Tea Party members show support for immigration reform at Cardinals game

12:58 PM, Jun 30, 2010   |    comments
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By: Mike Garrity

KSDK -- Politics at the ballpark.

Tuesday night a group of tea party activists took their political message inside Busch Stadium.

Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa even weighed in.

With Arizona is in town taking on the Red Birds, some local tea party members came to Busch Stadium to show support for the State of Arizona and the state's controversial new immigration law.

We're supporting the State of Arizona in simply guarding the borders," said St. Louis Tea Party Member James Durbin.

Some 46 members of the St. Louis Tea Party took in Tuesday night's Cardinals match-up against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"Part of the gate goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks and there are a lot of groups that are boycotting Arizona. We're "buy-cotting" Arizona," said St. Louis Tea Party Organizer Bill Hennessy.

They came wearing Cardinals red, but with their political logo on their shirts, as well as Arizona state flags to wave, and copies of the U.S. Constitution to hand out.

"Saying hello to people who aren't Tea Partiers, and we introduce ourselves with a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and just say, "Here's a gift. If you're interested, get a hold of us," said Hennessy.

But some fans were not happy to see the Tea Party inside Busch.

"Tea Party, at the ball game? Yeah, politics and baseball definitely don't mix," said Cardinals fan Brett Arndt.

Another fan, Terrence Brooks, said, "You know I think they should leave that behind, you know, not in here this is strictly baseball."

The Cardinals organization declined our request for an on-camera interview Tuesday night, but they did describe Busch Stadium as a "big tent" where people of all perspectives are welcome.

Meanwhile Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa welcomed the Tea Party.

"This is America right? You're supposed to be able to have opinions and disagree, and a lot of things they do I think are correct. I'm actually a supporter of what Arizona's doing, you know, people don't fix your problem, and the government, national government doesn't fix your problem, and you've got a problem, they've got to take care of it themselves," said LaRussa.

"Anybody, I mean if you had the opposite view and you wanted to come out and have your signs, I mean this is great, you're going to have 40 thousand people here to see it perfect. I don't care," said LaRussa when asked about the ballpark as an arena for politics.

As of Tuesday night at 10pm we'd heard no reaction from any Cardinals players about this.

Also, about 30 members of the Southern Illinois Tea Party attended Monday night's game.

The Cardinals say they are "delighted" to welcome any group helping to surpass three million tickets sold at Busch Stadium.

See also: Tony LaRussa says he supports Arizona immigration law

KSDK

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