Jim Edmonds Returns to St. Louis - Fans Show Him Love

Ben ShetleyCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2008

The Chicago Cubs are in St. Louis for a three-game series. 

The Cardinals/Cubs rivalry is arguably the best in baseball (yea east coasters and ESPN, I said it, not Red Sox/Yankees). 

Game one tonight is on the 4th of July.

Chicago is in first place in the NL Central with the best record in the National League but the Cardinals could be in first if they sweep the series, entering play tonight only 2.5 games back. 

Cubs mentally derranged ace Carlos Zambrano is coming off the disabled list to start tonight. 

Cardinals have struggled at home.  Cubs are terrible on the road.

How many more stories can you pack into this series?

Well... at least one that trumps most others for Cardinals fans.

Longtime Cardinal centerfield Jim Edmonds makes his first trip back to Busch Stadium since being traded to San Diego in the offseason.  One problem, he's wearing a Cubs uniform.

Edmonds defined the Cardinals for the past several seasons.  Pujols is the man for St. Louis, I am not trying to take anything away from him, but any true Cardinals fan knew that Edmonds was at the helm of the Cardinals ship.

Going into the game tonight the big question raging through Cardinal Nation was "How are the fans going to recieve Edmonds return?"

Some argued they would stand and cheer for him to show respect for all he did as a Cardinal.  (the right thing to do)

Some said they would boo Edmonds because he is a Cub.  Sure the rivalry is the rivalry and no Cardinal fan should ever show affection for a Cub.  (boneheads)

Others claimed they would sit and act like nothing our of the ordinary was going on, no cheers or boos.  (losers)

The verdict... Most fans stood and gave Edmonds an extended standing ovation and exploded when Edmonds took off his helmet and held it up high to awknowledge the wonderful scene before climbing into the batter's box.

Cardinals starting pitched Brayden Looper proceeded to strike out Edmonds to ignite another round of cheers that were unusual for a first inning strike out.

As a Cardinals fan and an Edmonds fan it was great to see the fans give Edmonds a great welcome.

The others who did not agree got their chance to cheer as he struck out in the first.

Edmonds was a great Cardinal.  He admitted in a pregame interview that the manner in which the fans would greet him did mean a lot to him. 

He will spend time over the weekend at his St. Louis restaurant, owns several homes in the area and forever be remembered as a Cardinal once he walks away from the game.

Give the guy some props.  He felt he still had some game left in him.  He has proved that he does.  And is the greatest centerfielder of his era (yes, better than Andrew Jones in his prime).

The Cardinals could not justify resigning him to a multimillion dollar deal with his diminished ability to play everyday and a plethora of young outfielders ready for their chance.

Best of luck to Edmonds... as long as the Cardinals make the playoffs and beat the Cubs.

Now that the drama is out of the way Cardinals fans can get back to hating the Cubs and winning the series.