ST. LOUIS -- Members of the Cardinals' 1982 World Series championship team were feted in grand fashion on Saturday evening, when they gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the "Whiteyball" team that took down Milwaukee's "Harvey's Wallbangers."
Fittingly, the Cardinals' opponent this weekend is the Brewers, who were on the other end of that '82 Series.
"Thirty years, huh?" said Ozzie Smith, who was a fifth-year Cardinal shortstop in '82. "It doesn't seem like 30 years."
Saturday's ceremony began with vehicles ushering former players and coaches in and around Busch Stadium toward home plate, where the 1982 Commissioner's Trophy was on display.
Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog was the first to be introduced in front of a sellout crowd. Smith was the last, and he was greeted with the loudest ovation. Family members of three now-deceased members of the club -- catcher Darrell Porter, pitcher Bob Forsch and coach Dave Ricketts -- were also recognized during the on-field ceremony.
Three players, along with Herzog, used an on-field question-and-answer session with Cardinals play-by-play man Dan McLaughlin to address fans, all of whom received a commemorative Game 7 ticket as a memento of the occasion.
"It is all very familiar to me, all the red," former first baseman Keith Hernandez said. "I always love coming back here. I started out in the Cardinals' chain as an 18-year-old. I'm always a Cardinal."
Highlights of the '82 World Series played on the JumboTron, showing how St. Louis had to pull out wins in Game 6 and Game 7 of the "Suds Series" -- a nickname aptly applied because of the two city's famed breweries -- to seal the championship against the Brewers, a powerful team managed by Harvey Kuenn. Porter was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series, and it was Bruce Sutter who was on the mound to record the final out.
"It was probably one of the best defensive teams I ever played on," Smith said. "It was a team that had the most veterans that I've ever played on. And [I remember] how consistent we were. In '82, we probably played as good and as exciting of baseball as we had seen in a long time."
As a part of Saturday's celebration, the Cardinals and Brewers donned replica jerseys from 1982 for the night's game. St. Louis will wear another style of their '82 uniforms on Sunday.