Clayton officially started seeing red on Wednesday as the city hosted a kickoff event for the St. Louis Cardinals home opener.
The city held a free lunch event at Clayton City Hall and the Clayton Fire House, which included Cardinals giveaways, music, and a photo booth with baseball props.
Additionally, there were multiple raffle prizes for the steady stream of more than 500 people to win game tickets, jerseys, hats and other prizes.
Kristin Bryant, events specialist with the City of Clayton, said the city hosted a St. Louis Blues home opener event for the first time last October and said it was only fitting to continue the tradition of hosting an event celebrating the Cardinals’ season opener.
“This is Cardinal Nation and all throughout St. Louis it’s very prevalent that everyone loves the Cardinals,” Bryant said. “But what’s so wonderful to have this in Clayton is that you get so many different people, whether they work here, live here, play here. It’s wonderful to get the community together to just really enjoy something that everybody loves.”
Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger, echoed Bryant’s excitement and said the event was really a way to get more people involved in St. Louis’ sports teams.
“It brings folks out from the buildings, it brings residents,” Sanger said. “Everybody loves the Cardinals, everybody loves the Cardinals so it’s a great combination.”
The first game of the season at Busch Stadium will be against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday.
The Cardinals finished third in the National League Central last season, missing the playoffs for the second straight year, but have added the bat of Marcell Ozuna and a few extra arms for the 2018 season.
Wednesday’s event in Clayton didn’t just have fans celebrating the opening to another season in baseball heaven. Former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher and local radio host Brad Thompson made an appearance and signed autographs along with Fredbird, the team’s iconic mascot.
“I just think this is awesome to see all these Cardinal fans. It’s freezing cold out today and everybody’s coming out showing their support,” Thompson said. “I love what the Clayton Fire Department is doing, putting this on for the community. It’s just great to see the excitement surrounding Cardinal baseball and the Clayton community coming together.”
The Cardinals opened their season a week ago, taking 1 of 3 games against the New York Mets, followed by a win against division rivals the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cardinals (2-3) are back in action tonight, looking to bounce back from a 5-4 loss, when Carlos Martinez takes the mound against the Brewers at 6:40 p.m. Adam Wainwright will start the Cardinals’ home opener Thursday.