Mary Snow

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mary Welman Snow, 96, of Cape Girardeau died Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, at Chateau Girardeau Health Center.

She was born June 8, 1913, in Morley, Mo., daughter of W.C. and Phronia Huddelson Welman. She and R. Bruce Snow were married Nov. 3, 1935. He passed away in 1978.

Mrs. Snow was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church. During World War ll she was a volunteer with the Red Cross.

Survivors include several nieces and nephews and many close friends.

She was preceded in death by parents, husband and three brothers.

There will be no visitation or funeral.

Ford and Sons Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Memorial donations may be given to Chateau Girardeau Foundation or Cardinals Care Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo., 63144.

The following is a portion of an article which appeared several years ago in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch showing Mary's love of baseball:

They slide past Mary Snow's lips like the names of old friends -- Stan, Red, Kenny, Marty, Diz. Oh, how she loved to watch Diz. She can close her eyes even now and see him toeing the pitching rubber at old Sportsman's Park, all arms and legs and country charm, chattering at the batter, the umpire, even the fans as they leaned out from their sun-baked, fold-down seats.

"Dizzy Dean and Carl Hubbell," she says. "I loved those duels. One to nothing, extra innings. That's baseball." Mary Welman Snow, who moved to Cape Girardeau from Ferguson, Mo., in 1979, will turn 89 on June 8. There are times, she will tell you, when she feels every bit of her age. But not this time of year, not the opening week of a new major league baseball season.

She lifted a glass globe into the air, flipped it upside down and turned the key. As she turned it right side up, red sparkles fell like confetti over a miniature Busch Stadium. The music box played a familiar tune. "Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd?" Snow's beloved Cardinals open their season this afternoon at Busch Stadium. And while she will not be there in person for the first pitch of this season, her heart will be in the same seat where it has been for almost every game each of the 36 years the Cards have played downtown -- Section 256, Row 10, right on the aisle. "Just under the overhang," she says. "Just out of the rain just out of the sun."

Snow's love affair with baseball goes back farther than the downtown ballpark, farther than the amazing '64 season, farther even than Stan "The Man" Musial's first rookie at-bat in 1941. It goes back to a time when men came to the park in white shirts and ties and ladies came in hats and white gloves.

She says she first started attending Cardinals and Browns games regularly shortly after she and her new husband first moved to St, Louis in 1935. It was not long after that she bought her first block of four Cardinals season tickets, Cardinals spokesman Brad Hainje said Friday that the team's computer shows she bought her first season tickets in 1945, although Snow pinpoints a date in January 1942, less than a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. She produced a letter sent by the Cardinals in 1989, saying at that time "your 47 years of seniority ranks close to the top." At any rate, Hainje acknowledged, the string is certainly among the longest of the club's individual season ticket holders.

What makes the record so remarkable is that until recently, Snow attended virtually all Cardinals' home games, making the two-hour drive to St. Louis alone or with friends. Even, last year, she estimates she attended between 40 and 50 home games, watching most of the rest via her own satellite dish on the roof of the senior citizen complex where she lives.

She cannot pinpoint the roots of her fascination with the game. It was attending practically all Cardinals and Browns home games at Sportsman's Park -- about 150 games a year. The games were shorter then she said. She could be in and out of the park in two hours "and be back home in time to fix dinner." She rooted for the Brownies Bobo Newsom and slugging first baseman George McQuinn. She cheered the, Cardinals' Terry Moore, Walker Cooper and Johnny Hopp. She was there for the '44 Streetcar Series and the Cards' championship in '46.

She spent several winters with the Cardinals at spring training in St. Petersburg, sometimes driving Enos Slaughter's wife with her to Florida Gulf Coast. She was in the stands Aug. 19, 1951, when Browns owner Bill Veeck sent 3-foot-7 inch Eddie Gaedel in to pinch-hit against the Detroit Tigers.

"Sure, we all enjoyed it," she said. "Here was this little man standing there at the plate." She was there during that incredible year in 1964 when the Redbirds crept through the rest of the National League and ultimately beat the mighty Yankees in the series.

When the team moved from Grand Boulevard and Dodier Street to downtown in spring 1966, Snow moved right along with it. She remembers the suffocating heat of the '66 All-Star game and Bruce Sutter's strikeout to end the '82 World Series. "You know," Snow said, a smile widening beneath a mound of white hair, "in all of these years, I never get tired of going. I can't wait. Every year, I can't wait. It's the game. I love the game."