SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Since the mid-1980s, Busch Stadium has been a second home for St. Louis’s own Sign Man, Marty Prather. It’s a labor of love, for someone who lives across the state in Springfield.
“I probably know every billboard between here and St. Louis,” he said. Prather takes daily trips to hoist signs for his beloved Cardinals.
He’s so dedicated, he’s even had to go on the injured list.
“Recently, I found out I have two torn rotator cuffs, and they can’t be repaired because the tendons have gone back into the arm,” Prather said. He suffered that from raising signs so often.
Yet you won’t find his old signs in his mancave. Instead – it’s loaded with countless memories of the Cardinals past. From some of the highs, like the team’s World Series title in 2006, to the lows of Don Denkinger’s blown call in the 1985 World Series – he’s turned big Cardinal moments into memories. But, there are questions about the future.
“At 60 years old, the signs are getting a little bit heavy,” he said. “Every year I say I’m not going to do it. Then I actually have gone to a baseball game, and didn’t have signs, and I’ve missed it.”
The trips may slow down, but the Sign Man will continue to be a fixture at Busch Stadium, while also adding on to the memories in his basement. Regardless of how he’s feeling though, he’ll still make Missouri State baseball and basketball a priority. But for now, a new chapter of memories starts this week with the beginning of the Cardinals’ 2019 playoff run against Atlanta in the NLDS.