He was 6-foot-5, but scared of heights. He barged into the newsroom and lectured St. Louis Post-Dispatch staffers when he thought his beloved Redbirds weren't getting a fair shake in the paper. He was a loving father and doting grandfather. And he had a broad mischievous streak.
Andrew N. "Drew" Baur, one of the businessmen's group that purchased the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996 and who died Sunday, Feb. 20, in Florida, was remembered as all these things and more Friday at a standing-room-only memorial service at MICDS.
Baur, 66, who graduated from St. Louis Country Day School in 1962, was eulogized by his two sons and daughter, along with a number of lifelong friends including fellow co-owner Bill DeWitt Jr., the team's chairman.
His children, all MICDS grads themselves, paid the most thoughtful, touching tributes to their father, whom younger son Richard D. "Todd" Baur said for "20 years set a wonderful example, for 20 years was my best friend... and will always be my dad."
McKay Baur Mills said she will always remember their chances to travel together overseas, and noted the lifelong contempt they shared for the home team's frequent postseason nemesis, the New York Mets. When at age 8 a towheaded McKay jumped up, got the attention of the Mets batter in the on-deck circle and yelled an unladylike name at him, her proud pop high-fived anyone within reach.
Mills said her dad made his grandchildren feel secure with his frequent hugs; they always knew they were the most important person in the room.
It was the same way at the ballpark, whether Baur was talking with an usher, ticket-taker or another fan, recalled Michael McDonnell, a lifelong friend.
When the stadium initiated its no-smoking policy, McDonnell said Baur asked, "'That doesn't apply to cigars, does it?' It certainly didn't apply to his cigars."
Baur's golf swing, apparently, was the stuff of legend. When he asked a low-handicap friend in their group to analyze it, after some thought the better golfer called it "swashbuckling."
McDonnell said that was a suitable word to describe Baur's larger-than-life persona. Back on the golf course, you held on for dear life if riding in the cart he was driving.
And, if put end to end, "his divots would have gotten to the moon and back a few years ago."
Before becoming a key member of the group that bought the team from Anheuser-Busch, Baur was chairman of Southwest Bank and held top-level executive positions with Commerce Bank and Mercantile Trust Co.
A member of the Country Day board of trustees from 1978-83, Baur received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1997.
A longtime MICDS donor, his most recent gifts include: funding a new squash court; establishing an endowed fund that helps students receiving financial aid travels with athletic teams, and making a donation to support the Lower McDonnell Gymnasium.