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Cardinal Nation, or Redbird Nation, is a term that describes the massive popularity of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball franchise, and the celebration of professional baseball, not just in St. Louis, but through a large portion of the Midwest and South. The team is traditionally popular in these regions and Cardinals games are broadcast on radio and television affiliates in nine states: Arkansas, southern Illinois, southwest Indiana, Iowa, western Kentucky, northern Mississippi, Missouri, northeast Oklahoma, and west Tennessee. In addition, the team is also popular in other Major League markets, notably Colorado, where the Cardinals were the team of choice until the creation of the Rockies franchise in 1993. To this day, the Cardinals have many fans in attendance at games on the road in Denver, as well as every other Major League venue.

Cardinals fans are known for traveling to see their team on the road as well and fill nearly half of Wrigley Field in Chicago when the Cubs and Cardinals carry on their classic rivalry each season. The same is true when Cubs fans go to Busch Stadium in St. Louis when the Cubs visit. When the Kansas City Royals play the Cardinals in Kansas City every season during interleague play, the games often sell out--unlike most other poorly-attended Royals' games.

One reason for the large popularity of the Cardinals outside of St. Louis is the fact that the Cardinals were broadcast on the 50,000-watt, clear-channel KMOX radio station, which has the power to reach the entire continental United States at night time, until 2006. Many fans around the nation grew up listening to two of the greatest baseball broadcasters in history, Jack Buck and Harry Caray, call Cardinals' games starting in the mid-1940s, into the 1950s and through the 1960s. Jack Buck (with Mike Shannon, starting 1972), remained the voice of the Cardinals through 2001. The Cardinals were also popular in the Western United States before any teams arrived or were expanded over there. During this period, which took place before widespread Major League expansion, the Cardinals had no competition for the loyalties of baseball fans throughout a huge swath of the Midwest and South. Plus, the Cardinals have been one of the most successful baseball franchises in history with 17 National League pennants and a National League record 10 World Series Championships. They are second only to the New York Yankees, who have 27, in total World Series Championships.

References

External links

  • The Cardinal Nation [1]
  • Scout.com's The Birdhouse [2]
  • Whiteyball [3]
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