Monday, October 30, 2006

St. Louis Cardinals- The Kings of Baseball

My Thoughts on the Series.

Awesome games....all the way through...

But on the world series itself...there were a couple of things that I noticed.
(always looking for the story behind the story)

Game three-Opening game in St. Louis.... they roll out a Country music singer. 7th inning, they roll out another Country music singer. More Country music for games 4 and 5.

What was up with all of the Country music singers? The last time I checked, St. Louis was not exactly a bastian for Country music.... and it isn't a "Southern Town".
A fellow blogger shares my view on this.

I just found that to be odd, especially in a City with so much Soul (and influences from many other musical genres). It's a cradle of great American music.

So, with all the Country singers, it just seemed more like a Nascar event. It was a big whitewash attempt IMO.

Who chooses the music for these events? Is it Major League baseball or the City of St. Louis? They couldn't find a local singer (at least for a day)? They could have at least offered a better mix of genres.

The World Series in St. Louis was a chance for the City to shine on the World Stage. I love it anytime St. Louis has a chance to do this. But as glorious as it was, the World Series inadvertently exposed to the World another problem with this City- it's stratification and segregation. The economic and racial divide in the City (and metro area) is almost crippling. St. Louis was ranked as the third most segregated city this year and has been consistently ranked in the top ten for the last couple of decades. St. Louis is also a prime example of the impact of white flight on an inner city.

What people outside of this area must understand is that St. Louis is one of the poorest, most rundown, most blighted, most neglected, and most crime ridden cities in the country, and has been for quite some time. It is much like New Orleans in that respect....but at least New Orleans "recognizes" its people....white, black, poor, young & old. Over the past week, it seemed as if St. Louis forgot about its people. It's like the non-Whites and the poor didn't exist. What did the World Series do for them??? Did they benefit? Could they even partake in the exciting events?
This is the segment of the American population that is always erased during these big events....almost like someone taking an eraser and wiping them right off the page.... in this case, they were wiped off of the TV screen and therefore off of anyones mind. Detroit did something similar with the Superbowl not too long ago.

Let me add some context here- What folks need to understand is that Black Folks (along with Asians, Hispanics, East Indians, Arabs, etc) make up AT LEAST 55-60% of the population of St. Louis City. Minorities make up the majority within the city limits and they have for quite some time now. But you would not have known this by watching the games on Television and seeing the faces in the stands as the cameras panned around. Most of the Whites....especially the affluent Whites, live in the suburbs of St. Louis County (and surrounding Counties). And everything is catered to that they will come into the city to spend their big bucks.... FINE.... I'm o.k. with economic development and prosperity, and making good economic decisions. But it was strange to see entire groups of people ignored. Just a few blocks from the stadium you have rundown areas...

When I saw the people in the stands... I saw almost no black faces. Most of what I saw were the faces of affluent Whites from the suburbs (they are the only folks who can really afford to go to the games at Busch Stadium).

There are plenty of great Soul, Blues and Jazz singers who either live in St. Louis or who have connections to this town, as well as great instrumentalists who could have participated in the presentation of the National Anthem or God Bless America.
Where were they?

There is Angela Winbush (rene & angela), Fontella Bass (both still working and living in the area), singer and trumpeter Jeremy Davenport, singer Michael McDonald, sax legend David Sanborn, singer Erin Bode, or musicians from the St. Louis symphony (who have done the honors in the past). The list goes on and on. Were all of these folks unavailable? ANYTHING would have been better than an all Country Western line-up.

The Country music line-up night after night was not an accurate reflection of St. Louis, and all of its various flavors. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have a big problem with Country music. I have been known to listen to Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, Johnny Cash, and a few others..... But it was weird to trot out Country music singers night after night.... for the opening and the later parts of the games. Not only that... but they shipped these folks in. There are a few local Country music acts from the area who could have been chosen.

Detroit did a better job of mixing up the choices of musicians. (as would most other cities).

One other thing that bugged me was the ticket distribution for the celebration this past Sunday. It didn't affect me, but it affected a lot of other folks.
The celebration rally....was to be free and held at the new ballpark... A great chance for some of our poorer/less fortunate folks and others who have not had a chance to set foot in the new stadium to get the opportunity to see it...right? Well, not really. At least the Cardinals organization didn't see it as such.
The tickets for the celebration rally at the new stadium (which were free and supposedly first come first serve) were only offered online.... the poorer segments of the population were once again left out of the mix. I'm starting to wonder if this is/was by design.

Of course many of the lower income people in the city may not have internet access or even a computer to go online and print the tickets from home (which were the instructions). Why couldn't there have been a distribution system that would have allowed people to pick up tickets from their local grocery store, or from one of the ticket offices at the Stadium itself?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To answer your lengthy letter about "white flight"....why do whites "flight" ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
could it be black crime ??