After the guests were provided with drinks, appetizers and a formal meal, the group sat down to reminisce about the 2006 World Series run, manager Tony La Russa and even the car Eckstein received for winning World Series MVP.
McLaughlin first thought of the idea to begin a speaker series three years ago, which has since included Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, Bob Gibson (twice), Red Schoendienst, Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee (twice) and Matt Holliday.
"I wanted to make sure this fan base is able to recognize how lucky we are," McLaughlin said. "When you look at what we've been able to provide these fans with these nights, they're unforgettable. And for a lot of people that come to these, it's a unique experience."
People have traveled from as far away as Canada and Australia to hear the Cardinals legends speak about their time wearing the birds on the bat.
"When I got offered to come out here and meet some of the fans and discuss 2006, it was an easy decision to say yes," Eckstein said. "This is something that's very nice. It's very intimate, very close, you're really going to get probably an inside look at myself, Randy Flores and Jim [Edmonds]. The fans have been so great here. Being this close is a lot of fun."
One of the most moving parts of the night came when the three former players spoke about what St. Louis meant to them as people. Flores also retold his relief outing in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS in detail, even recalling which pitch he shook off Yadier Molina and what the bullpen coach told him before he went into the game. Edmonds offered some distinct description of what it was like to play under and learn from La Russa.
The room shared a few laughs as the players recounted stories. Even McLaughlin, who is close with the players and called games during their careers, admitted on stage that there were some tales he had never heard before.
"Cardinal baseball is generational," McLaughlin said. "It's built on memories of great players, but it's also built on championships. So when we're able to do something like this, we're providing something that is unique that most people don't get the chance to experience."
The next scheduled Speaker Series event is over lunch on Wednesday with current right fielder Stephen Piscotty. Tickets can be purchased here. To learn more about Cardinals special events, visit cardinals.com/events.