Cardinals fans who take pride in the birds on the bat have a lady to thank -- Allie May Schmidt. Speaking at the Ferguson (MO) Presbyterian Church on Feb. 16, 1921, Cards exec Branch Rickey was taken by the colorful cardboard table decorations created by Schmidt, a daughter of one of the attendees. Rickey asked to take a few back to the office, and with the help of Schmidt's father -- a graphic designer -- the redbird logo took flight, landing on the Cardinals uniforms in 1922.
In Feb. 1923, Rickey signed the final contract of his career as a field manager. He was fired in 1925, but was convinced to stay with the team and manage the off-the-field operations. Upon his firing by owner Sam Breadon, Rickey said: "You can't do this to me, Sam. You are ruining me." "No," said Breadon, "I am doing you the greatest favor one man has ever done to another." History has shown how right Breadon was, as Rickey would become a seminal figure in baseball history for his work in the front office.
Happy birthday to the only Cardinals player to hit home runs in his first two MLB at bats, Keith McDonald. Shown here is the bat from his first round-tripper on July 4, 2000. It proudly rests in the Cardinals Museum collection. McDonald is one of only two players to have home runs in their first two at bats. The other, Bob Nieman, also did it for a St. Louis team -- the American League Browns -- in 1951.