ST. LOUIS -- As usual, there was plenty of red in the stands at Busch Stadium on Wednesday, but there was also a little bit more blue and white, too.
The celebration of the Fourth of July included a special rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and a hot dog-eating contest to rival that of Coney Island.
"I think it certainly is something fans get excited for," manager Mike Matheny said before the game. "They know it's America's pastime, and a day to celebrate our freedom and a lot of things that we take for granted. For me there's no better way to celebrate than watching a game of baseball. We always have great turnouts, and it's a good day at the baseball park."
4-Digit Chord, an a capella group composed of servicemen and -women and civilians employed by the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, sang the national anthem.
The Cardinals also unveiled the "Giant Slugger" hot dog, the largest hot dog in Busch Stadium history. The one-pound, two-foot all-beef dog comes fully loaded with two cups of chili, nacho cheese, grilled onions and jalapenos. Its arrival was christened with the Giant Slugger Hot Dog eating contest.
The winner, Daniel Thompson, finished the Giant Slugger in seven minutes and 48 seconds.
On the field, the Cardinals wore special hats with a camouflage St. Louis logo to honor the U.S. Armed Forces.