MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The 2017 St. Louis Cardinals Caravan, presented by Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, will visit Memphis and AutoZone Park on Friday, Jan. 13, with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Home Plate Club on the second level of the ballpark.
Current players Randal Grichuk, Luke Weaver, Sam Tuivailala and Austin Gomber are scheduled to attend, as well as new Redbirds manager and former Redbird and Cardinal player Stubby Clapp and fellow alumni Danny Cox. The program will be emceed by Cardinals broadcaster Mike Claiborne.
Admission is free to attend the Cardinals Caravan program, which will offer first-come, first-served seating. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
As in previous years, the Cardinals will implement an Autograph Ticket system. The first 400 children ages 15 and under will receive a free ticket which guarantees one autograph from each current and former player. Due to high demand, autographs will only be available for children ages 15 and under.
Grichuk, Weaver and Tuivailala all spent time in Memphis and St. Louis in 2016, and Gomber split time with Single-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield. Gomber and Weaver were both 2014 draft picks, with Weaver currently ranked as the Cardinals' number two prospect and Gomber checking in at number 18.
Grichuk played 132 games in St. Louis last season, where he knocked 24 home runs and 29 doubles, and he hit .272 with six home runs in 23 games with the Redbirds. Tuivailala finished the 2016 season with 17 saves as a Redbird, which ranked fifth in the Pacific Coast League. He saved 34 games for Memphis over the last two seasons, and he has pitched in 28 games for the Cardinals over the past three seasons.
Weaver rocketed through the Cardinals organization in the past two seasons, starting with going 8-5 with a 1.62 ERA for Palm Beach in 2015 and continuing with Springfield, Memphis and St. Louis in 2016. Weaver started once for Memphis last year before getting the call to the big leagues, where he appeared in nine games and made eight starts to finish the year.
Clapp was named Redbirds manager on Nov. 30 and will be making the move from the AutoZone Park playing field to the top step of the dugout. Clapp's history in Memphis dates back to the early days of the Redbirds, as he played 425 games from 1999-2002 and still holds the franchise's career records for triples (19) and walks (222). He ranks second in runs scored (258) and third in games played, doubles (87), extra-base hits (128) and total hits (418).
He was a member of the Redbirds' first Pacific Coast League championship team in 2000, where he hit three home runs and drove in 11 runs with a .404 on-base percentage during the playoffs. Clapp also recorded the first hit in AutoZone Park history earlier that season, with a single to center field.
Clapp reached the major leagues in 2001 with the Cardinals, where he appeared in 23 games and hit .200 with two doubles. In all, Clapp played over 1,000 minor league games during his career and boasted a .274 lifetime batting average with 55 triples, 115 stolen bases and played six different positions.
Cox pitched six seasons for the Cardinals from 1983-88, and he compiled a 3.40 ERA in nearly 1,000 innings for St. Louis. His high-water mark came for the 1985 National League Champion club, where he went 18-9 with a 2.88 ERA in 35 starts.
The 2017 season will be Claiborne's 10th as part of the Cardinals broadcasting team and his 34th year covering sports in St. Louis.
For more information on the Cardinals Caravan, visit www.stlcardinals.com/caravan.
The 2017 Redbirds take the field for the first time on Thursday, March 30 against the Cardinals in a "Battle of the Birds" exhibition game. Multiple season and mini-membership ticket options for the 2017 season are on sale now, and all include the "Battle of the Birds."
Emcee: John Rooney
Players: Aledmys Diaz, Mitch Harris, Carson Kelly, Harrison Bader
Alumni: Jason Simontacchi, Kerry Robinson
Emcee: Tom Ackerman
Players: Stephen Piscotty, Greg Garcia, Paul DeJong
Alumni: Kyle McClellan, Tom Lawless
Emcee: Mike Claiborne
Players: Randal Grichuk, Luke Weaver, Sam Tuivailala, Austin Gomber
Alumni: Stubby Clapp, Danny Cox
Emcee: Ricky Horton
Players: Kolten Wong, Marco Gonzales, Mike Mayers, Luke Voit
Alumni: Alan Benes
Emcee: Dan McLaughlin
Players: Alex Reyes, Miguel Socolovich, Rowan Wick, Ryan Sherriff
Alumni: Brad Thompson, Al Hrabosky, Cliff Politte
Emcee: Chris Hrabe
Players: Tyler Lyons, Jose Martinez, John Gant, Patrick Wisdom
Alumni: Ray King, Scott Cooper