Gold Glove Finalist

goldgloves

A quartet of American League clubs and one National League club led the way as the 54 finalists for the 2017 Gold Glove Awards were announced on Thursday.

The Angels, Indians, Red Sox and Royals each have four finalists for the honor, which has been awarded since 1957 to a standout defensive player at each position in each league. In the NL, the Reds also boast four finalists. After the Gold Glove Award winners are announced on Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, one player from each league will be named a Platinum Glove Award winner.

• Past Gold Glove Award winners: American League | National League

Several finalists are in the running for their first Gold Glove Award, and two positions from the AL will yield a first-time winner. The finalists among pitchers are the Red Sox’s Chris Sale, the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman and the Rays’ Alex Cobb, none of whom has previously won the honor. And in center field, the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain, the Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar or the Twins’ Byron Buxton will be a first-time winner.

Arguably the two greatest sluggers in the game today, the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton (59 home runs in 2017) and Yankees rookie Aaron Judge (52) flexed their muscle on defense as well on the way to nominations for their respective leagues’ Gold Glove Award in right field.

Many finalists already boast an impressive history with the Gold Glove Award, which is presented by Rawlings, and will be looking to add another. In the AL, Royals catcher Salvador Perez and left fielder Alex Gordon, as well as Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, each look to win the award for a fifth time.

In the NL, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina seeks his ninth career Gold Glove Award; he’s earned all eight since 2008. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is in position to extend his MLB record for third basemen with a fifth straight Gold Glove Award to begin his career. Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward could win his fifth Gold Glove Award, which would also be his fourth straight.

• Cast your vote for Best Defensive Player, more in 2017 Esurance MLB Awards

This year’s Gold Glove Awards represent just one way the game’s top performers will be recognized. Voting is underway now for the Esurance MLB Awards, which annually honor MLB’s greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process. MLB Awards season will culminate on Friday, Nov. 17, when winners are announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com starting at 8 p.m. ET.

What follows is a complete list of this year’s Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitchers:
LHP Chris Sale, Red Sox
RHP Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays
RHP Alex Cobb, Rays

Catchers:
Yan Gomes, Indians
Martin Maldonado, Angels
Salvador Perez, Royals

Perez nabs Chacin at third

First basemen:
Carlos Santana, Indians
Eric Hosmer, Royals
Mitch Moreland, Red Sox

Second basemen:
Brian Dozier, Twins
Ian Kinsler, Tigers
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

Dozier's best defensive plays

Third basemen:
Manny Machado, Orioles
Jose Ramirez, Indians
Evan Longoria, Rays

Shortstops:
Elvis Andrus, Rangers
Andrelton Simmons, Angels
Francisco Lindor, Indians

Simmons' incredible catch

Left fielders:
Brett Gardner, Yankees
Alex Gordon, Royals
Justin Upton, Angels

Center fielders:
Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays
Byron Buxton, Twins

Buxton's diving grab in center

Right fielders:
Kole Calhoun, Angels
Mookie Betts, Red Sox
Aaron Judge, Yankees

Betts' stellar day in the field

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitchers:
RHP R.A. Dickey, Braves
RHP Zack Greinke, D-backs
RHP Zach Davies, Brewers

Greinke starts 1-6-3 DP

Catchers:
Buster Posey, Giants
Yadier Molina, Cardinals
Tucker Barnhart, Reds

First basemen:
Joey Votto, Reds
Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

Second basemen:
DJ LeMahieu, Rockies
Dee Gordon, Marlins
Ben Zobrist, Cubs

Third basemen:
Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Anthony Rendon, Nationals
David Freese, Pirates

Arenado's superb diving play

Shortstops:
Freddy Galvis, Phillies
Brandon Crawford, Giants
Corey Seager, Dodgers

Left fielders:
Gerardo Parra, Rockies
Adam Duvall, Reds
Marcell Ozuna, Marlins

Center fielders:
Billy Hamilton, Reds
Michael A. Taylor, Nationals
Ender Inciarte, Braves

Inciarte's incredible grabs

Right fielders:
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Jason Heyward, Cubs

Source: Manny Randhawa / MLB.com

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Welcome Mike Maddux the Cards New Pitching Coach

mike-maddux

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today the hiring of Mike Maddux as the team’s Pitching Coach and promotion of triple-A Memphis Pitching Coach Bryan Eversgerd to the Cardinals Bullpen Coach for the 2018 season.  Today’s announcement rounds out the team’s Major League coaching staff for 2018.

