Photos: The St. Louis Cardinals come to town

Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals takes a cut at a fastball during an exhibition game against the Class AA Springfield Cardinals in Springfield, Mo., April 2, 2012.

The weather was gorgeous, the fans were ready for baseball and the 2011 World Series champions came to town for an exhibition matchup against their AA farm club, the Springfield Cardinals.

Although a few big-name stars for St. Louis didn’t travel, Springfield fans had plenty to cheer about as Matt Holliday and David Freese played and several former Baby Birds made appearances as well.

Over 10,000 fans showed up to watch the game, which St. Louis won 3-2. Here’s to hoping the St. Louis boys can have another stellar season this year.

Here are some photos of various scenes from around the ballpark. Baseball is by far my favorite sport to shoot…I sunburned badly but it was so worth it.

Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals prepares to acknowledge a young fan during a pre-game autograph session at Hammons Field April 2, 2012.

A Bible verse is inscribed on the mitt of a St. Louis Cardinals player as it lay on the ground at Hammons Field, April 2, 2012.
Mark McGwire, hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, answers media questions as a cameraman is reflected in his sunglasses Monday, April 2, 2012, at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo.
Dual signs of spring: A butterfly lands on the infield grass at Hammons Field during the St. Louis-Springfield exhibition April 2, 2012.
Springfield Cardinals general manager Matt Gifford, left, speaks with St. Louis Cardinals first-year manager Mike Matheny, right, as both watch David Freese take batting practice in Springfield April 2, 2012.
A close-up shot of a bat belonging to former Springfield Cardinal Tyler Greene as it rests against the dugout railing at Hammons Field, April 2, 2012.
Springfield Cardinals pitcher Tyler Lyons prepares to unload the first pitch of the evening against the St. Louis Cardinals at Hammons Field, April 2, 2012.
David Freese, the 2011 World Series hero for the St. Louis Cardinals, swings through a pitch in the first inning of the St. Louis-Springfield game, April 2, 2012.
St. Louis hitting coach Mark McGwire is all business as he shakes the hand of Springfield players and coaches following the major league club's 3-2 win Monday evening.