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St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Nominations


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Located at Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame (1) should be a stop for every Cardinals fan. With this being the inaugural year, they have opened some of the voting to the fans. The Cardinals selected a ‘Red Ribbon’ committee of Cardinals baseball experts and through a secret ballot process they came up with the listed nominees. You can vote for two of them here (2) or include the Twitter hashtags for them until April 22nd:

Jim Edmonds (#EdmondsHOF) .285 AVG, 241 HR, 713 RBIs Jim Edmonds joined the Cardinals in 2000 and played eight seasons, making the postseason in six of them and playing in two World Series, winning in 2006. The three-time All-Star won six consecutive Gold Gloves from 2000-05. He ranks 4th on the Cardinals all-time home run list with 241 and hit the game-ending home run in the 11th inning of the Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS.
Bob Forsch (#ForschHOF) 163-127, 3.67 ERA, 1079 K’s Bob Forsch played 15 seasons with the Cardinals, making 401 starts, ranking 2nd all-time to franchise history. He threw two no-hitters, coming in 1978 and again in 1983, becoming the only pitcher in Cardinals history to throw two. He played in three World Series, winning in 1982, a year in which he threw a three-hit shutout in the Cardinals first ever NLCS game. The two-time Silver Slugger Award winner won 163 games for the Cardinals, ranking third in franchise history.
Keith Hernandez (#HernandezHOF) .299 AVG, 265 2B, 662 R Keith Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-1983. He was a co-MVP in 1979, batting a league leading .344 with 11 HR and 105 RBI. The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 World Championship team.
Willie McGee (#McGeeHOF) .294 AVG, 301 SB, 255 2B Willie McGee played in 13 seasons with the Cardinals, playing in 1661 games, 9th all-time in franchise history. He was a four-time All-Star, won three Gold Gloves and was the 1985 National League MVP with league leading marks of a .353 batting average, 18 triples and 216 hits, while stealing 56 bases. McGee played in three World Series, winning as a rookie in 1982 when he finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting. Is one of six players to steal over 300 bases with the Cardinals, swiping 301.
Mark McGwire (#McGwireHOF) 220 HR, 473 RBIs, 1.111 OPS Mark McGwire finished his career playing five seasons with the Cardinals. In 1998, he broke the Major League Baseball single-season home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris with 70. He blasted 220 career home runs with the Cardinals ranking 6th in franchise history, leading the National League in 1998 and 1999, the top two season totals in Cardinals history. He set the Cardinals single season walk mark with 162 in 1998. Had back-to-back seasons of 147 RBI, ranking tied for 3rd in Cardinals history. He was a three-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1998.
Matt Morris (#MorrisHOF) 101-62, 3.61 ERA, 986 K’s Matt Morris pitched for the Cardinals from 1997-2005, finishing 3rd in the Rookie of the Year award in 1997 and was a two-time All-Star in 2001 and 2002. He played in five postseasons and one World Series, in 2004. He led the National League with 22 wins in 2001 and won 101 games over his career with the Cardinals.
Ted Simmons (#SimmonsHOF) .298 AVG, 172 HR, 929 RBIs Ted Simmons played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, making his Major League debut at 18-years old in 1968. He was a six-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1980. In 1975, Simmons set the National League record for hits by a catcher with 188. He posted six seasons of 20 or more home runs and 10 consecutive seasons from 1971-80 with 75 or more RBI. His 172 HR rank 9th and 929 RBI are 7th all-time in Cardinals franchise history.
Joe Torre (#TorreHOF) .308 AVG, 558 RBIs, 161 2B Joe Torre played six seasons with the Cardinals at catcher, first base and third base from 1969-74. He was a four-time All-Star and was named National League MVP in 1971, leading the league with a .363 batting average with 137 RBI and 230 hits, while hitting 24 home runs. His 230 hits were the most since Stan Musial had 230 in 1948, the most by a Cardinal since World War II. He posted a career batting average of .308, ranking 10th in Cardinals franchise history.

How can you choose? I don’t know how you are going to choose but I will give you my two choices. I think all but one of these are Cardinals Hall of Famers. Keith Hernandez hasn’t been around Cardinal Nation a bunch and for that I do not think he belongs. He’s kind of shunned us.

