Wednesday, August 17, 2016

So What High School Did You Go To?

One of the worst things about living in St. Louis is the St. Louis question: So what high school did you go to?  It's a loaded question meant to categorize you and give the person asking a little insight into whether they should feel like they are a little bit better than you, or if they should drop the topic and discuss their love of Anheuser-Busch products, the Cardinals, or provel cheese (not provolone).

Someone conducted a poll about the St. Louis question with people who lived in St. Louis....

These results are annoying.

So, I got a new baseball card of a former Cardinals player last week who is from St. Louis.  No, it's not David Freese or Ryan Howard.  Freese and Howard both went to the same high school, I'd guess it's probably better than the high school that I went to since it's a little bit newer and Robert Archibald, Scottish basketball legend and former Memphis Grizzly, went to that school too....

In contrast, the high school I attended produced the poker player who wears the fossil sunglasses.

It's also not Yogi Berra.  He went to another high school that David Freese and Ryan Howard did not attend.  Off the top of my head, I did not know what high school Yogi Berra went to in St. Louis, other than he's from St. Louis.   I looked it up and it turns out that Joe Garagiola also went to that high school.  Also Francis Slay, who has been mayor of St. Louis forever.

Pretty big St. Louis baseball names, but they are not Cliff Politte.  If you don't know if Cliff Politte is here is my two sentence career synopsis:

Cliff Politte attended Hillsboro College in beautiful Hillsboro, Missouri before transferring to the University of Memphis where he was drafted by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals in the 54th round of the 1995 draft.  He debuted with the Cardinals in 1998 and played nine seasons in the Majors with the Cardinals, Phillies, Blue Jays, and White Sox.

Cliff Politte high school factoid: He went to the same high school as NFL quarterback Trent Green.  I am not sure if they knew each other, but I am sure that at least a few thousand people around the city attended class with both of them at the same time.  Wink.  

More important than the fact that Politte went to a high school named after a catholic saint who is the patron saint of other catholic priests, is the fact that he had an autograph in the 1998 Bowman set.  I actually did not know about this card until a few weeks ago when I saw a copy in a Cardinals the phot album of a Cardinals baseball card collector.  

It took me a few days to track down the card, there were a few floating around for $15-$20, but I landed one for a fraction of that with a little patience.  I was actually surprised that Politte made it on to an autographed card with the Cardinals.  Yes, he's a hometown guy, but his career stat line with the Cardinals is rather thin.

Cliff played a total of 8 games with the Cardinals in 1998, went 2-3 with an ERA over 6.  At the end of the 1998 season he was packaged up with headaches Ron Gant and Jeff Brantley in exchange for Garrett Stephenson and Ricky Bottalico.  Nothing to see with that trade.

He spent a few years with the Phillies, but his career really saw it's high mark when he went to the Blue Jays and started working out of the bullpen.  He played two years for the Jays and appeared in more than 50 games each year before joining the White Sox for three years.

In 2005 he worked as the setup man for Bobby Jenks including Game 4 of the 2005 World Series which has to be the highlight of his career.

Notice I went the whole post and never mentioned a single high school by name, please only make vague references to your high school if you are going to leave a comment.....


  1. Cliff Politte will always be a White Sox (sock?) in my mind, seeing as I was attending a south side of Chicago high school when those '05 Sox won the World Series. The most notable athlete my high school produced? Pete Lovrich of the old KC A's.

    1. He's got a baseball card! Have you every given him a blog post?

  2. I went to the same high school is Night Owl. True story.

  3. As a native St.Louisian, the question is familiar but disturbing as it is the easiest way to determine your socio-economic, and race/ethnicity background with just asking one simple question. For the record I went to Lindbergh High is South St. Louis County. Home of ball players Joe Boever, Brock Bond-currently in the Rockies org and Josh Outman.

    1. Lindbergh is nice. As a West County kid, who lived in South County after graduating from college, I always found that corner of the county nice. I wish Southtown Sluggers was still open over there.