Cardinals Caravan visits the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau

Cardinals Caravan with Jess Todd
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 11:12 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The Cardinals Caravan visited six states in four days over the holiday weekend. Of the six different groups, Caravan No. 6 made a stop at the Osage Centre on Monday.

Current players James Naile, Matthew Liberatore and Nolan Gorman along with Cardinals alumni Kerry Robinson and Jason Motte were part of the visit.

Heartland native James Naile, amongst other players, signs autographs for fans.

Naile, a Charleston, Mo. native, and Robinson, a former SEMO baseball player inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame, were among the fan favorites with their ties to the area.

This also is not their first time crossing paths on a Cardinals Caravan.

With the Birds on the Bat being his hometown team, Naile attended a Caravan as a fan when he was younger that Robinson was a part of as a player.

“I grew up watching these guys,” said Naile. “I got to see Kerry Robinson on that Caravan (as a kid) and now I’m getting to sit with him and hang out on the bus with him.

While Robinson doesn’t remember that encounter, he does have a distinct memory of also attending a Caravan as a fan when he was a student-athlete at SEMO.

“My senior year at SEMO (former Head Coach Mark Hogan) brought me to a Cardinals Caravan where I got to meet my favorite of all time, Ray Lankford,” said Robinson. “Hopefully it keeps going on and there’s going to be a kid in this one today that’s going to say the same thing to James 20 years from now.”

After Naile’s journey from Charleston to his major league debut last June and now full-circle to being on a Cardinals Caravan as a player, he had a message for younger athletes.

“It wasn’t an easy route, but it’s doable,” Naile said. “That’s what younger kids should year. You can chase your dreams you just gotta stay after it.”