McGovern And His Passion For The Cardinals
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
October 26, 2012 6:41 PM
“George followed the Cardinals, if I may say so in here, religiously,” said his son-in-law Jim Rowen at George McGovern's funeral Friday.
It was clear the love of the St. Louis Cardinals started at young age when George and his brother discovered his father once played the game professionally for a team affiliated with Cardinals.
“They were stunned when their father took the baseball and threw it on a straight line to the corner of a tent and hit a mouse,” said Rowen.
McGovern would take that love of baseball and the Cardinals with him throughout the years, tearing apart newspapers searching for box scores.
“Often, if a game had been on television or there was an important game, he would call our house and would talk to Susan first and Susan would say, ‘here he wants to talk to you about the game,’” recalled Rowen.
At a Cardinals spring training game George McGovern and Jim Rowen had the chance to meet the Cardinals' manager, Tony LaRussa.
“And all the way back to Marco Island about every 15 minutes George would say, “can you believe it? We just met Tony LaRussa!’ I mean, you would think that we had met the president or the Pope. And George had met them,” said Rowen.
And as George McGovern's health faded in recent weeks the Cardinals were surging in the playoffs.
“Matthew and I would go in depending on how the game was going and we would say, ‘the Cardinals are ahead and the Cardinals are doing well.’ And you could see palpably that his heart rate was up and it's almost as if he wanted to talk to us about how good he felt that the cardinals were winning,” said Rowen.
But the Cardinals lost one game away from the World Series.
“I feel there was just some final connection there with George and the Cardinals that they both just sort of ran out of steam,” said Rowen.