“We are very excited to welcome Mike to the Cardinals organization,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.  “We also look forward to giving Bryan Eversgerd a well-deserved opportunity on our Major League staff.”

Maddux, 56, has served as pitching coach with the Texas Rangers (2009-15) and Washington Nationals (2016-17), and was part of six postseason teams – four with the Rangers (2010-11, 12, 15) and two with the Nationals (2016-17).  All-Star Max Scherzer earned his 2016 National League Cy Young Award as a member of the Nationals pitching staff under Maddux. 

The 2016 Nationals squad set a franchise record with 1,476 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .234 batting average, also the best in club history. In 2017, the Nationals ranked 6th among Major League Baseball pitching staffs in ERA (3.88) while ranking 7th in strikeouts (1,457).  As pitching coach with the Rangers, the team posted four of its top seven win totals, their top four strikeout totals in franchise history from 2010-13 and dropped their ERA from 5.37 to 4.38 in his first season with the club.  In 2013, the Rangers bullpen posted their lowest ERA in club history at 2.89.

Maddux, the brother of pitching great Greg Maddux, enjoyed a 15-year Major League career, going 39-37 with a 4.05 ERA in 472 games (48 starts) with Philadelphia (1986-89), Los Angeles (1990, 1999), San Diego (1991-92), New York Mets (1993-94), Pittsburgh (1995), Boston (1995-96), Seattle (1997), Montreal (1998-99) and Houston (2000).

Eversgerd, 48, has served as pitching coach in the Cardinals organization for 15 seasons, including the last five with the Cardinals’ Memphis affiliate (2013-17).  The Hoffman, Ill., native, was voted the recipient of the highly-distinguished George Kissell Award in 2012 – an award that honors excellence in player development.  His teams won league championships with Memphis (2017) and double-A Springfield (2012).  Eversgerd, who pitched parts of four major league seasons, made two stints with St. Louis that included his Major League debut in 1994.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

Joe Girardi Leaves Yankees…Whats Next?

joeygggggg

Today Joe Girardi announced he is not returning to the Yankees One of my favorite memory of Girardi was when he was with the Cardinals in 2002 as the back up catcher to Matheny. He stepped up as a spokesman for the Cardinals in regards to the death of Daryl Kile I always remember how touching it was when Girardi took on a difficult job to speak of Kile’s death. I have always respected Girardi as a player and a Manager of the Yankees.

The 53-year-old Girardi announced his departure in an emailed statement on Thursday morning, saying, “With a heavy heart, I come to you because the Yankees have decided not to bring me back.” The statement went on to thank everyone from the Steinbrenner family to General Manager Brian Cashman to his coaches and other team personnel, and it concluded with Girardi saying that the “passion and excitement” of the 2017 postseason would “remain in my heart forever.”

In a separate statement, issued by the Yankees, Cashman said that he wanted to thank Girardi “for his 10 years of hard work and service” and that the team had “decided to pursue alternatives for the managerial position.”

This postseason was both exhilarating and painfully disappointing for Girardi and the Yankees, ending in a loss in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. Two other managers — the Washington Nationals’ Dusty Baker and the Boston Red Sox’ John Farrell — lost their jobs this month after their teams were ousted from the postseason. Girardi becomes the third.

Girardi was in the final year of his contract and was the third-longest-tenured manager in the major leagues, behind the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Scioscia and the San Francisco Giants’ Bruce Bochy. He compiled a 910-710 record in his 10 years in the Bronx and is leaving a team that is brimming with young talent and a farm system rife with promising prospects.

the Yankees were eliminated last weekend, Cashman was vague in his assessment of Girardi.