My choices are personal. They were kind of tough for me. One of them was easy and that choice is Bob Forsch. Bob was literally one of my heroes as a kid. I wanted to be a consistent and nice Cardinals pitcher as a kid. Bob Forsch was that. I remember meeting him when he came to my Cub Scout event in like 1981. Professionally, he has made the second most starts in Cardinals history with the third most wins. He was a hitting pitcher which also made him a better pitcher.

My second choice is for a totally different reason. No one person did more for baseball’s resurgence in the 1990’s than Mark McGwire. Off the field look at how many people bought Cardinals gear just in the year 1998 alone. That is because Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivated the world with their homerun race. 70 homeruns. 162 walks. 147 RBIs. Just wow what numbers. He also came back as a hitting coach. Never mind what you think of him as a person, he did not break any rules that were in effect during his playing time.

Yeah my nominees are for two very different reasons. Like I said, this is my opinion and you can vote for yourself if your opinion differs. That’s what makes us all proud to be members of Cardinals Nation!

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Our Spring Break at Walt Disney World


There was no doubt I was going to do a blog about my family’s spring break trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Sorry it took so long. I decided because of the week that we had, that I am going to do two blogs. One normal one now and one about the food. The food one will come later. There is a lot to share. Let’s just say according to my Fitbit, I averaged around 23,000 steps a day. I want to give a big shout out first to Emily for watching our house and the puppy girls. I believe you are their favorite.

Oh how much I love Disney’s Magical Express. We dropped our luggage off at the airport in St. Louis and about 2 hrs after we arrived at our hotel in Disney World, there was our luggage. That is just part of the Disney touch. You arrive at the Orlando airport and there are plenty of signs to get you to the Magical Express area. Before we went through the lines, we had to put on our Magic Bands and they would stay on our wrist every waking hour of the week. Magic Bands are your ticket to everywhere. They have your hotel access, park passes, Fast Pass + information, and payment method all in one and stored electronically. Anyway, we boarded a bus and we were at out hotel some 45 minutes later.

Saturday was spent relaxing and exploring the Downtown Disney area. We stayed this trip at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter resort. That’s a smaller, New Orleans themed hotel with lots of trees and shade. The Downtown area is going thru lots of construction with expansion there and I am excited what that will bring later. We found out that when the construction is all done, they will rename the Downtown area ‘Disney Springs.’ Kind of cool, the name goes with the expanding Saratoga Springs hotel. There is lots of shopping and exploring to do there. We did a lot but were kind of saddened by the lack of pet items. There used to be a dedicated store, but it seemed to have been replaced by something lame.

Sunday was a long day exclusively at the Magic Kingdom. We got there when they opened and could have stayed there 17 hours that day. Think we made 13 of those. We were the first on Jungle Cruise. We enjoy getting there early as you always get a chance to chat with the cast members. The day was filled with our only trip to Splash Mountain, our first to Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. Got our mountains in for the day. It was a fun day to start our park hopping for the week since it is the only day we ended up staying in one park all day. Nothing beats the Magic Kingdom.

Magical Memory Maker picture at Animal Kingdom

Magical Memory Maker picture at Animal Kingdom


Monday was another long day. This time we started early at Animal Kingdom thanks to an extra magic hour. This is where it is advantageous to stay on property. We walked right onto the Kilimanjaro Safari and we got lots of pictures of the animals. It really is cool to get Disney’s take on a wild animal park. They do it very well. They also got rid of the campiness of the Safari ride that there used to be and made it purely an animal safari. We got on another mountain early with the smaller amount of people in the park, Expedition Everest. Josh hated this ride when we first took him on it years ago. We all rode it twice that day due to jumping into the single rider line for our second trip. In the afternoon we headed over to Hollywood Studios where we had our fast passes set up for the day. Yes, I got my Muppet fix in with Muppet Vision 3D. We also got Josh to ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Think it might have been his first time but he might have rode it with Aunt Joanne years ago. The evening ended with us meeting some very nice cast members while waiting for them to let us into Fantasmic. Light rain forced us to break out our ponchos for the only time in the week and we enjoyed one of our favorite shows brought to the Studios from Disneyland.

