The playoffs are a month away, and they may be 8 1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central, but the St. Louis Cardinals are holding on to the second wild-card spot.
The wild card was good enough to get into the playoffs on the last day of the 2011 season, and it was good enough to cap a magical run through the playoffs on the way to their 11th World Series title.
World Series Titles: Eleven, 1926, 1931, 1934, 1942, 1944, 1946, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006, 2011
Division Titles: Eighteen, with a 30-29 record in the NLCS.
Playoff Appearances: 24, with an overall playoff record of 109-95
Throughout their playoff history, Cardinals fans have been treated to many memorable moments, good and bad, and sometimes all in the same season.
Here are a few that belong to my generation (too bad I didn't get to see Gibby and The Man play):
- Legendary shortstop Ozzie Smith's "Go Crazy" walkoff home run to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1985 NLCS. Ozzie's first left-handed homer and a memorable call by Jack Buck stay with me to this day.
- Don Denkinger's blown call in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, widely regarded as causing the Cardinals' meltdown that led to their Game 7 loss. Denkinger's call is also regarded as the worst blown call in baseball history. Ouch. It still stings 27 years later.
- Adam Wainwright filling in as closer in 2006 and freezing Carlos Beltran in Game 7 of the NLCS -- in New York. Wainwright was the postseason closer after regular closer Jason Isringhausen was injured.
The kid stepped up big.
- The 2011 World Series, with David Freese hitting the game-tying triple in the ninth inning and the game-winning home run in the 11th inning of Game 6. That's why we stay up late to watch postseason games!
Home Field: Busch Stadium, version 3
This year's finish has yet to be written, but the St. Louis Cardinals will no doubt make another run at the playoffs and the title as the hometown fans continue to visit Busch Stadium. From the region-wide holiday that is Cardinals opening day to the playoffs at the end of the season, St. Louis loves baseball, and especially its Cardinals. The fans of my hometown team are geared up for another run in the postseason and some more banners to hoist at the old ballpark.
Greg has been a fan of the Cardinals since he was knee high to a grasshopper. His dad caught a ball for him at the first Cardinal game he remembers.
- Sports & Recreation