Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 3/17/12
JUPITER, Fla. Wanting to honor St. Patricks Day back in the early 1990s, the St. Louis Cardinals decided to wear green hats on the holiday for their spring training game that day. But with green hats and red jerseys, something didnt look right. "It looks like Christmas," traveling secretary C.J. Cherre remembers former closer Lee Smith saying. So the Cardinals went a step further, deciding to wear both green jerseys and hats whenever they had a spring training home game on St. Patricks Day. Nearly 20 years later, the tradition continued Saturday. But with a new twist. For the first time that anyone can remember, the Cardinals wore the green jerseys and hats on the road, donning them for their matchup against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland. The odd once-a-year jerseys have become so popular over the years that fans have gone to great lengths to try and find one. Even if means walking into the Cardinals clubhouse and stealing one right out of Scott Rolens locker. Cherre remembers the incident in 2005 when during a rain delay, he saw a man walking towards the gate with a green jersey tucked under his arm. When someone yelled, "Hes got Rolens jersey," the man took off. Cherre followed. After a lengthy chase in the parking lot, Cherre corralled the man and tackled him to the ground. "I told him the next time he came back we were going to have him arrested," Cherre said. "And he tried to tell me that Rolen said he could have it." After they are worn, the green jerseys are usually auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity. The Cardinals began wearing the green jerseys on St. Patricks Day in the mid-1990s while they were still training in St. Petersburg, Fla. The club moved to their current complex in Jupiter in 1998.
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