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St. Louis pride on display as NLDS begins

Pregame festivities include beloved broadcaster Shannon, Clydesdales

ST. LOUIS -- Pirates fans at PNC Park drew the attention of the baseball world for their impressive display of fanhood in the Bucs' National League Wild Card Game win against the Reds on Tuesday night. On Thursday, the Cardinals welcomed their division rival with St. Louis flair for Game 1 of the the NL Division Series.

Cards broadcaster Mike Shannon highlighted the pregame festivities at Busch Stadium, uncorking the ceremonial first pitch before Adam Wainwright tossed the game's first ball against Pittsburgh leadoff man Starling Marte minutes later.

Shannon, the radio voice of the Cardinals who has been with the organization for more than 50 years, had heart surgery to replace his aortic valve on Aug. 19. The 74-year-old returned to the booth on Sept. 23 after missing nearly six weeks.

Before Shannon took the mound, the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses trotted around the dirt surrounding the field, and each member of the Pirates and Cards was introduced and lined up along the baselines.

The national anthem was sung by Four Digit Chord, an a cappella group of civilian and military volunteers from Scott Air Force Base. The colors were presented by the 375th Air Mobility Wing Honor Guard from the base, and service members held a large flag during the anthem.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.
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