The Major League Baseball season begins on March 28. After failing to make the postseason last year, fans are hoping for more success from the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019. KSIS spoke with Cardinals radio broadcaster John Rooney about the upcoming season.

What are you looking forward to the most in 2019?

I'm looking forward to Mike Shildt having his first Spring Training, and being able to prepare the team for 2019. He took over last year about halfway through, right at the All-Star break, just past the halfway point, as far as number of games played, and they put on a great surge. Mike has known many of these players, and has managed many of them. He had success down in Johnson City and had a good deal of success working his way up through Springfield and AAA, and then on the Major League staff. He knows the personnel. They have a very good coaching staff to compliment Mike Shildt. Stubby Clapp is up here, from what he's done the last couple of years in Memphis, he'll be a great addition to our coaching staff. So that's one thing that is very exciting. Also to watch Paul Goldschmidt play first base. He's going to save a lot of errors over there and help the other infielders, and certainly be a great bat in the middle of the lineup. And if we have a healthy Marcell Ozuna, with Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup now, that's going to make Ozuna have a big, big year, I believe.

What about on the radio broadcast side, any changes in store for 2019?

We have the same group coming back that we've had the past two or three years. Mike Shannon and I will do the home games. Mike Claiborne will be doing the Mike Shildt interview and post-game interviews. He'll be on the road, he'll replace me for 10 games when I'm away, and Ricky Horton will be doing the road games with me, all 81. And we'll all be working together down in Spring Training.

Rooney will serve as the emcee during the January 19 St. Louis Cardinals Caravan stop in Sedalia. He says this event is one that is always popular with fans of all ages:

The kids have a great time because they get up close and personal with the players, and the players are great with these kids. They talk to them, and the kids have questions. The questions are really good and the players have some fun with that and the kids really respond to it. The parents have fun seeing their kids have a good time, as well, and that's what the Cardinals have been about for so many years.

The St. Louis Cardinals Caravan begins at noon on Saturday, January 19 at the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center on the Sedalia campus of State Fair Community College. There is no charge to attend. The first 400 kids 15 and under will receive autograph tickets. Visiting players include Dakota Hudson, Mike Mayers, Chasen Shreve, Andrew Knizner, Joe Magrane, Danny Cox and Harrison Bader. 

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