I worked at the ballpark in the 1970s when Al played, got to know him pretty well, he would actually give me periodic rides home after games.  In addition to being super nice to me, he was super nice to my dad. My dad would periodically send Al and another of our buddies the great Dave Ricketts his famous barbecued ribs.  I never saw Al turn down an autograph request, or a chance to interact with a fan. The only person I ever heard him talk bad about was Vern Rapp, and that was strictly in private. As a ball player, he told me his post-baseball playing career was going to be in the broadcast booth, which is exactly what he did.  I was brokenhearted when he was traded to Kansas City, and thrilled for him when he signed the big free-agent contract with the Braves.  I have periodically run into Al at charity golf tournaments over the last 50 years, and he is pretty much the same guy that he always has been, a class act, and a wonderful ambassador for the St. Louis baseball Cardinals.

Jim McCormick,