First, let me say how excited I am to be able to talk about the World Series. I love baseball. I love writing about baseball. And, even though it’s between two teams I was not expecting to see in the Fall Classic, I believe we are in for a great World Series.
Take the Cardinals for example. They are a great story. They got hot at the right time, and have used that momentum to put up a fight in the postseason. And, so far, so good.
Watching that game yesterday had me thinking. Is St. Louis the best baseball city in America? Think about it. They love baseball in St. Louis — much more than football (Rams), and hockey (Blues).
And, think about this, all of the other cities that missed out on their baseball team getting to the World Series, are curently entrenched in football.
In Boston, fans are in mourning, but they do have the Patriots. In New York, fans are into the Giants and Jets. In Philadelphia, fans are caught up with the Dream Team, I mean the Eagles. Plus, they have the Flyers too! In Chicago, it’s Bears season. Da Bears! Should I go on?
St. Louis has a tradition of great baseball over the years. They have won 10 World Series championships — the most of any National League team, and second overall to the New York Yankees (27).
Think about some of the greats who have donned a Cardinals jersey over the years.
Here are a few greats who have had their numbers retired by the Cardinals:
Bob Gibson, Stan “the Man” Musial, Enos Slaughter, Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean, Lou Brock. Bruce Sutter, Red Schoendienst, Ken Boyer, Whitey Herzog, and of course the “Wizard of Oz” Ozzie Smith.
Don’t forget Hall-of-Famers Steve Carlton, Johnny Mize, Joe “Ducky” Medwick, Orlando Cepeda, and others, who played for the Cardinals in their careers. Also, don’t forget about legendary broadcaster Jack Buck — “I don’t believe, what I just saw”.
Now, onto the game from last night. The Cardinals, who have the best pitcher in the Series — Chris Carpenter, beat the Texas Rangers in game one by a score of 3-2. Carpenter was solid — making just one mistake, a two-run home run to Mike Napoli. It was Napoli’s second home run against Carpenter in his career.
The Cardinals offense came through in the right spots, and perhaps it was the play of former R-Phils infielder, Nick Punto, who was the “Unsung Hero” of Game 1.
With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Punto came to the plate against Rangers’ ace C.J. Wilson. Wilson had already gotten two outs in the inning, but had allowed David Freese to get to third after a double and wild pitch.
Punto, who spent the 2000 season in Baseballtown, took all four pitches he saw from Wilson, and drew an important walk. Now, things would get interesting. Wilson was pulled for Alexi Ogando, and Carpenter, who was set to bat, was pulled for pinch-hitter Allen Craig.
Craig lined Ogando’s pitch into right field just under the glove of Nelson Cruz, and Freese crossed the plate with what proved to be the game-winning run. Punto went 1-2 with two walks, and helped lead the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory in Game 1.
I think we are in for a great series. I thought the Cardinals would take the first one, and I think they’ll take another one, but I still think it’s the Rangers in six. But, anything is possible!