April 2013

Mother’s Day Shirt Giveaway on May 12

Happy Mother’s Day – help the Redbirds celebrate Mom with a pink t-shirt giveaway, breast cancer awareness, and a special ticket & buffet offer!

The first 1,000 Moms through the gates receive a pink t-shirt, presented by DeVry University & Mroz Baier Breast Cancer Center.

Click here to order tickets.


The Cardinal Way, Part Three

Look for this feature on our manager, Ron “Pop” Warner, and pitching coach, Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd, in copies of the Bird Feeder program, available starting May 13 at home games at AutoZone Park.

Final of a three-part series. Part 1  Part 2

Redbirds Manager Ron "Pop" Warner

Redbirds Manager Ron “Pop” Warner
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

The transition from playing to coaching was smooth for both Eversgerd and Warner, helped in part by staying in the same organization. “For me, it wasn’t that much of a transition,” said Warner. “For the last couple years playing I was the fourth coach anyway, me and a couple other guys. You take on that role as an older player. My last year I was 29 years old. That’s the beautiful thing about Triple-A, you have your coaches and you have your veteran players teaching young guys how to approach and play the game. I did it, he (Eversgerd) did it, and I see it in guys now like Rob Johnson.”

Eversgerd added to the coaching conversation, “When you grow up in a system like the Cardinals, you feel like you can make the conversion at the end of your career. You teach the way that you learned – how to play the right way, you go on your past experience. When you’re an older guy in Triple-A, you become that guy. It’s an easy transition.”

This season, the Redbirds hope to develop their young talent while winning games the right way. “Finish games out, that’s what my expectations are,” said Warner. “We’ve played really good baseball so far. Played good defense, offensively we’ve hit and got good pitching. We just need to seal the deal.”

Eversgerd points to the good attitude of the players. “It’s nice to see the fight we have in these kids. We’ve been down and came back a few times already. Goes to show you the character and competitive nature we have on this team.”

Pitching Coach Bryan "Gerdy" Eversgerd

Pitching Coach Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

Eversgerd relates a story about a game at Tim McCarver Stadium where his and Warner’s roles were flipped. During the second game of a double-header, Memphis was running low on players and brought Warner in to pitch while Eversgerd backed him up in left field. Warner recalls not giving up any runs and Eversgerd managed to fire in a throw over the cut-off man from left. Both laugh about the experience and Warner recalls other, less successful pitching outings he had.

For Pop and Gerdy, the current season is like almost all they’ve had before in their professional baseball lives. They are dedicated to passing along what it means to play, learn, teach and live the right way – the professional, Cardinal Way.

Did You Know?

Pop and Gerdy are the second and third former Redbirds players to also coach for the team. Danny Sheaffer played for the Redbirds in 1998, and managed the club from 2003-06.

The Cardinal Way, Part Two

Look for this feature on our manager, Ron “Pop” Warner, and pitching coach, Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd, in copies of the Bird Feeder program, available starting May 13 at home games at AutoZone Park.

Second of a three-part series. Part 1

Pitching Coach Bryan Eversgerd visits the mound

Pitching Coach Bryan Eversgerd visits the mound
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

The St. Louis Cardinals recently won World Series Championships in 2006 and 2011. This success filters down through all levels of the farm system. The job of a minor-league manager and coach is to balance the player development with winning. “We try to win in the minor leagues, but not at all costs,” said Warner. “You’re not sacrificing the development of guys to win ball games. Development goes hand in hand. We try to teach them to win here. We’re developing major league players to go to St. Louis. We’re developing guys to go help us win championships in St. Louis. You take the wins and losses to heart, especially the losses. But it’s all about developing guys. ”

Eversgerd agreed with the sentiment. “I think sometimes as a by-product of the development and The Cardinal Way, you do win minor-league championships,” said Eversgerd. “Last year, (at Springfield), we had obviously a lot of talent and we went about it the right way. And at the end of the day, we were the last ones standing as a result of that hard work. That’s what we’re trying to do here, develop players with a winning way who can go to the big-league level and win championships, and have an impact.”

Warner was the Redbirds’ first Pacific Coast League All-Star in 1998. He played at Tim McCarver Stadium in Memphis and remembers that time. “That year I was fortunate enough to play every day,” said Warner. “I had been a utility guy and got slotted into the everyday spot at third base after an injury to our third baseman. I was fortunate after that to get some consistent at bats and have some success and make the All-Star team, which was a neat accomplishment for me because I had never been an All-Star before as a utility guy.”

Manager Ron "Pop" Warner played for the Redbirds from 1998-99

Manager Ron “Pop” Warner played for the Redbirds from 1998-99
(Memphis Redbirds)

“Tim McCarver Stadium was a good little facility, turf infield, grass outfield,” Warner went on. “No batting cage, the dugouts were small and old school, not a lot of room in there. Our clubhouse was down the left field line, theirs down the right field line, just a building they built. But we grew as a team. We had really good character guys on our team.”

Comparing the differences and similarities to players from their playing days and today, Eversgerd and Warner both said guys throw harder now. “Everyone’s throwing 95 out of the pen,” Warner said. In regards to work ethic and attitudes, Warner said the differences are individualized. “It all depends on their character, how they were brought up. It was like that when we played, too. This year, we’ve got great character guys.”

