Red Sox Thank Cardinals For Hospitality In Full-Page Ad In St. Louis Newspaper
Boston’s players seemed to notice how welcoming the rival team’s fans were during the series.
During the World Series, when the Red Sox played three games in St. Louis, residents of the hosting city were apparently really, really nice to Bostonians. And it didn’t go unnoticed.
The Red Sox noted the hospitality in a full-page ad in the St. Louis Post this week. “The warm Midwestern welcome you extended to our team and our fans during this year’s hard-fought World Series is truly appreciated. Your region, its people, and the entire Cardinals organization represent everything that’s great about baseball,” the large ad read.
It was supplemented with the headline, “From one great baseball town to another,” and delved into both teams’ rich baseball history.
While it has become somewhat of a tradition for the winning team to tip their hats to their opponent with these types of ads, St. Louis’s congeniality seemed to come as somewhat of a surprise to some visitors.
Upon his arrival in St. Louis, Red Sox reporter Ron Chimelis wrote:
Baseball at Fenway Park is quite unlike baseball at Busch Stadium, beyond the fact that both fan bases absolutely adore their teams. I could sense the difference immediately upon arrival in Missouri. ‘Welcome to St. Louis, Red Sox fans,’ read a huge sign at the airport. I did not check to see if Logan Airport was similarly embracing Cardinals fans. Most Red Sox fans I know feel the best way to greet St. Louis supporters is to deny them their frequent flyer miles.
One St. Louis fan even wrote a blog specifically for out-of-towners, giving Red Sox fans visiting the city some insight into what they could do around Missouri between games. “Welcome to all you bearded, bean-eating Bostonians traveling to our fair city for Games Three, Four and Five of the World Series!,” the blog post, which offered “Five tips to get around,” said.
Of course, it’s impossible to say every fan embraced the arrival of the Red Sox (as was documented on Twitter), but according to Major League Baseball historian John Thorn, for the most part, the welcoming gestures were just part of St. Louis’s culture, as well as their tradition as a top-tier, winning team. “People of St. Louis are nice,” he said. “Sports are a sublimated warfare, but the level of sublimation is not as great as it is in St Louis. In St. Louis, they realize if they lose, the sun will rise tomorrow. But Boston fans are much more intense.”
Thorn said some of the hospitality is rooted in “machine politics,” where being nice is in the best interest of St. Louis’s economy. “It’s not mere friendliness, there is money behind it. Let them spend in your shops, dine in your restaurants, and stay in your hotels. It’s good business to be nice.”
That’s not to say Red Sox fans are cold-blooded, however. “Boston people are nice, too,” he noted, adding that his experience at Fenway was a good one.
And that niceness was reflected—off the field—in the team’s letter to St. Louis. “We’re both home to the most loyal, passionate fans in the game. And the four World Series in which we’ve gone head-to-head are still etched in the memories of those who love our sport. So we tip our hats to each and every one of you. We look forward to seeing you again next August. Let’s hope that it’s just a prelude to meeting again in October,” they wrote.
Until next year.