Jose Cardenal

October 28, 2006

“‘I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all that,’ Teddy said. ‘It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was only a very tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean.'”
— J.D. Salinger, “Teddy”

Who better to honor the St. Louis Cardinals for winning the 2006 World Series championship than Jose Cardenal? One of my Cardboard God fugue states–episodes in which I sat on the floor of my room and handled the cards like rosary beads, eventually drifting into a glaze-eyed trance–involved envisioning the brief, magical sliver of the past in which journeyman Jose Cardenal had actually been a Cardinal. It had happened before I was old enough to pay attention and had lasted only a year and a half, from 1970 to midway through 1971, right around the time that my parents began experimenting with a new kind of family structure, three adults instead of two, inspired in part by the ecstatic mandate of Woodstock and the Whole Earth Catalog, etc., to invent brand new modes of living. Though it didn’t end up lasting that long, many believed a new era was at hand, a golden time in which milk would pour into milk, God into God, Cardenal into Cardinal.


  1. 1.  2 comments from old CG site:

    Anonymous said…
    You are a demon!

    12:29 PM

    pete said…
    Even in a later, more cynical and somewhat jaded era, the presence of Gary Redus on the Cincinnati Reds had a bit of the same effect on me. There was still enough youthful wonder at some sense of divine synchronicity in my bones that it all seemed somewhat natural…

    There he was in cardboard. Playing for the Reds. “Gary Rehd’-uss.”

    The hard reality – that by the time his career had progressed to the point where he was an injury-prone platoon player manning the hollow, institution-like chambers of Three Rivers Stadium, he was universally known as “Gary Reed’-uss” – was in some way disillusioning.

    There’s probably no tooth fairy either. I’m not sure if there’s a God. Growing up is never easy.

    11:27 AM

  2. I heard Garrett Morris of Saturday Night Live say that Jose was the baseball player that they based the character Chico Esquella after.

  3. I think Jose Cardenal bears a striking resemblance to the cub on his shoulder…his ‘fro crushed down and sticking out the sides of his cap is a remarkable imitation of the cheerful cub’s ears.

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