“I think everybody did everything they possibly could to get where we wanted to go, to be the last team standing, and we fell short,” he said.

At a time when the ability to relate to players is becoming more valued — the new managers of the Yankees’ two rivals, Mickey Callaway of the Mets and Alex Cora of the Red Sox, are viewed as strong communicators — Girardi may have had some difficulties on that front. He became so frustrated this season over catcher Gary Sanchez’s inattentiveness in blocking pitches that he publicly called him out, a rarity for Girardi in the past.

And in the wake of Girardi’s botched replay decision, closer Aroldis Chapman “liked’’ a social media post that urged the Yankees not to bring Girardi back. Chapman later said he inadvertently “liked” the post.

Girardi, who was chosen over Don Mattingly to replace Joe Torre as manager, had a rocky first season in 2008, when the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since the strike-aborted season of 1994. But after a lavish spending spree, the Yankees made an immediate turnaround and won the 2009 World Series — the 27th in franchise history — in a new stadium.

That championship also meant a change of uniform for Girardi. He switched to No. 28 — from No. 27 — because he continued to want a visible reminder of the number of championships the Yankees have accumulated, along with the inference that another one would surely come soon enough.

But with players who were the foundation of their championship years — Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera — aging and retiring, the Yankees were unable to win another under Girardi’s leadership.

In an interview before the start of the season, the Yankees’ principal owner, Hal Steinbrenner, said that the team had not developed enough talent in recent years. He largely absolved Girardi for leading the Yankees to just one playoff appearance — a wild-card berth in 2015 — since the previous one, in 2012.

“What did I look at?” Steinbrenner said. “Was any of what was going on the fault of Joe Girardi? Was Joe Girardi the fact we hadn’t made the playoffs in two to three years? Had he lost control of the team? Did the players no longer respect him? Is it a serious situation in that regard? And the answer to that in my opinion was no.”

Steinbrenner added: “So, I try to be a pretty even-keeled thinker. I’m objective. That’s my nature. That’s the way I come to decisions. There have been plenty of owners that have fired managers left and right and still aren’t winning. So how well does that work? I don’t know. I’ve got to take a look at any renewal of a contract with any employee and do the best I can to analyze it. Is this person the right fit? Or is this person being detrimental to the organization?”

Girardi, who has three children, has long touted the importance of family. He skipped a game this season at Tampa Bay to attend the high school graduation of his oldest daughter, and he has made it comfortable for players and coaches to leave the team for significant events in their lives. Girardi’s son, a sophomore in high school and a baseball player, occasionally works out with Yankees coaches before games.

Girardi, who had a four-year, $16 million contract, said last week that he would meet with his family after the season to gauge how they felt about him returning. Girardi said he wanted to understand how the grind of the baseball season impacted his children and his wife.

“I’m not living my kids’ lives; I’m not living my wife’s life,” Girardi said during the playoffs. “I’m living, in a sense, my life, so I don’t know what changes for them.”

Now, however, much has changed for Girardi. He is no longer the Yankees’ manager.

Cardinal Red Baseball Side Note: I would love to see the St. Louis Cardinals interview Joe Girardi for a position with them………maybe Manager/.

Source: Billy Witz, New York Times

Hometown Jerry Reuss Dreams of MLB

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Today I would like to spotlight pitcher Jerry Reuss. He is a hometown boy from Overland, Missouri. He went to Ritenour High School where he led them to the 1966 and 1967 Missouri state baseball championships and years before he pitched a no-hitter and won a World Series.

The “electric” atmosphere outside the ballpark on a picture-perfect Sunday afternoon fascinated him, as did the Cardinals crisp, white uniforms.

“On the ride home, I said, ‘I want to be a major-league ballplayer. My brother, Jim, said, ‘Don’t we all? The odds of making it are one in a million,’” Reuss said. “I responded, ‘Well, there has to be one. And why can’t that one be me?’”

