Cardinals Hype in the Heart of Illinois

By Anna Yee

October 19, 2011 Updated Oct 20, 2011 at 2:18 PM CDT

As Cardinals baseball fans stock up for the World Series, area businesses like Pro Image are in the red, in a good way.

Connie Friedrich from Hanna City is one of nearly a thousand Pro Image shoppers buying Cardinals gear this week.

Her daughter surprised her with tickets to Thursday's game.

"She is a contract worker in Afghanistan and called us last night to say that this was part of our 40th wedding anniversary celebration present, and what a present," said Friedrich. "We're excited to make our first trip to the new Busch stadium."

Pro Image manager Jeff Grady says they're trying to keep customers happy by filling the racks with red.

"The locker room t-shirts that they (Cardinals) were wearing, we have plenty of those," said Grady. "The locker room hats, we have plenty of those. We also carry quite a few styles that not too many people have."

Another popular item is the Squirrel shirt, in honor of the squirrel that ran across the diamond at a playoffs game.

Fans are also decked out at the Bullpen Sports Bar and Grill.

David Hansen has been a Cards fan since he was a kid.

"No one ever expected them to be here in the World Series this year," said Hansen, of Bartonville. "Anybody in the bar, I don't think anybody in the bar expected them to be here, and I think they're going to do it. I think they're going to do it."

A Bullpen manager says Game 1 brought out an extra hundred people out to watch the game.

And that doesn't include the nearly 200 people next door at the bowling alley.

But wherever you choose to watch the World Series, it's up to the Cardinals fans to keep the red flame alive no matter the outcome.