Geoff Folsom at the Cardinals game

It’s hard to believe it’s taken this long, but I finally got to attend my first St. Louis Cardinals game since moving to Missouri in early 2020.

And I liked it so much I attended another game soon after.

Obviously, last season was wiped out because no fans were allowed. To start the 2021 season, they allowed 32 percent capacity at Busch Stadium.

It was harder to get tickets than you might think. You had to buy tickets in pods of two, three or four people. With limited capacity, the tickets sold out quickly. But if you wanted to buy seats on a secondary site like StubHub, it was a pain.

If you bought four tickets, the price seemed reasonable. However, if you just wanted two tickets, they often went for $70 or more. Since it was just my wife and me going, we didn’t need more than two tickets.

With COVID-19 cases dropping, the Cardinals raised capacity over 50 percent, and the availability of tickets increased as the prices went down. So we grabbed a couple tickets for $45.90 each ($108.30 total with fees for both tickets) to the June 4 game against the Cincinnati Reds.

This was the third Major League Baseball game we’ve attended with limited capacity. We went to the National League Championship Series last October in Arlington, Texas, and a Cubs-Braves game in Chicago in April. Both were at around 25 percent capacity.

After I got fully vaccinated in March, I wanted to get to as many games as possible before stadium capacities started to lift. I no longer was at high risk of getting COVID-19, and I also enjoyed the lower capacity. Being a larger man, it’s nice having some empty seats between me and people I don’t know. (I’m sure it’s nice for them too.)

With the Cardinals going back to 100 percent capacity June 14, the June 4 game was my last chance to get to a lower-capacity game. I found the 50 percent capacity of 22,756 to be perfect for me. There was no one sitting in the seats directly next to us, but there were enough people for the crowd to be lively and even do the wave at one point.

It also was nice because families with kids were back at the game. There weren’t many kids at the low-capacity games we saw in Texas and Chicago.

Many of the fans at those games seemed a bit over-served, and some could challenge the world record for the highest average of curse words in a sentence. I like “edgy” TV and movies as much as anyone, but when every other word is a curse word, it takes the fun out of it. So it was nice being back in something of a family atmosphere.

I have seen two games at the “new” Busch Stadium over a weekend in 2006 (I’ll go more into detail on that trip in a future column), so it wasn’t my first time at the ballpark. But that was during the first month the stadium was open, and construction was still taking place in part of left field where the old stadium had been located.

We also went to the Ballpark Village just before the pandemic started in March 2020, but it was fun seeing everything from inside the ballpark.

From our seats on the first-base line in the 200 level (but not in the fancy club seats), St. Louis looked like a neat city. You could see a bit of the Gateway Arch, as well as the Tums factory. I had no idea they make Tums in St. Louis. I wish they gave tours. That is a free sample I would definitely use.

I was not a fan of the home-run fireworks. Actually, I didn’t mind the colorful display, which wasn’t loud. I did not like the three loud booms that went off before it. I mean, do we really need something that sounds like gunshots in downtown St. Louis after dark? And if you can’t empathize with me, think of the veterans with PTSD or kids with sensory disorders.

Overall, the game was a bit of a dud, with the Reds winning 6-4. Edmundo Sosa’s fifth-inning home run was the only time I had to hear the pyro booms.

With Union’s Founders Day the following morning, I needed to get to bed, so we didn’t have time to check out all of the ballpark.

Luckily, prices appear to have gone down further after the Cardinals increased to full capacity. My friend Chris and his wife invited us to the Sunday, June 27, afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. We were able to get seats in a similar area to the earlier game for $10 each.

Chris paid for our tickets and drove us to the game but I got him back by buying food for him and his wife. This was probably the first non-work event my wife and I have been to with people we weren’t related to in a couple years, so it was a nice change of pace.

The game started out exciting enough. I’d never seen a no-hitter thrown in person, but it looked like it could finally happen when Pirates pitcher Max Kranick threw five perfect innings in his major league debut. Unfortunately, the skies opened up immediately after the fifth inning, and Kranick did not return after the hour-long rain delay.

I would have probably headed for the exit if I drove to the game, but it was nice hanging out with our friends. We initially sat out the delay under covered seats but the gushing rain quickly found us there, so we went to the concourse.

Once the rain calmed down, they started playing the 2011 Cardinals highlight video on the big screen, where they overtook the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers, my two favorite teams, to win the World Series.

That was not fun, nor was the Cardinals losing 7-2, but, overall, it was another great day at the ballpark. I hope to get back again this year.