Reuss succeeded, pitching 22 seasons in the big leagues from 1969 to 1990, and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct the left-hander among its Class of 2016.

Reuss had been a first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967. What made him special?

“No. 1, his size. But, No. 2, his ability to listen and comprehend what you were talking about,” said his Ritenour baseball coach, Lee Engert. “In 45 years of coaching, I wanted players to listen but I also thought it was important that coaches listened, too. He understood the importance of listening. And he always worked above and beyond 100 percent.”

Reuss reached Triple-A Tulsa at age 18 in 1967, mentoring under Hall of Fame pitcher and then-manager Warren Spahn, and won his St. Louis debut on Sept. 27, 1969 at Montreal. He remained a Cardinal until April 1972.

“By watching Carlton and (Bob) Gibson,” Reuss said of the two Hall of Famers, “I learned the things to do and the things not to do. I could see how to handle wins and shake off losses.”

The experience he had with Cardinals, Astros and Pirates prepared him for a trade that Pittsburgh made that sent Jerry Reuss to the Dodgers for Rick Rhoden. It was with the Dodgers where he shined.

Reuss, who finished with 220-191 record and 3.64 earned run average for his career, was the Opening Day starter for three different teams, started the 1975 All-Star Game, threw a no-hitter for the Dodgers against the Giants on June 27, 1980, was the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game the next month and pitched a complete-game, five-hitter to beat the Yankees 2-1 in Game 5 of the 1981 World Series. The Dodgers won the Series in six games.

“You want to try to hit some of the different things that all pitchers strive for,” Reuss said. “A no-hitter, pitching and winning in the World Series and All-Star Game, all of those things I was fortunate enough to do at least once. They are all special.”

Reuss said his induction in to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame also is special.

“The plaque will list my statistics,” he said. “What this represents to me are the people who made it possible. As a kid, the family, friends, coaches, teachers, administrators, vets at the American Legion, minor league coaches … people all the way through the process who were there when I started and were there when I finished helped me live a dream that millions of kids can’t.”

I have talked to my son about playing high school baseball in which he really wants to do and I basically told him the story of Jerry Reuss. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

Oquendo and McGee added as Coaches

allstarscards

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today the following new roles on their Major League Coaching Staff for 2018: 

Special Assistant to the General Manager Jose Oquendo has been named Third Base Coach; 

Special Assistant to the General Manager Willie McGee has been named to the Major League Coaching Staff and

Third Base Coach Mike Shildt has been named Bench Coach.  

The team also announced that Ron “Pop” Warner, who was named Assistant Field Coordinator last spring, will begin serving his promotion in that role after being asked to assist the Major League coaching staff for much of the 2017 season following some in-season changes.

“We feel that by bringing the experience, past successes and baseball savvy that these three gentlemen possess to our Major League coaching staff will be a strong benefit to our ball club,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.  “Whether it’s coaching, teaching, game analysis, game planning, etc., etc. – these three men bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team.”

Oquendo, 54, who due to health reasons, had stepped aside as the team’s Third Base Coach just prior to the 2016 season, returns to the Major League staff after serving as Special Assistant to the General Manager in 2017.  Oquendo has spent 16 seasons as the Cardinals Third Base Coach (2000-15) and was the team’s Major League Bench Coach in 1999 after spending the 1997 and 1998 seasons working in the farm system for St. Louis.  The “Secret Weapon” enjoyed a 17-year professional playing career, including stints in the majors with the New York Mets (1983-84) and St. Louis Cardinals (1986-1995).   Oquendo was voted in 2005 as the top Utility Man on the All-Busch Stadium II team.

A native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Oquendo served as manager for Puerto Rico in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics and for the World Team in the 2009 MLB Futures Game.

McGee, 58, joins the Major League coaching staff for the first time, having spent the 2013-17 seasons serving as a Special Assistant to the General Manager.  A member of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, McGee enjoyed a banner career that included National League MVP honors in 1985, two league batting titles (1985 & 1990), four All-Star Game selections (1983, 1985, 1987 & 1988) and threeRawlings Gold Glove awards (1983, 1985 & 1986).

