Jupiter, Fla- St. Louis Cardinals Legends gathered at Roger Dean Stadium over the weekend to for the annual St. Louis Legends Camp. The five-day event joined over 80 die-hard Cardinals fans with their beloved Red Birds. The private event was held from Jan. 25th through the 29th and only those with paid admission or sponsorship were allowed to participate in the festivities.
Throughout the day campers participated in instruction from former Cardinal greats like Brian Jordan, Tom Pagnozzi, Rick Horton, and others. The morning activities served as resourceful time to watch and learn from the former major leaguers, because in the afternoon the campers would get a chance to show of their skills against the Legends in a five-inning baseball game.
After all the training the stage was finally set for camper Rich Eveld to face the Legends. With the infield groomed, the grass mowed, the music blaring, and Public Address Announcer John Frost chiming in with the batting order, Eveld took the mound. It was not enough that he was facing big leaguers, but his daunting task in the first inning pitted him against Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, and Jordan.
Like all those before him, Eveld looked like a deer caught in the headlights, as it took him over five pitches to finally throw a strike. But even after giving up three consecutive hits, Eveld still glowed with a permanent smile on his face. After all, how many people can say they gave up back-to-back-to-back singles to two Hall of Famers and a former All-Star?
The theme was the same throughout the weekend as the Legends feasted on some of the campers’ pitching, but it did not seem to bother anyone at the park. Despite being beat down on the field, the campers got the royal treatment throughout the weekend, as they stayed at a first-class hotel, played baseball all weekend, and got to share stories with their beloved Cardinals.
The event honored former late-great Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch, as all Cardinal pitchers wore his number, 31, when they took the mound.
The main beneficiary and sponsor of the event was Hire Heroes USA, a nationwide non -profit organization based out of Alpharetta, GA. The organization offers transition assistance, job search assistance, and job placement services to those who have honorably served in the US military – and to their spouses – in order to reduce veteran unemployment, as all the proceeds go directly to them.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.