Cards’ trainer sheds light on magical run

If you were shock when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, you were not alone.

Barry Weinbery_311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Barry Weinbery_311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If you were shock when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, you were not alone. When asked if he had ever seen a more improbable run like the one the Cardinals had just completed, Barry Weinberg, Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Cardinals, simply said, “No.”
“This was unprecedented. Nobody has seen anything like this,” he added.
Weinberg, 60, should know. He has spent 33 years in Major League Baseball and 24 years alongside Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, who retired the week after the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in seven breathtaking games.
“It was an honor and a priviledge to work with Tony,” Weinberg said. “LaRussa told us about his retirement the day before it went public.”
Now, with this most recent title, Weinberg has three World Series Rings (one with the Oakland Athletics and two with the Cardinals) to go with four League Champion Rings.
Weinberg has been very fortunate to be a part of winning organizations; however as an athletic trainer there is always work to be done.
The training staff helps ensure that the players are healthy and ready to go. They must also be in constant communication with the manager to make sure he knows what players are available.
“Athletic trainers are always in communication with players in the offseason and checking on their offseason programs,” Weiberg pointed out.
He also noted that due to the success of the Cardinals, the offseasons are shorter, a trade off he would always be willing to make.
Game 6 of the World Series was a game some have considered to be the greatest game ever. But it was also a game that put the athletic trainers to work.
There was an injury at second base to Texas Rangers Catcher Mike Napoli and an injury to Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday while sliding back to third base. So what does an athletic trainer do during an in-game injury? “We have to make a judgement on whether the player is vulnerable to further injury and look at the player and situation to see how the injury will affect the team,” Weinberg said.
Growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Barry Weinberg was a fan of the Washington Senators – somewhat ironically, the same franchise that is now the Rangers.
One of Weinberg’s inspirations was Bill Zeigler, the Atletic Trainer for the Senators. He remembers writing Zeigler a letter about leaving school and joining his staff on the Senators.
Zeigler responded with words of encouragement and a recommendation to stay in school. Weinberg did just that and five years later they were on opposing benches, Weinberg with the Yankees and Zeigler with the Rangers.
The two have remained friends to this day, and Weinberg still credits his friend for the inspiration to pursue his dream.
In addition to the Cardinals and the Athletics, Weinberg has spent time as an athletic trainer in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization and with the New York Yankees.
However, the Cardinals and their fans seem to have a special place in his heart.
“St. Louis is a terrific sports town, specifically baseball. The crowd is really in to the game and the playoffs are even more special,” Weinberg said.
He also noted that when walking down the streets in St. Louis, people that recognize him often say thanks for a great year.
“Baseball is woven into their fabric. Everyone is a St. Louis Cards fan,” Weinberg said.
In his spare time away from baseball Barry Weinberg enjoys country music, and he will be a guest at next week’s Country Music Association awards.
He is also a Broadway enthusiast, which goes back to his days of helping out with the show Damn Yankees. He was a consultant for the production at the request of co-producer Dan Markley.
Barry Weinberg was elected into the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.
And while he has not had the opportunity to travel to Israel, he said he hopes to visit in the near future, during an off-season.
Weinberg certainly looks forward to seeing all the videos of games to help remind him of the remarkable journey of the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Giving one last thought about this past season Barry Weinberg said, “It’s hard to see the picture when you are in the frame.”