The 2018 St. Louis Cardinals Caravan, presented by Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, will visit Memphis and AutoZone Park on Friday, Jan. 12, with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Home Plate Club on the second level of the ballpark.
Admission is free to attend the Cardinals Caravan program, which will offer first-come, first-served seating. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Current players Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez, and Mike Mayers are scheduled to attend, as well as Redbirds manager and former Cardinal Stubby Clapp and fellow alumni Danny Cox. The program will be emceed by Cardinals broadcaster Mike Claiborne.
As in previous years, the Cardinals will implement an Autograph Ticket system. The first 400 children ages 15 and under will receive a free ticket which guarantees one autograph from each current and former player. Due to high demand, autographs will only be available for children ages 15 and under.
There is also scheduled to be a raffle, and local Cardinals Radio Network affiliate ESPN Radio 92.9 FM will be on-site.
Pham began the 2017 season in Memphis before breaking out in St. Louis and ending the campaign with a .306 average, 23 home runs, 73 RBI, 95 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases. His stolen base and runs scored totals led the Cardinals, and he was tied for second on the team in home runs. He placed fourth in the National League in steals and was one of just three Senior Circuit players to log a 20-20 season.
Despite logging 272 at-bats in 2017, Martinez placed second on the Cardinals in both homers and RBI. He did his part to keep St. Louis in the postseason race by batting .345 with four homers, 18 RBI, and a .975 OPS across 96 plate appearances in September. Martinez played 87 games for Memphis in 2016, hitting .269 with eight home runs and 42 RBI.
Mayers, an Ole Miss product, starred for the Redbirds the last few seasons while also spending time in St. Louis. The right-hander hurled a team-high 109.2 innings for Memphis in 2017, striking out 97 and compiling a 3.28 ERA. He made 16 relief appearances and 15 starts during the year.
Clapp, the 2017 Minor League Baseball and Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year, piloted the Redbirds to their third PCL championship (2000, 2009, 2017) and a remarkable 97 wins combining the regular season and the postseason. The Redbirds went 91-50 in the regular season, setting a franchise record for victories and becoming the first PCL team since Tucson in 2006 to win 90 games in the regular season.
Clapp reached the major leagues in 2001 with the Cardinals, where he appeared in 23 games and hit .200 with two doubles. In all, Clapp played over 1,000 minor league games during his career and boasted a .274 lifetime batting average with 55 triples, 115 stolen bases and played six different positions.
Cox pitched six seasons for the Cardinals from 1983-88, and he compiled a 3.40 ERA in nearly 1,000 innings for St. Louis. His high-water mark came for the 1985 National League Champion club, where he went 18-9 with a 2.88 ERA in 35 starts.
The 2018 season will be Claiborne’s 11th as part of the Cardinals broadcasting team and his 35th year covering sports in St. Louis.
For more information on the Cardinals Caravan, visit www.stlcardinals.com/caravan.
The Redbirds’ 2018 season begins on Thursday, April 5 at Round Rock, and the home opener is Tuesday, April 10 against Omaha. More information on the upcoming season, including promotions and giveaways, will be announced at www.memphisredbirds.com in the coming weeks and months.