The St. Louis Cardinals and Mercy health care unveiled a partnership Tuesday making the Chesterfield-based firm the major league baseball team's "official Medical Provider."
It won't preclude a player from seeking out their own treatment elsewhere so if a pitcher wants a second or third opinion, or to have surgery performed elsewhere by the likes of a Dr. James Andrews, based in Alabama, they will continue to have that option.
But the arrangement gives the team, minor league squads and employees on the business side of the organization, access to Mercy doctors, tapping into a wider umbrella of care. Mercy doctors already serve as the team physicians for the Cardinals' Double-A team in Springfield.
"You hear about things making headlines all the time, whether it's concussions in football whether its elbows and shoulders in baseball and its all about who can do the best at being ahead of the curve," John Mozeliak, Cardinals Senior Vice President & General Manager told Patch after a Tuesday press conference announcing the partnership at Busch Stadium.
Mozeliak pointed out that players will still get hurt, and that that won't be a reflection of the Mercy partnership but that the agreement is "going to make us one of the most fascinating and desired franchises in all of sports," he said.
The partnership is part of Mercy's attempt to build a reputation at the national level with professional franchises that it already has locally with "weekend warriors" and college and prep sports teams.
"We intend on being the destination nationally for sports medicine and orthopeadic care, Mercy Regional President Donn Sorensen said, adding that Mercy had reached the "endpoint" of evaluating several locations for a standalone sports medicine facility, saying announcements on that could come "soon"
Sorensen said Mercy was also in similar discussions with other pro sports franchises.