Player autograph sessions are one of the most popular attractions of the Warm-Up. While some players’ autographs are free with the admission pass, others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation. Every dollar donated for autograph tickets and all proceeds from the Winter Warm-Up benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s community foundation that cares for kids.
This highly anticipated annual event will take place Saturday, January 14th through Monday, January 16th (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day) at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The event hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday.
This year fans will get the chance to meet members of the 2011 World Series Championship team, starting with pitcher Chris Carpenter on January 14th from 9 to 11 a.m., slugger Lance Berkman on January 15th from 3 to 5 p.m., and World Series MVP David Freese on January 16th from 12 to 2 p.m.
Fans can also greet the newest addition to the Cardinals coaching staff, manager Mike Matheny, as well as other former Cardinals greats and National Baseball Hall of Famers Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, and Whitey Herzog.
“The Warm-Up is the perfect opportunity for fans to meet their favorite players and help kids in the St. Louis community,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “We hope fans will join us in welcoming our new manager and celebrating our recent World Championship.” Hall urges fans to check the Cardinals website (cardinals.com/winterwarmup) frequently for details, including player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts.
Since its inception in 1997, Cardinals Care has maintained a direct focus on “Caring for Kids” by distributing funds to area non-profit youth organizations and establishing Redbird Rookies, their flagship program that supports youth on and off the baseball field. Most of the organizations who are recipients of Cardinals Care charitable grants are based in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. Grant funds are intended to support purchases such as school supplies and uniforms, computers, software, instruments, books and games for educational programs, as well as basic needs such as winter clothing for needy children.
The Winter Warm-Up and annual 6K Run are Cardinals Care’s two largest fundraising events each year. In 2011 Cardinals Care raised over $700,000 at the Warm-Up and nearly $160,000 at the second annual 6K Run for Kids. Cardinals Care also raises funds through memorabilia auctions online and throughout Busch Stadium during the season. Cardinals Care has now partnered with Papa John’s Pizza for a special promotion where proceeds of pizza purchases in January will be donated to their cause.