The Grillin’ Fools are lifelong Cardinal fans. This Grillin’ Fool, in particular, believes that opening day for the Cardinals should be a state holiday. I’m a little biased in that I’ve been to every home opener since 2000. To me, the start of the baseball season is something almost magical and what my team did this year is truly unbelievable.
I’ll admit it. I didn’t think they had it in them. I thought all the blown saves early made it impossible to even make the post season. There are a lot of people that will tell you they never lost faith. Of course those people then have to say with a straight face that they knew all along that the Cards would come back from the biggest defecit in baseball history to not just make the playoffs, but to beat the Phillies and their pitching in the first round, then beat the Brewers and their ridiculous home record in the second round, and then beat the Rangers, probably the league’s most well rounded team to win it all. I hear about a whole lot of people that never lost faith, but didn’t place a bet on them to win. I can believe that they never lost hope, which I didn’t, but I did lose my faith, only to be pleasantly surprised.
It’s funny, as great as a World Championship is, I’m relieved it’s over. I was exhausted. The drama was more intense than any post season I’ve witnessed in my lifetime which includes six World Series appearances by my beloved Cardinals, and in those six is the Don Denkinger blown call and the end of the curse of the Bambino. A lot of the drama and nail biting comes from the man in the picture above, MV-Freese. He dropped a routine popup that led to a run in the same game he hit the home run in that picture. Wow.
And it wasn’t just the big names that contributed like Carpenter, Berkman, and now a big name, Freese. How about Allen Craig with this catch to save a run?
And what can I say about Yadier Molina? He pretty much neurtalized completely the speedy Texas base stealers and came up with some big hits of his own. He was worthy a roster spot even if he hit .080.
And we wouldn’t have gotten to the playoffs or the World Series without one of the men in the above picture and it’s not Albert. Sure, he played a huge roll too, but Berkman played an even bigger role. The Cards wouldn’t have made the playoffs or won it all without the Puma.
I call the picture above, Elation.
And finally, I can’t wait to see this again at Busch Stadium:
Congratulations to the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals from your life long fans, the Grillin’ Fools. Sorry we lost the faith, and thanks for proving us wrong… Oh, and good luck Tony. We’ll miss you…