After breaking onto the scene in a big way during the Cardinals World Series win in 1982,  the switch-hitting McGee went on to spend 18 years in the majors with the Cardinals (1982-90 & 1996-99), Oakland A’s (1990), San Francisco Giants (1991-94) and Boston Red Sox (1995), accumulating 2,254 hits, 352 stolen bases and a .295 career batting mark.

Shildt, 48, has been a member of the Cardinals organization since 2004 and he spent this past season serving as Quality Control Coach and also Third Base Coach with the Major League team.   Shildt, who managed for eight seasons in the Cardinals farm system at Memphis (2015-16), Springfield (2012-14) and Johnson City (2009-2011), was voted the recipient of the highly-distinguished George Kissell Award in 2010 – an award that honors excellence in player development.

In addition, the Cardinals are still working to fill coaching vacancies on their Major League staff for both Pitching Coach and Bullpen Coach.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals eyeing Marlins Players

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The sale of the Marlins to Derek Jeter’s group has put the Marlins team of players wondering will I stay or will I go. The Hot Topic for the week was Giancarlo Stanton’s status as a Marlin and what team will be a willing trading partner. According to MLB TradeRumor the three teams that have interest in Stanton are the Giants, Phillies and the Cardinals. Well outside this news on Stanton it looks like the Cardinals are also licking their chops over a few other Marlins if they are available for a trade. This summer a Marlins player said  the Cardinals reportedly expressed interest in Marcell OzunaDee Gordon and Brad Ziegler this summer, with Ziegler’s name surfacing after Trevor Rosenthal was lost to Tommy John surgery in late August.  The Cards’ interest in Ozuna (and other Miami outfielders) is known, though this is the first time Gordon and Ziegler have been linked to St. Louis.  It makes sense that the Cards would’ve checked in on Ziegler given their sudden need for relief help after Rosenthal went down, though it remains to be seen if Ziegler would be a trade target this winter as the team looks to bolster its pen.  Ziegler has a hefty $9MM salary in 2018, though the Marlins could eat some of that money to make a deal happen.  Gordon would be an even pricier addition at $38MM owed through the 2020 season, plus a $14MM vesting option for 2021. I am all in if the Cardinals where to acquire Dee Gordon, what an upgrade he would be at short stop or second base. I really think that the Cardinals and the Marlins at this point would make great trading partners. The Marlins have key players that would boost the 2018 Cardinals into contention for the NL Champs once again. The Cardinals have the pitching and lots of young outfielders that the Marlins are looking for. So lets hope that the Winter of 2017 is a very productive for the Cardinals to rebuild their team.

Source: Mark Polishuk

Loews Hotel coming to Ballpark Village

ballparkloews

 Loews Hotels & Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Loews Corporation (NYSE: L), announced today plans to build its first ever St. Louis hotel, which will be part of Ballpark Village’s $260 million expansion project.  Ballpark Village, developed by the St. Louis Cardinals and The Cordish Companies, is a mixed-use dining and entertainment district adjacent to Busch Stadium.  The hotel will debut as Live! by Loews – St. Louis, MO, a partnership between Loews Hotels & Co., The Cordish Companies and the St. Louis Cardinals.

 The Live! by Loews hotel concept was developed jointly by two of the most prominent and respected names in hospitality and entertainment: Loews Hotels & Co and The Cordish Companies.  Loews Hotels & Co has been a leader in the hotel industry for more than sixty years, offering distinctive experiences to its guests, for business, group, leisure and family travelers. The Cordish Companies’ Live! brand has set a new national standard in dining, hospitality and entertainment destinations, welcoming over 50 million visitors annually to its entertainment districts.

