The Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 in the first official major league game on April 10, 2006, thanks to an Albert Pujols home run and winning pitcher Mark Mulder. The game was played before a crowd of 41,421 people and aired on NBC.
Busch Stadium opened its doors on April 9, 2005, with a pre-season game between the Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs won that game 1-0 in front of 32,818 fans. The stadium has been very successful since then; it has now become a regular stop on the road trip for both teams involved in the National League Central race.
It is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League. The Cardinals have one of the most loyal fan bases in all of sports - season ticket sales are the highest of any NL team - and they use that passion to help drive up their own attendance numbers. Since 2004, when the team began selling tickets online, their customer service rating on MLB.com is the highest of any club in baseball. The Cardinals have also had much success over the years with trade acquisitions - they're a big part of why everyone loves going to games at Busch Stadium - and they aim to continue this practice during the upcoming season.
The Cardinals debuted their new 46,000-seat retro-style downtown ballpark on April 10, 2006, with a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Albert Pujols hit the Redbirds' first home run, and David Eckstein got the first Cardinals hit in the new Busch Stadium. The opener was attended by 55,099 fans -- the largest crowd to witness a opening day game in St. Louis history.
The first pitch was thrown out by former Cardinal Mark McGwire who had been drafted by the Cardinals two years earlier. He was joined on the mound by former Yankee Dwight Gooden and Mets pitcher Gary Carter who served as his catcher.
In 2007, rookie pitcher Jason Marquis became the first St. Louis native to throw the first pitch at Busch Stadium. Marquis, who grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri, was selected by the Cardinals from Arizona State University where he pitched four seasons.
St. Louis has also seen pitchers throw first pitches at games played in other cities. In 2001, Jim Bouton, who wrote the book "Ball Four," offered the first pitch at New York City's Shea Stadium during an Old Timers' Day ceremony before the Yankees played the Mets. In 2002, Joe Niekro, who had 17 wins that season, gave the first pitch at Dallas-Fort Worth's Ballpark in Arlington during a Texas Rangers game.
On Wednesday night, April 11, 1962, the first game in team history was played on the road, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Mets went behind 2-0 and 5-2 early, then cut the deficit to one run before losing 11-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals. Dwight Evans had two home runs and Gary Gentry got the win.
The Mets' first home game was on Monday, April 16, 1962, when they lost to Chicago 7-6 in 10 innings. John Francis Dolan, who owned the team, called it a day after that game and sold his shares to an investor group led by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.
The team moved to New York City in 1969 and has been playing there ever since.
There have been many notable players for the Mets over the years including Tom Seaver, Carl Yastrzemski, Rod Carew, Dave Kingman, Sid Monge, Lenny Dykstra, and Aaron Boone. The current roster includes pitchers Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz; center fielder Curtis Granderson; second baseman Neil Walker; and shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
Tickets for the Mets are among the most expensive in baseball. However, if you're a fan of the team, there are plenty of great deals to be found this season.
On April 24, 1901, at South Side Park, the first game in American League history was played, with eventual pennant-winner Chicago beating Cleveland by an eight-run margin. The American League attracted many stars of the day because, unlike the National League, there was no pay cap. Thus, the best players could be hired for a price, which often was less than what the best players made in the National League.
The AL's initial schedule consisted of 52 games, with each team playing the others twice. The champion would be determined by way of a "playoff" system similar to that used today. If two teams ended up tied at the end of the season, a one-game playoff would be held to determine the winner. This system was used for its simplicity and because there were only six teams in the league at first. As more teams joined, however, the number of games needed to determine a champion grew larger and larger, leading some owners to call for a cancellation of the rest of the season until a new format was agreed upon. In fact, after the first season, several changes were made by league president Joseph Cronin - including the addition of a seventh team - to ensure that another season would be played.
South Side Park was built by John A. O'Leary on land he had purchased from the city. It was located at 1735 S. Lake Shore Drive, now part of the University of Chicago campus.