The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

June 24, 2014

Fairfield baseball headed to Busch Stadium

FAIRFIELD — As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, Austin Gridley is no stranger to Busch Stadium.

Thanks to being a fantastic young baseball player, Gridley’s even had an up-close look at the home diamond of the Cardinals.

“I was there once with my club team,” Gridley said. “We went down and saw the field, but I’ve never had a chance to do anything like this.”

This would be playing on the same field as his favorite Major League Baseball team. This will take place on Sunday, July 6 as Gridley and the rest of his Fairfield Trojan teammates will take the field at Busch Stadium to play in a special prep baseball contest against Wilton following the Cardinals’ home game with Miami.

For Gridley, the team’s co-leader with five home runs, this July 4th weekend is definitely going to be one to remember.

“Being a Cardinals fan, this is going to be a pretty cool experience,” Gridley said. “I can’t wait to try and hit one out of Busch Stadium. That’s always been a dream of mine.”

Fairfield head coach Josh Allison knows all about the experience of stepping out onto the home field of the Cardinals. Back in 2005, the final year of the old Busch Stadium, Allison was a player on a Fairfield team that played Keokuk in St. Louis.

“It’s going to be a great experience,” Allison said. “I remember how great it was to step out there on that field. I’m really looking forward to our players getting that same experience.”

Giving the Fairfield players that opportunity is something that was first thought of almost a year ago. Allison was immediately on board once a parent of one of the Trojan players brought up the idea.

“Mrs. Ellis (Mason’s mom) actually called up the Cardinals last summer to see about the availability they had,” Allison said. “They didn’t have any dates available last year, but we were actually looking at doing it the following summer. Once the wheels were in motion, we were all in for doing it.”

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