280 years ago • President George Washington — our first president — was born Feb. 22, 1732. His birthday became a legal federal holiday on Jan. 31, 1879. Although it’s often referred to as Presidents Day (the grammar conscientious should note there’s no apostrophe), the official name of the holiday is “Washington’s Birthday.” (Some federal agencies, states and local governments use Presidents Day.).
This also is why the banks are closed, there’s no mail and and many schoolchildren and government employees have the day off. And it’s an excuse for patriotic sales.
“We’ve changed our name but we haven’t changed our chef or our layout or any of the other good things that people like about us.”—Patrick Hanon on his restaurant’s name change. What once was Pujols 5 is now the Hall of Fame Sports Bar and Grill.
Birdday • I’m celebrating my 111th birthday next week, and you’re invited to my party! Join me Feb. 9 at 4 Hands Brewing Co. Weatherbird artist Dan Martin will be drawing Birds and signing autographs. Guerrilla Street Food will be serving Filipino-inspired fare. Sarah’s Cake Stop will whip up cupcakes. All that’s missing is you! RSVP now. 4 Hands Brewing is at 1220 South Eighth Street, near Busch Stadium.
One morning in May, The Post-Dispatch ran a photo illustration on its front page that depicted Albert Pujols in a Chicago Cubs uniform. This confused and unnerved by son, who had just turned 5. Ever since he’s been consumed by this notion that Pujols could — gasp! — play for another team. He has waffled from saying that he would find a new Cardinal to cheer to suggesting he would find a new team to root for if Pujols leaves. I tried to explain free agency in his terms:
To him, Ryan Howard may be from St. Louis but will always play for the Philadelphia Phillies. Derek Jeter and Mickey Mantle will always be New York Yankees because their pinstripes say so. Stan Musial might as well have just retired from the Cardinals, Ruth only played for the New York Yankees, and even Ian Kinsler “is now a Texas and not a (Mizzou) Tiger,” the little guy once said. To him, Pujols’ Cardinals jersey is part of his identity, as essential to the picture as Spider-Man’s webs. It’s how he first recognized Pujols on his baseball cards and on TV. I imagine it was the same for your kids, too. Free agency is not just a foreign concept, it contradicts his world view. Only bad guys change sides, like Anakin Skywalker did when he left the Jedi for a more lucrative lifetime deal with the Sith.
This article was the result of our ongoing conversations about what a 5-year-old fan is to think about a hero leaving for greener … cash.