ST. LOUIS -- Despite what the plummeting temperatures may suggest, there will be plenty of signs that baseball is near this weekend as the Cardinals hold Winter Warm-Up and other ancillary events in the area to commence an unofficial countdown to the 2018 season.
The 22nd annual Winter Warm-Up will begin at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday and continue through Monday at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The event, which is a fundraiser for Cardinals Care, will include appearances from more than 60 players, coaches and alumni, as well as on-stage presentations, speakers, silent auctions, information booths and activities for children. Memorabilia and merchandise will also be available for sale.
With most members of the team's 40-man roster slated to attend, there is also bound to be some news. It will be the first public appearances in St. Louis for new acquisitions Marcell Ozuna and Miles Mikolas. For Adam Wainwright, it will be the final one before the end of his current contract.
Fans who have already purchased tickets ($40/adult, $10/kids) can pick those up at the on-site will-call booth beginning on Friday. Three-day passes to Winter Warm-Up and remaining autograph tickets will also be available for purchase at the Hyatt Regency.
While Winter Warm-Up is going on downtown, five different groups of players and alumni will be crisscrossing the region as part of the organization's annual Caravan. A total of 17 stops are planned in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Inclement weather forced the cancellation of visits to Tennessee and Arkansas.
Also happening this weekend will be the St. Louis Baseball Writers' Dinner at the Union Station Hotel. Taking place Sunday evening, the dinner will celebrate its 60th anniversary by recognizing the top players and managers from the last six decades. Most will be in attendance.
Other highlights of the night will include the presentation of the Red Schoendienst Medal, the J.G. Taylor Spink St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year Award and an inaugural Branch Rickey Award. Ozuna and Wainwright will receive their Silver Slugger Awards from Louisville Slugger. Ozuna will get his Rawlings Gold Glove hardware, too.
A limited number of tickets for the dinner remain available at metrotix.com.
Wainwright's weekend will also include a night of singing, as he will host the second annual Big League Impact Sing Off and Karaoke Challenge on Friday. The event will take place at Dave & Buster's in St. Louis and will feature Wainwright and others competing in a karaoke contest. Last year, more than $50,000 was raised for charity through the event.
Those wanting to participate and/or attend can purchase tickets at bigleagueimpact.org.
Fans coming downtown over the holiday weekend can also stop by Busch Stadium, where the team store will be open and the ballpark will be holding daily tours. These tours will include a visit to the Cardinals' clubhouse, which is typically not part of the itinerary. The Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum, located inside Ballpark Village, will be open for visitors, as well.