Bill DeWitt III Sees the Future From the Past

From Anna McDonald at on May 27:

There is no part of baseball today untouched by the past. It’s a sport both burdened and privileged with a rich history, a sport where a legacy can begin on any given day. In the summer of 1916 one originated in the most unexpected manner.

Sportsman’s Park, the home of the St. Louis Browns, was home to the extraordinary talents of Hall of Famers George Sisler, Eddie Plank and Bobby Wallace that summer. But during those hot steamy months there was also a young man in the stands selling soda — a handsome, determined kid, trying to make some money and do the thing he loved most, watch baseball.

As he hustled soda in 1916 he had no idea that 95 years after a summer spent working while his friends were off swimming, his grandson would be the president of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bill DeWitt III comes from a baseball family. The baseball gods would say it was meant to be, nothing serendipitous about his fate. DeWitt’s father, William DeWitt Jr., is the current principal owner and managing partner of the Cardinals and his grandfather, William DeWitt Sr., was a part of major league baseball for over 50 years.

“He was someone whose entire life revolved around baseball, and by the end of his life he had made some money,” DeWitt recalls about his doting and loving grandfather. “I think his love of the game was more than just the game itself, it was so much a part of his personality.”

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Originally published: May 27, 2011. Last Updated: May 27, 2011.