EASTON, Conn. Most people show their love for their favorite baseball team by wearing a baseball hat or putting a bumper sticker on their car. But Christina Hubbard is not most people.
Hubbard is all things St. Louis Cardinals so much that she has a shrine to the team in her Virginia Drive home. She isnt just a diehard Cardinals fan because shes from St. Louis. Her love for the team was instilled on her at a young age when she met legendary Cardinals player Stan Musial.
I went to school with his daughter, Janet. We were in a play together actually, and let me tell you, he was such a nice man, such a wonderful person. Musial gave Hubbard a signed photograph when she was 10, and she still has it today, framed, in her self-titled Cardinal Room.
It was that signed picture, Hubbard said, that started her collection of all things Cardinals. Tucked away in a room painted in Cardinal red and white, Hubbard has everything imaginable: original seats from Busch Stadium 1, signed baseballs by Ozzy Smith and Nolan Ryan, dozens of baseball hats, original Cardinal player uniforms, patches, cards, clocks, rugs, ticket stubs, a Cardinals bird feeder and even a stuffed teddy bear. I know, its a lot, but most of this stuff now are things people just give to me. Everyone knows how much a love the Cardinals, she said.
Hubbards oldest daughter, Rebecca, said, It is literally the perfect room for my mom. She eats, breathes and sleeps two things: her family and the St. Louis Cardinals."
Hubbards love for the Cardinals even influences her daily wardrobe. Nearly every day she can be spotted wearing at least one article of clothing that is red a T-shirt, a jacket, a pair of shoes or even socks. I have to, its the Cardinals, she said. For her 49th birthday, Rebecca gave her mother a Cardinal pendant. I dont think it has ever come off her neck."
Hubbard hasnt missed an opening day in St. Louis since 1992. Rebecca calls it the pilgrimage. Hubbard says you cant beat the experience of watching the Cardinals play live. There really is nothing like it. Its the whole experience, and its a different kind of experience.
You know, when you go watch baseball games at other stadiums they can get a little rowdy and sometimes people are getting drunk or they are just not watching the game. Not in St. Louis. Everyone is involved in the game, you see mothers showing their sons how to keep score, the sisters are watching the game and theyre into it, they are really into it. In St. Louis, its such a family friendly place to be. Its great.
Although they werent born in Missouri like Hubbard was, her four children also have fond childhood memories of the St. Louis Cardinals. My mother used to make the joke that we wouldnt get dinner if we didnt root for the St. Louis Cardinals. We always knew she wasnt serious and sometimes to goad her I would tell her I was going to root for a different team, said Hubbards youngest daughter, Abby.
My mother has a deep and abiding love for baseball and her beloved Cardinals. It was such that we all have a special place in our hearts for the boys from St. Louis, Abby said.
When asked whether her team can beat the Texas Rangers in the World Series and take the championship for the 11th time, Hubbard said, Can they do it? I dont know, but wouldnt it be great if they did?
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