Cardinals fan White delights in team's success, Braves' misery

Aron White is hardly apologetic about his enthusiasm over the Atlanta Braves’ September collapse that kept the local favorites out of baseball’s postseason. Not when the Braves’ implosion allowed White’s surging St. Louis Cardinals to earn the National League wild card.

“It was pretty glorious watching the Cardinals creep in there at the end and watching the Braves go down because everybody around here was of course pulling for the Braves and I was out at a restaurant just clapping my heart out when they were going down in flames,” the Columbia, Mo., native said of the final day of the regular season. “I know a lot of Georgia fans are probably mad at me for that, but at the end of the day, I’m a Missouri boy.”

Now White’s club is a surprise contender in the World Series -- the Cardinals play Game 1 against Texas on Wednesday -- and Georgia’s senior tight end says he’ll be watching.

Although his former teammate at Rock Bridge High School, ex-Georgia quarterback/receiver Logan Gray, has transferred to Colorado, White said there are other Missourians around to cheer on the Cardinals with him. Even if he was still in Athens, Gray “is actually a Royals fan, which is kind of lame,” White said with a laugh.

For a period of his college career, White even dated a fellow Cardinals fan -- when he went out with former Georgia volleyball player Erika Clark, whose father Jack was an all-star on St. Louis’ World Series teams in 1985 and 1987.

Georgia’s football players are frequently seen wearing MLB caps around campus and for media interviews, but most of them admit they like the various hats because of the colors and not the teams they represent.

White is not one of those guys.

“Everybody wears hats more as a fashion statement than repping their team, but every time I could, I definitely just buy Cardinals hats in other colors so I can rock them, just because I still want to rep St. Louis,” White said. “At the end of the day, I still love the Cardinals even though I’m not as avid a watcher as some people. They’re still my squad. Win or lose, it doesn’t matter if they’re in last place, they’re still going to be my team.”