Baseball and a good cause | Planet Ryan

Isn’t baseball great? Like many others, I’ve had my ups and downs with Major League Baseball in the past, but when you live near one of the best teams to ever play the game, and have one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country to witness it in, how can you not like baseball?

A few weeks ago, when I was given amazing tickets to go see the Cardinals take on the Diamondbacks, I was in heaven. The food was perfect, the beer was cold, and even better, out of 41,000 people in attendance, Matt Holliday, in the bottom of the fourth inning, decided to hit me with a foul ball. As I attempted to catch this ball left-handed and leaning over a rail, I quickly realized I leaned exactly six inches too far in and the ball, which had to be traveling at the speed of sound, struck my forearm like Thor’s hammer, immediately ricocheted off my neck and bouncing around into the seats directly below me. The man who picked up the ball didn’t even turn around to thank me for saving his life, as the ball was definitely on a direct trajectory toward his skull. Oh well, that’s the work of a hero, I suppose.

Anyway, I’m finding it difficult to put into words how excited I am for Thursday, June 19. Why? Songs4Soldiers, a local charity based out of Columbia, is having a special night out at Busch Stadium which will not only be an epic night for everyone in attendance, but also, money raised from this event is going to help yet another local veteran change their life. That does my heart good. They’ve already helped several veterans in the area with important needs such as dental work, transportation, and living expenses. This charity is literally doing really important work, and it’s a darn good feeling to be a part of it.

S4S was founded by one of the most interesting fellows I’ve run across in my day. Dustin Row, an Army veteran and all around fantastic guy who I met through the CrossFit gym I work out in, has an unmatched desire to make his charity as meaningful as possible, and with good reason. In his young life, he’s experienced situations most others on this planet will only ever see in the movies, and as a former Army Reservist, my level of respect for him and what he’s been through is immeasurable. When Dustin speaks, people tend to pay attention. I know I do.

Thursday night, Dustin’s band Where’s Charlie? is putting on a concert at the Ford Plaza inside of Busch stadium at 5:45 p.m. and will play about an hour. After they’re finished playing, we’ll all move over to the big, beautiful stadium, where around 1,000 local family and friends will watch the Cardinals take on the Phillies, in what should be a perfect, early summer baseball game — complete with bacon-wrapped hot dogs. I, for one, can’t wait.

Reifschneider’s Grill & Grape in Columbia, who’ve been integral in making this event happen, are offering charter bus service to and from the concert and game, which is an added bonus — one I’ll certainly be taking advantage of.

If you still need tickets to the game, which are only $20 (they’re $40 face value), you can buy them at Reifschneider’s or contact Songs4Soldiers via email at

Hope to see you there!

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