Countdown to the 2017 NHL Winter Classic: 6 Days

This is the first part of a six-part series counting down to the 2017 NHL Winter Classic. These are tidbits you might not know about the game site (Busch Stadium), the culture of its primary tenant (St. Louis Cardinals), or the Blackhawks-Blues rivalry itself.

The modern-day history of the St. Louis Cardinals began in 1882, when businessman Chris Von see Ahe bought the St. Louis Brown Stockings for $1,800. The Cards’ first home was a wooden ballpark built ahead of its time. Sportsman’s Park was built in 1893, and was located near an amusement park, beer garden, a racetrack, and an artificial lake. It was the home of the Browns until 1898, when a lit cigar burned down the ballpark. When it was rebuilt, Von der Ahe sold the team to Frank and Stanley Robison, who previously owned the Cleveland Spiders. The new wooden ballpark was named League Park and was open until 1910. When Helene Britton took over the team from her father, Stanley Robison, the ballpark was renamed Robison Field. Robison Feed would be the home of the Cardinals until 1920, when a new owner built a new ballpark made of steel in a different part of town.

To be continued…

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