ST. LOUIS -- During the Cardinals' seven-game homestand, unrest has continued just 12 miles away from Busch Stadium in the city of Ferguson, Mo., the epicenter of protests since a police offer shot an unarmed 18-year-old black male on Aug. 9.
The shooting and subsequent demonstrations have dominated headlines and airwaves for the past nine days. The Cardinals addressed the regional divide with a message on the public address system Thursday in which they urged for the community to come together during what has been a tense time.
"Ladies and gentlemen, for over a century Cardinals baseball has been an integral part of the fabric of St. Louis -- bringing us together as a community and enriching our lives in so many important ways," the statement read. "St. Louis is good community with good people who care about one another, our neighborhoods and our city. In recent days we have all been heartbroken by a series of violent events that do not reflect who we are as a people. We ask that you join us tonight in taking a stand against violence as we unite as one community."
Manager Mike Matheny has since done the same.
"It's a sad situation. It's a tough situation for our city," Matheny said. "Hopefully, all the voices that are trying to get this resolved get it resolved quick. … This is a great city with a lot of great people and we'd just like to all see this get resolved."
Actor Jon Hamm, a guest of the Cardinals at Monday's game, noted that the events in Ferguson have hit especially close to home given that he spent much of his childhood in Normandy, which is only a few miles away from Ferguson. He recalled riding his bike to Ferguson and pointed out how many family members he still has living in North St. Louis County.
"It's a bad situation all around," Hamm said. "There's no positive spin to it. When all the facts come out and hopefully all the light is shown on all sides of it, hopefully the justice will be carried out. But it's hard. It's really hard. That's my neighborhood. I know there are a lot more good people in those neighborhoods than bad people, and it's rough to watch.
"St. Louis has had a rough couple of decades now. It would be nice to turn it around. People in St. Louis, in my experience, are great people. If anybody can do it, we can. And I hope that everybody pulls together for the sake of the community."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less