Riverfront Times April 9, 2015 : Page 12

cardinals baseball @ BIG DADDY’S ON THE LANDING RIDE THE FREE LACLEDE’S LANDING SHUTTLE TO AND FROM ALL HOME CARDINALS GAMES NIGHTLY LIVE ENTERTAINMENT DJ/ ACOUSTIC BANDS POST-GAME CHECK OUT OUR 3000SQ/FT PATIO OPEN 11AM-3AM 7 DAYS A WEEK NOT GOING TO THE GAME. WATCH IT HERE ON 2 OF OUR 10FT SCREENS PARTY HOTLINE 314-621-6700. BOOK IT HERE FOR DISCOUNTED DRINKS, FREE RESERVATIONS, SKIP THE LINE PASSES Fanatics continued from page 10 Located in Historic Soulard, a couple of minutes south of Busch Stadium! s a w A l v e Always i Live L music FREE SHUTTLE TO CARDINALS GAMES! Come in for food and a great happy hour before or after games! Stop by our game room and enjoy foosball, pool and more for a unique place to watch the game with friends! LIKE us out on Facebook • Follow us on Twitter check in on Four Square 1860saloon.com 12 RIVERFR ONT TIMES (314) 231-1860 riverfronttimes.com to peel potatoes and onions in exchange for the chance to sneak into the game around the fourth inning. “There were tears from the onions, I peel onions and peel onions,” she recalls. “It was impossible to complain. I was gonna watch a free game.” According to some of her regulars, her knowledge of the game is expansive and thorough. “We used to have The Baseball Encyclo-pedia behind the bar — Tina knows most of that stuff,” says Mark Ogier, a MoBar regular for the last 30 years who calls Miller “the godmother of Washington Avenue.” Miller’s style was to hang back, he recalls, listening to two guys ramble on about some stat or how one game went down. “She’ll sit there and let you get out far enough on the tree limb and then say, ‘No, no, no,’” says Ogier. “She just has a huge lexicon of that information.” Her collection of Cardinals memorabilia began to grow as she became more and more well-known from the bar. Her interest, says Post-Dispatch columnist and friend Bill Mc-Clellan, wasn’t about money or a desire to rub elbows with celebrities. The collection grew organically thanks to Miller’s popularity among her customers. “Tina just always knew how to handle people and make everybody feel welcome and important. She’s just a terrifi c person,” McClellan says. “[The owner] might have asked for stuff just to put it on the walls, but Athena wouldn’t — people would just give stuff to Athena...she was the heart and soul of the Grille.” Her talent for making people feel at home is remembered by many sports fi gures from the ’80s and ’90s who still keep in touch. “A sports writer from Philadelphia wrote me, ‘Athena, we lost Nick,’” Miller says, refer-ring to the recent death of long-time Giants beat reporter Nick Peters. “It’s like a family — they would come from the airport, they wouldn’t even go to the hotel.” Unfortunately, MoBar closed abruptly in February, and Miller lost the job she loved so dearly. The owner, Trifon Panopoulos, died in 2013 without leaving a will, and the bar fell victim to an ongoing family dispute over his estate. Now the “Missouri” from the gigantic “Missouri Bar & Grille” neon sign which once hung above her station has been added to her collection, even though half of the M snapped off and was lost. Miller isn’t interested in retirement; rather, she’s training at three different bars around town, getting used to the newer computer systems. She still goes to bed at 5 or 6 a.m. and rises in the afternoon. And of course, she’s still madly in love with the Cardinals and with baseball. She and her husband have four DVRs in the house so that they don’t miss a single game. She devours any news online or in print about baseball. And she’ll be at Busch Stadium all summer, without having to peel a single potato. “We got a good team,” she says. “One of the best pitchers — I have a good feeling it’s going to be a good year.” Q APRIL 9-15, 2 015

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