When Busch Stadium opened in 2006, it was hailed as a state-of-the-art ballpark with modern amenities.

“Except bathrooms,” said Cardinals owner William DeWitt. “We weren’t aware indoor plumbing existed at the time. I guess we in Missouri aren’t what you’d call a fancy group of folks.”

While the Cardinals and their fans have done just fine with wooden outhouses positioned around the ballpark, MLB officials insisted the club install working toilets and urinals as a condition for hosting the 2009 All-Star Game.

“Obviously it’s a delicate balance, trying to maintain our Missouri roots, but also trying to accommodate more sophisticated fans from around the country,” said manager Tony La Russa. “At the end of the day, management felt like we should just bite the bullet and install temporary lavatories.”

Depending on how the plumbing experiment works, Cardinals officials may also stop requiring fans to wear overalls to the game.

From theĀ July 2009 issue by George Ellis