During an interview with The Des Moines Register’s Bryce Miller Sunday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced that after being a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, he now backs the St. Louis Cardinals.
Why the change?
“I was a Cubs fan because of the Iowa Cubs, but I finally gave up on them,” he told Miller with a laugh. “I got tired of this, ‘Wait ’til next year’ business.”
The move, Branstad was told, could feel akin to a Republican becoming a Democrat.
The seeds of being a Cardinal fan started when Branstad traveled to St. Louis as an eighth-grader with the family of his best friend to watch Stan Musial play. He later participated in a benefit game at the Field of Dreams near Dyersville with another Cardinals hall of famer, Bob Gibson.
There was one more connection that linked Branstad to the team that eventually earned his rooting interest.
“And Mark McGwire, another Cardinal, had a brother Dan,” he said. “I helped Hayden Fry recruit him. My uncle was a high school principal in Claremont, Calif. He told me I should tell Hayden about this quarterback. So I did – and Hayden got him.
“They got Travis Watkins, a wide receiver, from there, too.”