ST. LOUIS– No team in baseball does the home opener quite like the St. Louis Cardinals. The red jacket Hall of Famers, players arriving on the field by trucks, the Clydesdales.
Over eight seasons, Kolten Wong experienced life as a member of the Cardinals, but he’ll see what life is like as an opponent when he and his new Milwaukee Brewers head to Busch Stadium to face the Cardinals Thursday.
It will be his first time back since the Cardinals declined Wong’s 2021 option in the offseason as the team sought financial flexibility.
“I just think like whenever you kind of get let go from an organization or anything, it kind of leaves that impression in your mind that you know how good you are and they probably thought you weren’t good enough,” Wong told reporters earlier this month. “It’s definitely something that’s going to be in the back of my head every single time I go back and give me that little extra motivation to play a little harder and do a little more,” he said, adding “I’m excited to go out and show them what they lost.”
Wong has been on the field for enough special moments at Busch to know that there figures to be at least one the first time he comes to the plate Thursday.
“I’m probably going to be the first guy to stand out there with (Adam Wainwright) pitching and Yadi (Molina) catching. It’s going to be a special time. I’m excited for it,” he said. “I think first AB I’ll probably get the love from them, and after that it’s back to Cardinals-Brewers rivalry…I enjoyed my time there, the fans were amazing, that city was amazing to me. I had a lot of ups and a lot of downs too and they kept believing in me.”
Besides the business on the field, Wong has work to do locally off it. He still has to pack up his St. Louis home and get it ready for sale.