Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patience Pays on Fourth Try, Royer Wins a Berth with Cardinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patience Pays on Fourth Try, Royer Wins a Berth with Cardinals

Article excerpt

The expression: Good things come to those who wait. The example: Stan Royer.

After being optioned to Class AAA Louisville the past three springs, Royer finally has found safekeeping with the Cardinals.

"It's a different feeling," Royer said. "But it's only different in circumstances. In my mind, I'm still trying to make the team."

The team is made. But, as if to emphasize the point, Royer stroked three hits and drove in three runs in the Cardinals' exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

Royer appeared to earn a uniform last spring. But a late trade brought outfielder Mark Whiten and changed the personnel plans. Royer had options and, before he knew it, had a ticket to Louisville.

"`He could have been here last year," manager Joe Torre said. "But the numbers were different."

The barrier was wafer thin. Royer, 26, could have made the club just as easily as he missed making it. But the difference between north to St. Louis and north to Louisville, in real terms, is far more significant.

A player of Royer's experience makes roughly $5,000 a month playing for Louisville. He makes around $20,000 a month at the big-league level.

"Last year was tough, only because I knew, honestly, that I belonged here," Royer said. "And yet, I couldn't go.

"I had my days where I would feel, `Doggone it, things aren't the way they should be.' I'm a pretty laid-back person, so when I start getting upset, you know things are going bad."

Royer grew up in Olney, Ill., attended Eastern Illinois University and now lives in Springfield, Ill. His wife of five years, Lauri, kept him from dwelling on negatives and looking ahead.

"She's been a big help," he said. "She played a lot of sports when she was younger and she understands how things can be."

Royer swallowed the medicine and had a solid season for Louisville, batting .280 with 16 home runs and 54 runs batted in. In September, he further distinguished himself with the Cardinals by going four for four as a pinch-hitter and compiling a . …

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