Tuesday had us most of the day at EPCOT and finishing back at the Magic Kingdom. EPCOT had the early magic hour and we got to almost walk on Test Track and ride it again in the single rider line before it got too busy. They have updated the ride since we had been there last and it is much better. Your group gets to create your own car and upload into your Magic Band. Then you load it into your vehicle and you see how your design performs. Very cool. After the ride you can drive your car around a track or make a commercial. We did both. Nice upgrade. Here we also got to see two of our friends, Figment and Crush around riding Soarin’. Love this ride and the views of our old home of California. We explored some of the rides in Mexico and Norway in the EPCOT World Showcase or international area. We also felt sorry for the people waiting up to four hours in line to see the Princesses from Frozen. They are temporarily in Norway. Word is that they will be moved to the Magic Kingdom. After dinner we spent some time hopping on a few rides at Magic Kingdom. I also learned that while checking into every ride on the Foursquare app, you can get hints of hidden Mickeys on each ride in the comments area. It was fun reading all the things about the rides. We even found the abstract Donald Duck on a chair in the Haunted Mansion we saw in a comment.

Wednesday was all about planning around our favorite dinner spot so we started at Animal Kingdom and headed to EPCOT after lunch. More animals and Everest for today at Animal Kingdom along with seeing the Finding Nemo Musical show. Always a good show. One of my favorite parts of the movie is used only after the show stops. Seagulls on the side of the stage saying ‘mine, mine, mine.’ Found a small souvenir afterwards; see if you can find it next time you are over. Going to EPCOT we found out that Disney now has buses that go directly between parks. This was new to us since we stayed off property last trip. Another very cool Disney touch. We enjoyed a calm evening walking around EPCOT and hitting some of the slower things. We were amazed all week by the Flower & Garden show they were hosting. Loved the topiaries included one featuring ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. We got to watch the Illuminations fireworks show and called it a night at about 9:30.

On Thursday morning we decided we needed to sleep in a bit. There were no early magic hours for us. It was a good decision. We headed to Hollywood Studios late morning and got to see Voyage of Little Mermaid. Nice show, glad we used Fast Pass +. Same goes for the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. Nicely done action show with live stunt guys. Same act as I remember seeing it last time 5 plus years ago. Finally we got a chance to ride Josh’s favorite ride, Aerosmith’s Rock N Roller Coaster. It, as always, was rockin’. After a cool experience at dinner we got a bonus Fast Pass and used it on one last trip to Toy Story Mania. Man does your forearm hurt after that ride. Was much better fast passing it then the 90 minute wait we had earlier in the week. Then we headed over to the Magic Kingdom so Lyn could see the Wishes fireworks. Was a good ending to the day.

Friday morning took us back to EPCOT for the last time this trip. We got on Soarin’ right away without a Fast Pass so that was fun. After an early lunch we did the Seas pavilion and rode Nemo and Friends via Fast Pass and Living with the Land. If given more time I would have liked to have done the gardening tour. My Grandpa tried to give me a green thumb as a kid and I try my hand in it when I can. Having a garden is a good thing to me. Then to cap off EPCOT we ended with Test Track. Great way to end that park. After dinner we headed for one last time to Magic Kingdom. Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear capped off the night and the trip.

Saturday was up early to drop our luggage off with an airport representative at the hotel and then a bit later we were on the bus to the airport. That morning is when the heaviest of rains happened all week. God bidding us farewell on our journey home. After a somewhat bumpy flight, we were happy to see Emily again at the airport in a much chillier St. Louis.

Next trip, please come join us. It is always more fun on vacation with family and friends.

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2014 MLB Playoff Predictions and Awards


I am continuing my United Cardinals Bloggers project from vacation. I have taken my predictions thread to another level. Here are my award and playoff predictions.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers. The only way the Detroit Tigers win the Central this year is that Verlander pitches them there. Max Scherzer helps but falls back down to earth. Felix Hernandez may win more but he’s not the Cy Young this year.

AL Most Valuable Player: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox. Last year I predicted Chris Young from the Orioles would have a breakout year but Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers would edge him out and Mike Trout would come in third as his team would fade in the standings. Think I did pretty good. This year, no one player does more for his team offensively than Dustin Pedroia. He will have to if the Boston Red Sox are going to win the East. Verlander comes close in second.

