Remembering Cardinals super fan Tom ‘Hat Man’ Lange

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ST. LOUIS – If you’ve ever been to an opening-day game at Busch Stadium, you’ve probably seen Tom Lange.

Lange, known as “The Hat Man,” passed away last Thursday at age 71.

Lange handmade extravagant hats from Cardinals memorabilia and would attend games along with his wife, Anna.

“Even in high school, everybody knew Tom,” Dorris Keeven-Franke, Lange’s classmate and friend, said Wednesday.

Keeven-Franke was a 1971 high school classmate of Tom’s at McClure High School.

“Every year, he would pick a theme,” Keeven-Franke said. “He’d fill up the hat with all kinds of things that just stuck out all over the place and made everybody notice.”

And cry. In 2022, FOX 2 spoke with an emotional Tom following Yadier Molina’s and Adam Wainwright’s record-breaking game.

“Friendship, teammates, love for each other and love for the game,” Tom said at the time.

While his hats brought him fame, it was his volunteering that was his passion. Tom spent more than 40 years of his life volunteering throughout the St. Louis area. Most recently, he assisted in restoring Black Walnut Creek Cemetery in St. Charles.

“You couldn’t talk to him without him bringing up Black Walnut Cemetery,” Keeven-Franke said.

Tom and his wife worked diligently to help uncover the sites and hidden stories, bringing together long-lost family members.

“He took it further than most people ever would,” Keeven-Franke said. “Because of Tom’s work, we were able to discover many headstones that nobody even knew were there.”

Tom went above and beyond, hand-drawing a one-acre layout of the cemetery and marking nearly every inch and tree at the site.

“That’s just how Tom was about everything—not just Black Walnut, about his hats, about his love for the Cardinals,” Keeven-Franke said. “But just about everything—about life in general.”

With each new hat, Tom captured a Cardinals moment in time and with each uncovered headstone, he helped tell a story.

“That’s what a cemetery does,” Keeven-Franke said. “A cemetery has stones in it and they tell the people’s story. There’s more than just a dash; every stone has a story.”

Visitation services for Tom Lange will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Hutchens-Stygar Funeral Home from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tom’s families asked those who attend to wear Cardinals gear.

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