 “Expanding the Live! by Loews name in St. Louis, with partners like The Cordish Companies,  the DeWitt  family and the St. Louis Cardinals, allows Loews the opportunity to add a unique and immersive hotel into our portfolio  ,” said Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman & CEO, Loews Hotels & Co.  “Cardinals fans are some of the most loyal and best in Major League Baseball, and we look forward to having a hotel in the epicenter of the already successful Ballpark Village.”

 The $65 million hotel will bring an upscale hospitality experience to downtown St. Louis. Located directly across from Busch Stadium at the intersection of Clark and 8th Streets, Live! by Loews – St. Louis, MO will be a celebration of the rich history of St. Louis, a spectacular destination for sports fans, families, and visitors, as well as a premier location for meetings and special events.  The 8-story hotel tower is part of a dynamic plan to complete a full build-out of Clark Street, transforming it into one of the most unique city streets in all of professional sports. 

“We are thrilled to partner with Loews Hotels & Co. on their first St. Louis hotel,” stated Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “Live! by Loews – St. Louis, MO will be an incredible anchor for Ballpark Village and a tremendous step forward in fulfilling our vision of creating a world-class mixed-use destination next to Busch Stadium.”

 Designed by internationally-acclaimed HKS Architects Hospitality Studio, the exterior architecture and interior design will be influenced by local St. Louis character, including inspiration used for Busch Stadium. Live! by Loews – St. Louis, MO will feature:

  • 216 luxury guestrooms, including 19 suites

  • 17,000 square feet of meeting and special event space that boasts incredible views of Busch Stadium, downtown St. Louis and the Gateway Arch. Located on the hotel’s second level, these spaces include: 

    • A Grand Ballroom that flows out to an outdoor amenity deck
    • An Executive Board Room
    • Several break out meeting rooms
    • An expansive, exclusive outdoor event terrace

  • Great Room Lounge and Outdoor Terrace: A sophisticated central gathering place that offers both indoor and outdoor guest experiences. Located on the first level, the Great Room lounge area and outdoor terrace will provide guests the opportunity to enjoy premier food and beverage offerings, private dining options, and an impressive digital AV experience that showcases sports, entertainment and art. 

  • Fitness facility,  lobby and porte-cochere entrance with 24-hour valet services 

“Loews Hotels & Co is one of the most respected names in hospitality,” stated Blake Cordish, Vice President of The Cordish Companies. “We are extremely excited to welcome Loews to Ballpark Village and are thrilled to be growing Live! by Loews to another iconic sports anchored destination.”

Live! by Loews – St. Louis, MO will become the second hotel to carry the Live! by Loews name. The first announced location, Live! by Loews – Arlington, TX, will open in the heart of the Arlington Entertainment District between the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. Live! by Loews – Arlington, TX will anchor the $250 million world-class Texas Live! dining, entertainment and hospitality destination being developed in partnership between The Cordish Companies, the Texas Rangers and the City of Arlington.  

Over the past three years, Loews Hotels & Co has expanded its Midwest presence, with the additions of Loews Chicago, Loews Chicago O’Hare and Loews Minneapolis. Earlier this year Loews announced the 800-room, Loews Kansas City Convention Center Hotel, which will open in early 2020.

“We’re excited to welcome Loews Hotels & Co to St. Louis,” stated Mayor Lyda Krewson, City of St. Louis, MO. “Whether you’re taking in a Cardinals game, here on business, or touring the city, we’re confident the hospitality at Live! by Loews will provide visitors a great stay and be a wonderful addition to BallparkVillage.”

The 550,000 square foot second phase of Ballpark Village being developed in partnership between the St. Louis Cardinals and The Cordish Companies will feature a 29-story luxury high-rise apartment tower, the first Class-A office building built in downtown St. Louis in nearly thirty years, an upscale, full-service Live! by Loews convention hotel, as well as additional retail and entertainment. Just as the first phase of Ballpark Village created more than 1,000 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent new jobs when it opened, the second phase of Ballpark Village stands to create 1,500 construction jobs and more than 1,000 permanent new jobs. Plans call for construction to get underway by the end of this year. 

Source: St. Louis Cardinals