The traditional St. Louis combination of beer and baseball is breaking up--Anheuser-Busch is selling the Cardinals.
Anheuser-Busch, owner of the team for 42 years, made the surprise announcement Wednesday.
The company said the sale, expected to be completed in June, is part of a plan to concentrate on its core businesses of beer, theme parks and aluminum cans.
"We concluded it was in the best interest of everyone, including the Cardinals and the fans, to seek a new owner," brewery chairman and president August Busch III said.
Brewery spokesman John Jacob said they will try to sell the team to a local buyer, or at least to owners who would keep the Cardinals in St. Louis. But, he added, there is no guarantee the team will not be moved.
Tony La Russa, who signed a two-year contract to manage the team this week, said he was surprised when told of the Cardinals' situation.
"I started recoiling," La Russa said. "Part of the attraction of the St. Louis Cardinals, for me a lot was attached to the Busch family and Anheuser-Busch."