AL Rookie of the Year: Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners. This should be a run away. Felix Hernandez takes him under his wing. He should be fun to watch.

AL Comeback Player of the Year: Brandon McCarthy, Oakland A’s. Sentimental choice, enough said.

NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals. Time for him to break out. Injuries could be an issue here. Not a personal choice. I think Adam Wainwright will come in second again. Matt Cain is also huge.

NL Most Valuable Player: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals. He probably should have won last year. Did anyone not see Andrew McCutcheon’s numbers versus the Cardinals? That’s because they weren’t great. Yadi had his pitchers pitch to him well.

NL Rookie of the Year: Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets. This will be a two horse race between the Mets Catcher and Javier Baez. D’Arnaud gets the edge by playing a full season at catcher. Neither team has much to lose and these two will help. Sorry Cards fans, Oscar Tavares does not get enough at bats this year and I am not sure he is their first OF call up right now. In fact, he may be third.

NL Comeback Player of the Year: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants. Hurts me to type that. The Giants win the West with a good year by Posey. He will finish top five in the MVP race.

AL Playoffs: Cleveland edges Kansas City in a battle of this year’s ‘Pirates’ in the Wild Card game. Detroit edges the A’s in the ALDS and Boston cruises past Cleveland. The beards of Boston make it back to the World Series with a six game win over the Tigers.

NL Playoffs: Los Angeles over San Diego in a good pitching game. Washington handles the Giants fairly easy while St. Louis edges the Dodgers. I do not see a rematch of last year’s World Series but I see a repeat of my last year’s prediction of the Nationals over the Cardinals in an epic seven game NLCS.

World Series: Washington shows itself to the world. More people learn about Adam LaRoche as he wins World Series MVP. People in Montreal and our nation’s capital rejoice. Their pitching finds a way to calm Ortiz and the Red Sox.

I hope I may be partially wrong. I want my team to win it all every year. But I am first of all a baseball fan, so let’s all be excited this season no matter what team you root for!

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Muppets Most Wanted and Disneyworld


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We have been extremely excited to see Muppets Most Wanted ever since they announced they were doing a sequel. Coincidently, the movie opens with a song called ‘We’re Doing a Sequel’. They are as excited doing it as we were waiting to see it. I am kind of ashamed that the early opening night theatre where we saw it had only 12 people in attendance. Obviously, those living around the AMC Creve Coeur 12 were not as excited as us to see the movie.

Muppets Most Wanted is a movie filled with lots of laughs, puns, cameos, and of course Muppets. Is this as good of a movie as The Muppets? No. I would compare it to The Great Muppet Caper. It’s a fun adventurous classic movie. It is a better movie than a normal one because of the Muppets and their classic theme that good defeats evil.

Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais are the human stars of the movie. Ty Burrell, Ray Liotta, and Danny Trejo have high supportive roles along with WWE Star Hornswoggle. Dylan ‘Hornswoggle’ Postal has always been a huge Muppets fan. He has lots of tattoos featuring them. He does a great job as the vertically challenged Russian Prisoner. It must have been a huge honor for him to be in the movie. Some of my favorite cameos in the movie include Usher, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban.

I can say I am really happy to hear the full soundtrack. I waited until after seeing the movie to listen to it. I’ll hear it on my flight to Orlando tomorrow.

It’s vacation time for the White family. Many of you know we will be in Walt Disneyworld for the next week. If you are in the area, get a hold of me. That would be funny but always welcome to see friends. I look forward to seeing the new Toontown, updated Fantasyland, seeing all the Muppets stuff they have added and seeing what they have done incorporating Marvel into the Disney universe. I am sure I will write about it all at some point.

Don’t fret, there will be blogs out next week, so I hope you enjoy your spring!

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My 2014 National League Predictions


Continuing with my March assignment for the United Cardinals Bloggers, it’s my National League Predictions blog. The NL is much more exciting this year than the American League in my opinion.

I think the National League East could be a mess. I am not sure what way to go here so educated guess is my choice.

