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Stars align at Game 410/27/2004 8:07 PM ET
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Maybe he hasn't reached the fame of other one-name stars like Cher or Madonna, but "Leon" -- the ficticious, self-centered athlete portrayed in this year's Budweiser commercials -- is well-known enough to cause a stir during batting practice at Busch Stadium on Wednesday prior to Game 4 of the World Series. "Leon," who appears in several Budweiser commercials with Fox play-by-play man Joe Buck, wore a casual floppy hat and unassuming street clothes, but that didn't stop the pregame crowd that had gathered behind the dugouts to yell his name and snap photos of this new "it" man. "Leon" wasn't the only pop culture character who took in a little batting practice. Rupert Jee -- Broadway's most popular deli owner, through his numerous appearances on "Late Show with David Letterman" -- was at Busch Stadium filming a segment during which he asked people to punch him in the stomach. Jee, whose Hello Deli is adjacent to the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York where Letterman's show is taped, was wearing an umpire's padded chest protector, so no harm was done (we think).
The official pregame ceremony was as star-studded as the previous three games. The Cardinals seized yet another opportunity to showcase their rich history. The team has no shortage of Hall of Famers, and on Wednesday, two of the greatest threw out ceremonial first pitches.Red Schoendienst, who played 15 of his 19 Major League seasons for the Cardinals, is considered one of the greatest second basemen in franchise history. Schoendienst, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, retired with a .982 fielding percentage. As a manager, Schoendienst led the Redbirds to two World Series and one World Series title, skippering the team in four different decades, most recently a portion of 1990. Lou Brock was greeted Wednesday by more than 50,000 fans chanting "Looooooooooou." Brock played the final 16 years of his 19-year career in St. Louis, where he established himself as a Hall of Fame left fielder. Brock is one of 25 players to reach the 3,000-hit mark and his 938 stolen bases are surpassed only by Rickey Henderson, who broke the record in 1991. Country music artist Gretchen Wilson, introduced as "a lifelong Cardinals fan," sang the national anthem, while Scott Stapp, formerly the lead singer of the band Creed, was slated to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. Rashima Manning, an 11-year-old from Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Clubs of America, delivered the first-pitch ball to the mound for Game 4, while twelve-year-old Joshua, a Red Sox fan from Billerica, Mass., attended the game with his grandmother and father through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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