The St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up draws thousands of baseball fans from around the Midwest and beyond each year, thanks in part to a large autograph session. The club has announced that tickets are going on sale Wednesday.
The 17th annual event will feature Carlos Beltran, 2011 World Series hero David Freese, star outfielder Matt Holliday, All-Star catcher Yadier Molina and other past and present players, all signing for various fees. Proceeds go to the team's charity, Cardinals Care. Tickets go on sale at cardinals.com/winterwarmup, at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, December 19.
Player autograph sessions are one of the most popular attractions of the Warm-Up. While some players’ autographs are free with the Winter Warm-Up admission pass price of $40 for adults and $10 for kids age 5-15, others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation.
Fans may also continue to purchase admission passes for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/winterwarmup, in the official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium and at Cardinals Clubhouse stores located around St. Louis.
The 2012 Cardinals Winter Warm-Up takes place Saturday, January 19 through Monday, January 21, 2013 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day), at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The event times are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday.
Beltran, Freese, Holliday, Molina and former Cardinals' managers Whitey Herzog and Red Schoendienst will be $75. Autographs for Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are $50. Manager Mike Matheny will sign for $30. Other players are as low as $10 including the team's minor league player of the year, Oscar Taveras, and minor league pitcher of the year, Seth Maness. Several former Cardinals who live in St. Louis year-round will be free. Pre-signed baseballs signed by Bob Gibson ($75), Jason Motte ($30) and Ozzie Smith ($75) will be available at the on-site Cardinals Care Store throughout the three days.
This year’s autograph schedule even includes a return visit from former skipper Tony La Russa who will offer two opportunities for fans to get an autograph. On Sunday, La Russa will host a free book-signing in conjunction with his latest work One Last Strike, and on Monday, La Russa will sign items for a donation to Cardinals Care.
All autograph tickets will be sold online through Monday, January 14th. Any remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the Winter Warm-Up. For complete event details, schedule and frequently asked questions, visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup.
The Winter Warm-Up is the largest of several fundraising efforts that allows Cardinals Care to help kids. Over the last 16 years, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $18 million in helping children, including providing nearly $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 19 youth ball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Missouri and Illinois. For nearly a decade, Cardinals Care has run the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.