CINCINNATI -- Wednesday marked more than just the series finale between the Cardinals and Reds.
It served as a reminder that there's more to life than baseball.
Cardinals players and coaches stepped onto the field wearing black wristbands with "No. 57" on them. It was three years ago Wednesday that Darryl Kile passed away in Chicago.
Even though members of the organization say they remember Kile frequently throughout the season, this day brings special emotion.
"In our clubhouse, there's all kinds of reminders of Darryl," manager Tony La Russa said. "I mean, I have his practice jersey hanging in my office. At some point often enough, you think about him for one reason or another. But definitely the day he died, you're going to think about him, just like he was a member of the family."
Not all players would comment on the significance of the wristband. Jim Edmonds said he wasn't sure what would go through his mind on this day.
"I haven't done this in a year," Edmonds said. "I'll have to see. I haven't thought about it much yet today, so we'll just have to see. I really don't know what's going to happen."
Kile was in his third season with the Cardinals.
Edmonds back on the field: For the first time during this road trip, Edmonds was in the lineup Wednesday, still nursing a rib injury.
Edmonds had missed the previous eight games, but after two days of batting practice, he said he was finally ready see action.
"We'll just see how it goes," Edmonds said. "I'm just going to go out there and do the best I can."
Edmonds said this start wasn't just a trial run to see how things feel, though. He expects to be in the lineup when the Cardinals return to St. Louis.
"I don't have a choice," he said. "I can't just play one game and start all over."
The decision to start Edmonds was made after Tuesday's game. But despite giving him the nod, La Russa was hesitant to say that Edmonds will be back for good.
"I'm never confident with something like that," La Russa said of Edmonds' injury. "He may tweak it with the first ball he chases or his first at-bat. But he's good enough to go, and we'll keep our fingers crossed.
Jim Edmonds / CF
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
"Working out is not game speed. So if he takes a couple swings and doesn't feel good, then it wouldn't be a surprise. But we expect him to be OK."
Red-hot start for Redbirds: The Cardinals are off to their best start in 60 years with a 45-25 record.
But don't tell them that. La Russa said the last thing his team needs is something taking the focus away from each game.
"I think the worst thing you can do sometimes is get distracted," La Russa said. "And good stats distract you, and bad stats distract you. Compliments, criticisms, they all distract you. This game is mostly about concentrating on the next competition. And then, when the competition's over at the end of the regular season, then you look back and say, 'Hey, this is what the numbers were,' and you rank it wherever it was. But we don't need to get distracted."
Today in Busch history: On June 22, 1985, Curt Ford singled in his first Major League at-bat to drive in the winning run and beat the Cubs, 2-1, in the 10th inning. The win gave the Cardinals sole possession of first place in the National League East over the Cubs.
Baby 'Birds: Adam Wainwright pitched seven innings, allowing four runs but picking up the loss in the Redbirds' 4-3 defeat at the hands of Round Rock. Three Redbirds had two hits in the game: Hector Luna, John Rodriguez and John Nelson. ... A nine-run second inning helped propel the Palm Beach Cardinals ahead of Daytona, 10-3. Tyler Parker had the team's only home run on the night, his sixth of the season.
Coming up: The Cardinals return home Thursday to continue a stretch in the National League Central. Matt Morris (8-0, 3.16 ERA) will face the Pirates' Dave Williams (5-5, 3.71).
Kyle Jepson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.