NL East:
Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Miami Marlins

The Nationals have a lot of pitching. They have a good offense and defense but pitching wins championships. The Braves surprise a few people after recovering from some injuries. The Mets are fueled by their GM’s prediction of a 90 win season but fall about 10 games short. The Phillies need to rebuild. There is a lot of drama in Philadelphia. Those poor Marlins fans.

The National League West should be the toughest division in baseball. Lots of what ifs here.

NL West:
San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers (WC)
San Diego Padres (WC)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies

I do not like the team makeup in Los Angeles. Too many chiefs and not enough indians. Dodgers are good enough to get the top Wild Card though. Giants win this with pitching and luck. The Padres are my surprise team this year. They are the anti-Dodgers with lots of team chemistry and a desire to win. I see quite a few walk off wins in their year ahead. Arizona will be a .500 team but that is not good enough in the West. Rockies will excite early and then fall late.

Ah, last but not least, My Cardinals and the NL Central. Many believe that the Cardinals have improved while the Pirates and Reds got worse. I tend to agree.

NL Central:
St. Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs

The Cardinals breeze their way into the playoffs. They may be the only team over .500 in the division. They could win it by 10 games, easily. The Brewers hover around that .500 mark all year. Reds get grit with the Skippy addition but it’s not enough as Cueto or someone else does something stupid. Pittsburgh is Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutcheon and not much else. I have become an Anthony Rizzo fan, but come on, it’s the Cubs.

I will do a separate blog on post season predictions later this week.

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My 2014 American League Predictions


Once again, baseball season is upon us. Since I will be on vacation next week, I am doing my predictions blogs this week as part of this year’s March assignment for the United Cardinals Bloggers. I am starting with the American League, later will be the National League, and then postseason and awards.

The AL East should be a bit different this year. The defending World Series Champions reside here. I am not sure they can repeat, but I am impressed with what the Baltimore Orioles have done in the offseason. Here’s what I think.

AL East:
Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles
Tama Bay Rays
New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays

Boston has enough talent to repeat as division champions. Baltimore has not improved enough to make the playoffs but they come close. Rays go and start selling off talent after they realize they are out. The Yankees have the market cornered on 2B and back up SS but with not enough pitching, they too will fall. Toronto just doesn’t impress me.

The AL Central is again my favorite division in the American League. I root for these teams when they aren’t playing each other. I have friends who are fans of these teams.

AL Central:
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals (WC)
Cleveland Indians (WC)
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

The excitement in this division is fun to me. Detroit has a great combo of pitching and offense; enough to hold off a tough division. Kansas City is my team that makes a big jump this year. Yes you do see two wild card teams coming from the Central.

The AL West is the almost division. I find this the hardest division to pick, so I am going sentimental. There will be a lot of injuries in the west this year.

AL West:
Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros

The winner of this division will be the only team from here to make the playoffs. Just a few games over .500 will win this. Texas and Anaheim get the injury bug or they would be up top. Seattle is disappointed with its offense but they will have talented pitchers. I hope Houston does enough to pay attention.

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Angel On The Outside


When I decided to add some of my poetry and song lyrics to my blog, I wasn’t sure if I would start with the 100 plus that I wrote in high school or ones that I wrote since. I decided on one I wrote after high school because it is one of my favorites. It was partially inspired by a friend of mine I used to work with about 15 years ago. I just texted her to let her know I would be using it. Our families very much still keep in touch about as much as we can. Here’s to you Deb.

Angel on The Outside

When you walk up to her
You will never see the signs,
You can’t see it on her face
You can’t read between the lines.
It’s never expected
But it’s so easy to see,
She caught me in her sight
And now there’s nothing left of me.

Chorus
She’s an angel on the outside,
And a devil within.
She’ll get you from the inside
And she’ll make you see sin.
I thought I could get around it
And I thought I could see.
But she’s done it to everyone,
And now, she’s done it to me.

I never thought I could
Get caught up in her trance.
I was blinded by her eyes
And the way that they dance.
Why couldn’t I see it
I just wanted her love.
And it came down and got me
Right from up above.

Chorus

Never in a million years
And never to me.
Never would I think
That I could ever see.

Chorus

She’ll do it to you but now,
She’s doing it to me.

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