ST. LOUIS -- In addition to hosting the first two games of the National League Championship Series this weekend, St. Louis is the site of a series of protests in conjunction with Ferguson October, which describes itself as a movement looking to build momentum for action against police violence.
That movement has mobilized in the weeks after Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Brown, unarmed at the time, was shot on Aug. 9.
As the Cardinals were preparing for Game 1 against the Giants on Saturday, thousands of demonstrators marched through the city as part of a nationally organized rally. Several other organized events were scheduled through the weekend, though none were expected to take place at Busch Stadium.
Manager Mike Matheny, a long-time St. Louis resident, said that he hopes the Cardinals' latest run to the postseason can help in the unification of the city during a tense time.
"I think baseball has done a great job of being that," Matheny said. "Sometimes the distraction, sometimes a force that unifies and, hopefully, that's the case here. We've got a lot of hurt that's happened in the past all over our country, and baseball seems to be part of that healing process. And we have some hurt in our community right now and hopefully this playoff baseball, and baseball in general, can help that healing process here as well."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.