The biggest difference in regards to players of today is the money aspect of the game. Players are making more now than Warner and Eversgerd did when they played. “They’re fortunate enough now that these kids don’t have to work now besides baseball,” Eversgerd said. “Pop and I talk about it all the time, used to, when the season was over, you’d go home and start your other job. Nowadays, some are able to focus on baseball year-round, which is a good thing.” The list of off-season jobs he held is rattled off by Warner with a laugh, “You’d go home and drive a septic tank truck, pour foundation, roof homes…” Eversgerd added, “work as a diesel mechanic.”

Part Three coming on Friday, April 19

Pop And Gerdy Talk About “The Cardinal Way”

Look for this feature on our manager, Ron “Pop” Warner, and pitching coach, Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd, in copies of the Bird Feeder program, available starting May 13 at home games at AutoZone Park.

First of a three-part series.

Ron “Pop” Warner and Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd
(Allison Rhoades/Memphis Redbirds)

The Cardinal Way

Ron “Pop” Warner and Bryan “Gerdy” Eversgerd embody “The Cardinal Way”, striving to teach and coach their players the right way to do things. Warner is the manager of the Memphis Redbirds for the second straight season, and has been a coach in the St. Louis Cardinals organization since 2000. Warner spent nine seasons as a player in the Cards’ system prior to his coaching career.

Eversgerd joined the Redbirds as pitching coach for the 2013 season, having been a Cardinals minor-league coach since 2004 and was a player in the St. Louis organization for nine of his 12 professional seasons, including winning the PCL Championship with Memphis in 2000.

Both men have spent much of their lives associated with the St. Louis Cardinals, an organization of stability and success. “It’s the Cardinal Way,” said Warner about his career. “It’s all the old Cardinals who taught me how to play the game. George Kissell, Dave Ricketts, just to name a couple. This organization goes about teaching the game of baseball, and the game of life. Once you’re a Cardinal and you’re in it for a few years, you understand the way they operate. It’s safe to say there’s no other organization that comes close to this one as far as how we teach the history and the game of baseball. I don’t want to leave this organization, I’ve been here 23 years. It’s who I am and what I do.”

It was George Kissell, the longtime Cardinal, who gave Warner his nickname. Kissell was a Cardinal for 69 years, as a player, manager, coach, instructor and advisor. Kissell mentored Sparky Anderson, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa. “It was my first day in the New York-Penn League, up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,” recalled Warner. “He (Kissell) was there and he was one of our senior advisors. I was working out and my group was taking batting practice in the cage. He stopped and asked me my name, and it was Pop Warner after that. He named a few guys that day, but mine stuck.”

Eversgerd ranks third in Redbirds history with 156 relief appearances. He was the pitching coach for the 2012 Texas League-champion Springfield Cardinals. Eversgerd served as pitching coach for the last two Cardinal Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year award recipients, Seth Maness in 2012 and Shelby Miller in 2011.

Eversgerd pitching as a Redbird

Eversgerd pitching as a Redbird
(Memphis Redbirds)

Eversgerd also attributes his success in the St. Louis system to The Cardinal Way. “Growing up in this organization, you learn to play the right way,” explained Eversgerd. “George Kissell was instrumental in laying the foundation for what we do every day.” Eversgerd was the recipient of the 2012 George Kissell award from the Cardinals, given yearly to a minor league coach for displaying excellence in player development.

“I’ve been in other organizations and there’s something different about the Cardinals,” Eversgerd continued. “It’s the Cardinal Way, it’s the way we learn the game, it’s the way we approach the game in a professional manner. It’s pretty special to be a part of. I feel I’m privileged to put on the uniform every day. There are other teams I’ve been with and didn’t feel that. But I do when I put that bat and birds on every day, it’s a special feeling.”

Part two coming on Thursday, April 18.

Game Notes – April 14 at Oklahoma City

Game Notes – April 14 at Oklahoma City

** The Redbirds continue their series with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple-A Astros) at 2:05 p.m. CT on Sunday afternoon at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Left-hander Tyler Lyons (1-0, 2.57) takes the mound for Memphis.

Game Notes – April 13 at Oklahoma City

Game Notes – April 13 at Oklahoma City

** The Redbirds continue their series with the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Triple-A Astros) at 7:05 pm CT on Saturday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Right-hander Michael Wacha (0-0, 4.50) makes the start for Memphis.

Game Notes: April 9 vs. New Orleans

** The Redbirds continue their series with the New Orleans Zephyrs (Triple-A Marlins) at 7:02 pm CT on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park. LHP Nick Additon makes his season-debut for Memphis. 

April 9 vs. New Orleans (PDF)

Opening Night

Opening Night

Opening Night lineup on our brand new board! Gates open at 6 p.m.

One Day Until Redbirds Opening Night

One Day Until Redbirds Opening Night

#1 Farm System and only 1 day until 2013 #Redbirds Opening Night #April4

Two Days Until Redbirds Opening Night

Two Days Until Redbirds Opening Night

It’s TWO-sday and there are only Skip Schumaker (2) more days until Opening Night! #April4