There is no doubt that the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the greatest teams in baseball.
The Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships; the only MLB team with more championships is the New York Yankees. With a team of this caliber, great moments are not hard to come by. The Cardinals are known for defying the odds and ultimate comebacks in late-season play.
Top 10 late-season moments:
10: The Great American Brawl: August 10, 2010. The Reds and Cards cleared the benches in an epic brawl that resulted in several suspensions and an ended career for Jason LaRue. The Cards went on to sweep the Reds in three games.
9: John Smoltz Signs with Cards: August 19, 2009. Future Hall of Famer John Smoltz signed with the Redbirds after the Red Sox released him. He remained with the Cards for the remainder of the season.
8: Cy Young: In 2005, Chris Carpenter earned his first Cy Young Award. Carpenter won 21 games, pitched seven complete games, and had four shutouts. He ended the season with a 2.83 ERA. Carpenter is only the second Cardinal to have ever earned the Cy Young (the first being Bob Gibson, in 1968 and 1970). Carpenter was the first pitcher of 2005 to reach a 20-win season with a 4-2 win against Rodger Clemens and the Houston Astros on September 4, 2005.
7: Larry Walker Signs with Cards: In August of 2004, the Cardinals acquired Larry Walker for three prospects. The Cards went on to play the Red Sox in the World Series.
6: #70 for McGwire: On September 27, 1998, Mark McGwire made history by setting the new single-season home-run record. In one day, he hit his 69th and 70th home runs of the season.
5: Bud Smith's No-Hitter: September 3, 2001. In his 11th career start, rookie Bud Smith threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. This was St. Louis' first no-hitter since 1999.
4: # 2,000: On July 29, 2011, Albert Pujols got his 2,000th hit, against the Cubs. At the time, he was the fifth Cardinal to achieve reach 2,000 hits.
3: Bennett's Walk-Off: August 27, 2006. When it comes to top moments for a Cards fan, anything that can make the Cubs cringe makes our list! Gary Bennett's walkoff homer against the Cubs would be one of those moments.
2: Last Win in the Old Busch: October 2, 2005. The Cardinals won their last regular season game at the old Busch Stadium.
1: "What a Team, What a Ride": The Cardinals were the World Series champions in 2011; that fact itself is a miracle. During the last week of August, the Cards were out of first in the wild card by 10 1/2 games. There were 31 games left in the season, and the Cards won 23 out of 31, securing their spot in the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. In the postseason, the Cards beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies, and then beat the Brewers to make it to the World Series. The Redbirds won their 11th World Series.
Personal favorite late-season moments from a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan.