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Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • Diamond Dirt: Old Busch Stadium still lingers

  • Like most Cardinals fans, it's hard to see that gaping hole of nothing adjacent to Busch Stadium.
    After years of waiting and waiting the old site of Busch Memorial Stadium — or Busch Stadium II — appears to be progressing toward that Ballpark Village we were all promised when the new stadium became reality in 2006.
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  • Like most Cardinals fans, it's hard to see that gaping hole of nothing adjacent to Busch Stadium.
    After years of waiting and waiting the old site of Busch Memorial Stadium — or Busch Stadium II — appears to be progressing toward that Ballpark Village we were all promised when the new stadium became reality in 2006.
    I still miss the old ballpark, there was no other stadium like it.
    Those 96 arches on the roof were purely magnificent. The ambiance inside couldn't be matched. It's presence in many Cardinals fans' family history still stands strong even though its mighty concrete walls have been torn down.
    To this day driving by the old Busch site is memorable because the surrounding streets and curbs are still in their original places because of the ballpark. Those right-turn lanes and concrete islands in the street were put there specifically for drive around the stadium. I thought that was it. I thought there wasn't anything significant left other than a small piece of foundation and a small stairway. But upon further review from above, old Busch Stadium is still in the public eye, still part of downtown. You just have to look carefully.
    From above you can still see the stadium's ring as it curves through the parking lot. It's disappearing trail is easy to follow and shows just how far into the old designers had to build the new.
    Where the Stan Musial statue once stood is a black square of asphalt. Where the championship flag monuments stood around it, parts of the red, decorative concrete are still there untouched.
    If I close my eyes I can still see that entire plaza, alive with Cardinals fans waiting by the Musial staute for their friends to show, reading the monument plaques, buying memorabilia from the old fashion carts they used to wheel out just a short time before the gates opened.
    I sure hope there's something left over when that new Ballpark Village gets constructed. What a joy it would be to have something from the old ballpark stay around for years and years so future generations can adore the historic ballpark in some form.
    Perhaps that ring running through the parking lot can be identified by off-color material so there's a lasting significance. It could be the floor of a future bar or restaurant or maybe even an out door spot for fans to gather. Either way it's identity for the future would be welcomed. That little staircase everyone use to try and file through is a little damaged, but fixed up it would be a nice entry point to the village. Marking home plate shouldn't even be questioned, and maybe reestablishing a plaza where the old stadium plaza once was would be nice since the decoration is already there.
    Page 2 of 2 - Of course what do I know. I'm just a Cardinals fan sentimental over our old ballpark. One way or another I hope some significance is there when the Ballpark Village becomes reality.
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