Winter Warmup 2020

Josh Calloni, Reporter

This past weekend, the Cardinals held their annual three day Cardinals Care Winter Warmup at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch.

On the surface, this event appears only as a fan fest for the self proclaimed “best fans in baseball” to meet and greet some of their favorite Cardinal players. However, there is more than what meets the eye to the event. All proceeds from player autograph tickets, game used memorabilia and the annual live auction went to Cardinals Care.

The Cardinal’s charity is organized to help sick and needy kids around the St. Louis area, by providing food and medication. They also supply baseball fields and equipment around the St. Louis area for young players who do not have fields or the equipment to play. The Cardinals announced last night that, after the three day event, two million dollars had been raised for Cardinals Care. 

From a fans perspective, however, on top of donating to Cardinals Care, the weekend is full of fun and things to do. Most of the major league roster, including players like Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Paul Goldschmidt were all present and held two hour meet and greet sessions with  fans. Top prospects within the Cardinals organization, like Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson did much of the same, and the team brought back quite a few alumni, such as Ken Dayley and Tom Herr. All in all, fans had the opportunity to meet with over 50 different current and former players, and front office executives.

On top of this, fans were able to shop different vendors around the hotel selling game used and signed authentic MLB gear to take home and display. Fans could also participate in Q&A sessions with players when they were interviewed on the main stage, which led to some fun answers from players like Miles Mikolas, who said he hadn’t slept all offseason because of his newborn twins. 

“The Winter Warmup was fun. I got to meet a lot of different players and experience some different things,” junior Connor Schulte said. 

From a baseball perspective, a lot of Cardinals news was released at this weekend event. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak announced that the Cardinals were resigning of Matt Wieters to the crowd of fans listening in on his Q&A. GM Mike Girsch was asked the ever evolving question of Nolan Arenado and the Cardinals, declining to answer directly, but saying that the team felt a big acquisition was not necessary. Owners Bill DeWitt, Jr. and Bill DeWitt III were also brought on stage for a fan Q&A, and got a similar question, though gave a different answer. They agreed with Girsch that they don’t foresee a big acquisition, though credit it more towards lack of funds, and not that it’s not necessary. Some players gave intel into their 2020 seasons as well, most prominently Yadier Molina. Molina said that, while his contract expires at the end of this season, he’d like to play for two more years beyond 2020, but only if the Cardinals are willing, as he won’t be playing anywhere else. Top prospect Dylan Carlson said that he’s been told that he can win a starting outfield job out of spring training, and that MLB service time won’t be in the equation. He also told fans that he had gained 10 pounds to try to fit into his weight even more.

“Going down for the Winter Warmup is always a tradition. I enjoyed this year a lot though; it just felt a little different this year,” senior Blake Haffer said. 

Throughout the weekend, from donating to meeting players, St. Louisans truly showed off their title of best fans in baseball. Now that the Winter Warmup is over, pitchers and catchers report in less than a month, and the first spring training game is 30 days away.