Within the next ten days, one might consider the St. Louis Cardinals as unofficially transitioning from "World Champions" to "defending World Champions" as they filter into spring training camp in Jupiter, Fla. to prepare for the 2012 season.
A winter that may normally seem too long to some may have been too short this time around for many members of the 2011 team as they participated in numerous ceremonies and banquets celebrating their accomplishments.
No Cardinal can match the whirlwind experienced by NLCS and World Series MVP David Freese. The third baseman's numerous appearances, including multiple occasions on national television, may have culminated with him being a part of the club's White House visit.
Almost certainly, every member of the team, whether young or old, dealt with these requests for time, often from local concerns.
this past Friday night, Lance Berkman was honored in his
polished and entertaining speaker, Berkman fired off some comedic jabs at those
from his MLB home for more than 11 seasons. Though still extremely popular in
he is at the other end of the Cardinals experience spectrum, 2011 rookie Daniel Descalso also covered his share of events this winter. On Saturday, the 25
year-old was honored at his alma mater, the
month, his high school,
the newer Cardinals in the photo-op news is reliever Marc Rzepczynski. Though he
joined the club in trade from
graduate of another school in the
In hometown papers across the country, even minor leaguers are receiving ink as they share their hopes and dreams of one day reaching the pinnacle of their profession as have Berkman, Descalso and Rzepczynski.
such example is
Very soon, the excitement and celebrations will subside as the returning champions and the new-for-2012 Cardinals report to camp and get to work. Yet the official transition may not occur until the home opener on April 13 when the flag is raised and rings distributed.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
© 2012 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.