know that it will not disappoint. Of course, it’s a blend. . .Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petite Verdot make up this fun, medium body wine. Let’s face it, this wine won’t win too many awards, BUT it will win the hearts of wine lovers looking for something that’s easy to pour and easy to taste. This wine has aromas of cherry spice, blackberry and pepper, with hints of brambles and plum. Cherry/berry flavors are dominant on the palate. The finish is fruity but quick. We enjoyed the wine with a variety of cheeses including an habanero gouda that was out of this world with the wine! What’s good to know about Clayhouse Adobe Red is that from year to year, you know you’re getting a good wine for the money. Clearly, some vineyards give you home runs one year and double plays the next. With Red, whether it’s 2007, 2008, 2009 or today, the wine stands up each year and the value holds the same. It’s one of the reasons we like a wine like this.
With a true baseball legend gone, many of the greats of the game’s past are slowly disappearing. In fact, in addition to the passing of Musial was former Baltimore Orioles manager, Earl Weaver – the manager you loved to hate!!! “The” team upstairs just keeps growing. It is interesting to note that no one was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this Year – but that’s another topic we’ll address at a later date.
Unfortunately, thanks to steroids, players who have finished playing and will – most likely – be feeling the effects of their actions, won’t be around as long as Stan. You see, Stan WAS The Man! A man who played hard and didn’t need an injection to help him play better. From high school to college to the professional sports, athletes should stop worrying about putting up numbers and start learning how to play – within their ‘God-given’ talents. They just don’t realize that their cheating themselves, their families, their fans and ultimately . . . making it to age 92 isn’t likely to happen. Sleep well, Stan for tomorrow you’re in the line up – and Earl is the manager. Do us a favor – say hello to “Mark S.”, number one Cardinal Fan!
Enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.