By Sally Tippett Rains
Belinda Kuebler and Chris Jennings of Fenton, are big baseball fans who, like many fans always have the dream of catching a ball; and this week they almost did.
“I lost a foul ball from Alec Burleson in the clouds during the Card-Braves game,” said Belinda. “It looked like it was going to go further behind us but plopped right down and hit our seats!”
It got so close, and since they missed it, she enjoys ribbing Chris.
“It was a close call and I kidded my ‘baseball hands’ husband (Chris) who was eating peanuts and wasn’t paying as close attention as he should have been.”
It landed in their seats, so many people would have bragged they caught it. She said Chris picked it up and handed the ball to a little boy who was trying to run it down.
Both Belinda and Chris have been long-time Cardinals fans .
Belinda had a story about her childhood.
“My grandma was a huge Cardinal fan and she loved Lou Brock and Bob Gibson,” she said. “She worked in Maplewood at a Cafe with pies. She made the best pies and the Cardinals would come in and eat her pies. One time one of the players gave her a 1967 baseball signed by all the players.”
Belinda and Chris are in their second marriages and both raised their families on the Cardinals. Their love for the Cardinals was one of the things that brought them together.
“Chris has two sons and one has Brock for his middle name and the other has Joseph for Joe Torre,” she said.
Belinda made sure her three daughters were fans also. That wasn’t difficult as each developed a love of baseball on their own; and they went to a lot of games as a family.
She remembers her daughter Jessie at games discussing the plays when she was only four years old.
When they went with a group, everyone else would be talking to each other and having fun, but Jessie was always watching the game.
“Oh come on LaRussa!” she would yell. “You shouldn’t have pitched to him!”
The photo, left shows Jessie with her sisters and parents, and of course, Fredbird. Fredbird has been a big part of their lives also. They all love Fredbird.
Jessie passed away from childhood cancer, but as shown in the photos, right, Belinda continues to love going to the games with her daughters. From left to right, Lindsay, Kristie, Fredbird, and Belinda.
They’ve also loved Fredbird since their childhood.
If they would see Fredbird at the ballpark, they wanted their photo with him.
When her daughter Kristie got married last year they had Fredbird come to the reception, and dance with her– and her husband.
She says her favorite seats are either behind home plate or down the base line.
“Behind home plate is always a great seat and down the base lines is good,” she said. “My kids would run down and try to get a ball from Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols. I enjoy sitting down the third base line or left field for the defensive plays as well as the homers by Nolan Arenado.
They all try to go to as many Cardinals games as they can; and last year Chris and Belinda went to the first five home games.
“There were a couple rainouts which turned into double headers later,” she said. “We like going to day games and we try to go to most games when Adam Wainwright is pitching.”
Belinda is aWainwright fan and along with most of the fans she was very happy when he surprised the crowd on Opening Day and sang the National Anthem.
While they like going to games at Busch III, they have a soft spot in their heart for Busch II.
“We sat in the bleachers for years in the old stadium. Those were fun seats.”
They are looking forward to more Cardinals baseball and besides the ball dropping in the seat next to them, they’ve already seen other excitement.
“We got to see Jordan Walker’s first hit– his first homer,” she said. “It came out in our direction and I’m glad it didn’t get me.It was a great hard hit ball down the third base line.
“It’s going to be another great season.”