St. Louis Cardinals reliever Randy Choate turned 40 years old on Saturday. To celebrate the occasion, his wife and teammates put together a special day for him once he arrived at Busch Stadium.
As MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch detailed, Choate's wife Leigh purchased t-shirts for the whole team. The black tees featured the word #Holler (Choate's 'go-to phrase') on the front and '36 is 40' on the back. Langosch also noted that Choate's teammates bought a mini Red Bull refrigerator and took turns signing it for him as a gift.
Here's a shot of Choate smiling with Brandon Moss, as captured by Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest:
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The day's events meant a great deal to Choate, who has had some struggles recently out on the mound. "The key is enjoying [the game], and right now, I don't think I'm enjoying it because I'm over-worrying myself," Choate said to Langosch when asked about the celebrations. "Then walking in and seeing these shirts… just seeing these guys and how they reacted when I came in today. … It was a good way to start the day, especially since it wasn't the best way to end yesterday. It at least put a smile on my face."
Choate has great career numbers against left-handed hitters, though they've put together a .278/.345/.380 line against him this season in 24 2/3 innings of work. That's what he's found himself 'over-worrying' about lately, as quoted above by Langosch.
On Saturday, at least, Choate was able to let loose and appreciate the kind gesture put together by his wife and Cardinals teammates.