A former Division I baseball player and lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan discussed his love for the organization, how the Cardinals impacted his own career and his excitement for this upcoming season.
Reid Van Woert, a former pitcher for St. Bonaventure University, credits his love for the St. Louis team with watching baseball at a young age with his father. Initially drawn to the team because of Mark McGwire competing for the regular season home run record, as he grew older his appreciation for the entire organization began to deepen.
“I started to realize that there were more aspects to the Cardinals organization that I liked besides one player. When it came to the fans, the way they ran their organization, just everything about them seemed to be done the way it should be,” said Van Woert.
In regards to how this contributed to the way he played, Van Woert credits the all-business and classy actions that the players seem to follow.
“For the most part, from top to bottom, every player that I’ve seen come through the Cardinals organization has played with an attitude that is strictly business.” According to Van Woert, this professional manner makes them a team very easy to like. The lack of arrogance shown, which is difficult to come by in a winning professional team, made him a fan for life.
Formerly a pitcher, Van Woert had some opinions for the upcoming season, especially the replacement of Adam Wainwright as the ace. Impressed with the speed and newfound pitches of Carlos Martinez in a starting position, he is happy with the variety and command of the pitches Martinez has been able to acquire in this transition.
“As a person that has a lot of background in the game, it is very understandable. Wainwright had a down year last year. His numbers were not where they should be compared to previous seasons and Martinez is a young arm that shows a lot of promise for the Cardinals.”
Van Woert is also happy with the addition of Dexter Fowler, a recent signee from the Chicago Cubs that has done extremely well during spring training. Thinking that he will be a good replacement for Matt Holliday, the speedy Fowler will be sure to make up for any talent lost.
The National League will be tough this year, with the defending World Series Champions Cub proving to be another powerhouse. However, Van Woert is excited for the possibility of a good season, certain that the Cardinals organization overachieves in everything that they do.
“That’s their nature,” he said. “They just win.”