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Fans make Busch special
10/03/2004 4:30 PM ET
If this is the last playoff go-around for Busch Stadium, it's certainly served well. With recent renovations, you can hardly tell that it was once considered one of the "cookie-cutter" multi-purpose stadiums of the 1960's and '70's, along with Riverfront, Three Rivers and Veterans Stadium.

The dimensions still aren't "quirky," and the field plays fairly routine. Busch has played as a slight pitchers' park over the past few years, though over a span of time it's essentially neutral. Some years it plays slightly to hitters, some years slightly to pitchers.

What makes Busch special is something you can't see until it starts filling up an hour or so before game time. St. Louis fans call themselves the "best fans in baseball," and once you've been to a big game at Busch, it's hard to disagree. They're passionate, knowledgeable, supportive and courteous, not to mention really, really loud.

And red. That's the main thing players and fans will notice upon looking into the stands. Everyone's wearing red. It's as much a uniform for the fans as bright white with the birds on the bat is for the players. Count the number of times you hear the phrase "sea of red" during a Cardinals home playoff game -- then try to come up with a better way to describe it.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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