Cardinals Relief Pitchers Don Jayson Tatum Jerseys to Back St. Louis Native in Finals

Jul 13, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and St. Louis native celebrates after throwing out a first pitch prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium.
Jul 13, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and St. Louis native celebrates after throwing out a first pitch prior to a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In St. Louis, the era of big-time professional basketball has come and seemingly gone.

The home of the Gateway Arch hosted the Bombers, Hawks and Spirits between the NBA and ABA from 1947 to '76—but has appeared content to focus on hockey for the past half-century.

Recent years have been different, however, because St. Louis has once again had somewhat of a rooting stake in hoops. That's thanks to Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, a St. Louis native.

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals' relief pitchers saluted Tatum by donning his jersey while warming up before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Tatum's Celtics lead the Dallas Mavericks 2–0 in the NBA Finals.

Per Cardinals pitcher Andrew Kittredge, teammate and MLB saves leader Ryan Helsley came up with the idea. Helsley has spent six seasons with St. Louis, beginning his career way back in Tatum's second season in the NBA.

The Cardinals hosted a night in Tatum's honor on Aug. 1, 2023; he and his son threw out first pitches before St. Louis lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Twins.


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.