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National anthem standoff: Dodgers’ Scott Van Slyke and Cardinals’ Joe Kelly refuse to leave field before Game 6

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Just when you thought you’d seen it all in the 2013 National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals give us something unique to Major League Baseball. Following the national anthem before Game 6 at Busch Stadium, Dodgers' outfielder Scott Van Slyke and Cardinals’ starter Joe Kelly engaged in a bizarre standoff to be the last player standing and showing his respects to the flag.

These guys weren't taking the standoff lightly, either. They continued holding their ground outside their respective dugouts even as the Cardinals took the field for warmups. It wasn't until an annoyed home plate umpire Greg Gibson ordered the players off the field that it ended. But even then Kelly was reluctant, taking two half-hearted steps back to the dugout. Van Slyke, on the other hand, wasn't budging.

Unfortunately for Kelly, the two steps counted as a flinch. After 12 minutes, Van Slyke was declared the winner and undisputed champion of anthem standoffs.

Though it's new to MLB, this isn't a first in baseball. In 2012, players from Wake Forest and Elon staged a standoff before their college baseball battle.

Hey, a little levity in baseball never hurts. In fact, after all of the bickering back and forth between the teams and fan bases, this NLCS needed a light-hearted...

if not awkward moment.

So here's a hats off salute to Scott Van Slyke and Joe Kelly. We'll look forward to the rematch, possibly as early as Saturday.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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