Serendipity: Luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not sought. Merriam Webster Dictionary
Cardinal red, one of autumn’s premier colors, is absent from this year’s World Series.
Yet St. Louis always has enjoyed the reputation as one of baseball’s best towns, and now I know one reason why, even though its team isn’t in the October classic.
On our way home from a long road trip, in a motel room in Tupelo, Miss., – home of the king – I wondered aloud if the Cardinals were at home, and if so, would seeing a game be a possibility?
Turns out they were playing an afternoon game on that late September date, and even better, they were playing the league leading Chicago Cubs.
We pulled into the home of Budweiser beer and the spectacular Gateway Arch about 12:30. It took some time to find a parking spot because all the lots near the ballpark were still filled with people working in the city.
Six blocks west, we found a budding entrepreneur who had leased a grassy, undeveloped lot and was selling parking for $15 a slot. Not bad.
After days in a car, the walk to the stadium was a positive. On the way I spotted a man and his son and I knew they were going to the ballpark because the dad was wearing his game jersey. We struck up a conversation about the Cardinals and Cubs and I mentioned that we were from out of town and planned to buy tickets at the box office.
No need, he said, “I have a couple of extras. I bought them online and then a friend gave me his, which are better. Here you go.”
He would accept no payment for them, which was surprising.
We parted at the gate, and entered the security checkpoint at the turnstile. My wife’s security line moved faster than mine.
When I caught up with her, she held out two tickets and said, “You won’t believe this.”
A young man and his wife had extra tickets because their friends didn’t show.
“Hey, I have some upgrade tickets,” he had said. “I’m not trying to sell them. And they include free food.”
I was stunned.
Amazingly, we later ran into the couple en route to the seats and he immediately began to apologize because food actually wasn’t included. We reassured him that the seats were wonderful.
The Redbird Club tickets were behind home plate, on the mezzanine level, and marked $141 each.
This, of course, made it much easier to spend $28 on a couple of hot dogs and soft drinks.
See, I told you St. Louis was a great baseball town.
I couldn’t make up this stuff.
Oct. 12, 2016