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Trish Muyco-Tobin photo by Sarah Crowder; makeup by Amy Koehler; hair by Ren Binder of Renditions Salon. Shot on location at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.

In late March, a few hundred St. Louis luminaries (and apparently, hundreds more of their closest friends, myself included) gathered to witness an elaborate, highly choreographed VIP grand-opening event to christen Ballpark Village. It had been a long time coming: I was still working as a news reporter when the idea of Ballpark Village was introduced a while back. At the time, the concept seemed the precise definition of a pipe dream. But from the onset, the project’s two principals—the Cardinals and the Cordish company—had no doubt that, in time, Cardinals Nation would have this stay-and-play destination to extend the game-day experience for fans. And does it ever!

Ballpark Village is just one of the many things to get excited about this season. This week’s Take Me Out to the Ballgame special section counts the ways, including a peek at what’s new at the Cardinals Team Store and a declaration from one of our columnists (we’ll call him ‘FC’) that we live in the greatest era in Cardinals history—you heard it here first! Go Cards!