ST. LOUIS -- It was a day that had been planned for months and one those in attendance will never forget. But it almost didn't happen.
Just two weeks before the Cardinals and third baseman David Freese were set to host a benefit concert to help raise money for Johnny Venus as he battles leukemia, the St. Louis native had to be re-admitted to the hospital due to a high fever.
But Venus -- drummer in the band Greek Fire and a longtime friend of Freese --- wasn't about to miss a night that he used as motivation for several months.
"I told the nurses, 'I'm leaving. Sept. 18,'" Venus said. "'I got a ballgame, I'm throwing out the first pitch at the Cardinals game, there's a show and I'm going to try and play it so I'm leaving. I'll disappear for five hours and come back."
As if it were a movie script written from the man above, Venus was released from the hospital on Sunday -- two days before the event. And there he sat in front of a large crowd inside the Ford Plaza at Busch Stadium...