MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The St. Louis Cardinals Caravan is making its annual trip to Memphis and visiting AutoZone Park on Sunday, January 19. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with the event slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Champions Club on the club level.
This year's attendees include former Redbirds Keith Butler, Seth Maness, and Kerry Robinson. Former National League All-Star Andy Benes and the newly-acquired Randal Grichuk will also join the Caravan along with broadcasters and former Cardinals Al Hrabosky and Rick Horton. Players will discuss the past and upcoming season during a question and answer session with youth autograph opportunities to follow.
The Cardinals will be implementing an Autograph Ticket system. The first 400 children (15 and under) through the door on the day of the event will receive a free Autograph Ticket which guarantees one autograph from each current and former player. Due to high demand, autographs will only be available for kids 15 and under.
The Cardinals Caravan program will offer first-come, first-served seating with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and the event will feature complimentary food and soft drinks. The Baseball Backstop Emporium will be open from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Butler enjoyed a breakout campaign between three levels of the Cardinals organization in 2013, which included making his Major League debut in the St. Louis bullpen. The right-hander logged a 2.63 ERA between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis while being recognized as a Texas League All-Star for a second consecutive year.
Grichuk (pronounced gri-chick) enters his first season in the Cardinals organization after being acquired along with outfielder Peter Bourjos from the Angels in exchange for former Redbirds third baseman David Freese and right-hander Fernando Salas. The 22-year-old outfielder picked up 57 extra-base hits including 27 doubles and 22 home runs in 128 games for Double-A Arkansas in 2013. He committed just two errors defensively and was the recipient of the 2013 Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award at right field.
Maness began last season in the Memphis rotation before having his contract purchased in April and making his Major League debut with St. Louis. The Cardinals' 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year became an important member of the Cardinals bullpen deep into the playoffs and paced all National League relievers with 16 double plays induced.
Benes spent five seasons of his 15-year career with St. Louis. The University of Evansville product was drafted by the San Diego Padres as the first overall pick in the 1988 draft and later honored by named by The Sporting News as 1989 National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year. The former National League All-Star made four rehab starts for the Redbirds in his final professional season in 2002 as a member of the St. Louis starting rotation.
Robinson hit a combined .336 with nine stolen bases in 26 games for the Redbirds in 2001 and 2003 during a three-year stint with the Cardinals organization. The former outfielder and Southeast Missouri State graduate currently serves as a Professional Scout in the Cardinals baseball operations department.
Hrabosky is entering his 30th year calling games on Cardinals telecasts and his 18 straight season as color commentator on FSN Midwest while occasionally filling in on the Cardinals Radio Network. The "Mad Hungarian" of the Cardinals 1970's bullpen enjoyed a 13-year major league career in which he compiled 97 saves and earned Fireman of the Year honors in 1975.
Horton, who has filled in on the Cardinals Radio Network and Cardinals television broadcasts since 1997, provides play-by-play, color commentary, and postgame analysis on FSN Midwest. The former left-handed pitcher spent seven years in the Major Leagues, playing for St. Louis, Los Angeles, and the Chicago White Sox. He made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 1984 and participated in the 1985 and 1987 World Series with St. Louis.
Fans visiting the Cardinals Caravan at AutoZone Park that are on social media can follow the St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) and Memphis Redbirds (@memphisredbirds) on Twitter. Join the social conversation using #CardsCaravan.
For more information, please call (901) 721-6000 or visit online at www.memphisredbirds.com.
Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum manages and executes the marketing efforts and front office duties of the Memphis Redbirds and Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, as well as more than 115 other public assembly facilities around the world. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world's largest sports and entertainment companies.
About Global Spectrum: Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) manages the Memphis Redbirds, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world's largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.