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David Phelps and the spirit of St. Louis

David Phelps grew up a die-hard Cards fan, cheering on Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols. USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS --- When David Phelps was a kid, he would go to Busch Stadium about five or six times per year.

His favorite players were Ron Gant, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris and Albert Pujols.

David Phelps

David Phelps

#41 RP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM13
  • W1

  • L1

  • BB15

  • K33

  • ERA3.18

"I was a die-hard Cardinals fan by the time I could walk," said Phelps, who will start for the Yankees on Tuesday night.

Phelps grew up 15 minutes from Busch, and will have 25 family members and friends at the game. He told his brother they all must root for the Yankees.

"Their blood is going to have to come before Cardinal red," Phelps said.

When Phelps made his first major league start in Kansas City in 2012, his parents, family members and friends made the trip from their home in Florissant, Missouri. Phelps gave up two runs on six hits in four innings, but admits he was a little too emotional.

"I got a little worked up," Phelps said.

Now 27, Phelps thinks he is much better prepared this time around, and it sounds like this will be even more special for him.

"You grow up thinking about playing on this field," Phelps said.

Even on Monday, driving into the stadium, it felt great for Phelps.

"I couldn't help but smile," Phelps said.

Phelps enters the start at 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA.