Cardinals fascinated with Little League Classic atmoshphere

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Mike Matheny took a moment to look around the Lamade Stadium bleachers and was transported back in time.

The sights reminded him of his childhood when the Cardinals manager idolized big leaguers just like the hundreds of Little Leaguers stretched out before him Sunday in seats beside their major league counterparts do. Hours later, St. Louis and Pittsburgh played in the Little League Classic just a few miles away.

“Our guys loved interacting with the kids,” Matheny said. “It was kind of a throwback to when our guys were Little League players.”

Matheny enjoyed watching the faces of the kids who’ve come from all regions of the world and the United States to chase a Little League World Series championship. He remembered being in awe of one of his heroes, Cardinals legend Stan Musial, and figured his experience was similar to those of the youngsters on hand Sunday.

But Matheny was a professional by the time he met Musial and not nearly as impressionable as the 9- to 12-year-olds who exchanged hats, autographs, laughs, pictures and watched second-round Little League World Series games together for most of the afternoon.

“Watching how (Musial) interacted, not just with me but with other people, it made a lasting impact on me,” Matheny said. “That’s how it’s supposed to be done. And I would hope that

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