Last night’s World Series game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers was why so many of us enjoy sports. The sheer excitement, the drama, the edge or your seat suspense was all incredible. Then the sudden unexpected conclusion with the walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning off the bat of St Louis hometown boy David Freese made for a memorable evening I’ll not soon forget.
I was jumping up and down mad in the bottom of the tenth inning when Rangers Manager Ron Washington made the correct call and decided to intentionally walk Albert Pujols. By most people’s estimation Pujols is the games best player and after only 11 years in the big leagues is considered a sure Hall of Famer. So here he was stepping to the plate with two out and a runner on 2nd, bottom of the 10th inning and his team trailing by a run. With Pujols facing free agency in the off-season and possibly in his last at-bat as a Cardinal the situation was absolutely delicious. But Washington took that taste right out of my mouth. Of course, I know it was the right thing for him to do. But karma can be a bitch sometimes. By taking away the drama of Pujols either being the hero or the goat (though the final out would hardly qualify him as the goat) Washington had the baseball Gods come back and slap him. Lance Berkman hit a double tying the game, and of course the Cardinals went on the win it and force tonight’s game seven.
As wonderful as last nights game was I will not call it the Best World Series game, or game 6, I’ve ever personally witnessed. Heck, it’s not even 2nd best. My BEST, and the best of so many other people, is the 12 inning Boston Red Sox win over the Big Red Machine, Cincinnati Reds, in 1976. I was only 12 years old but I still remember how exhilarating it was to watch. Of course, like so many others Carlton Fisk became one of my favorites, one of my heroes, with his home run the he willed fair with hand, hip and heart. It was beautiful.
And who can forget the 1986 Game 6 win of the New York Mets over the Boston Red Sox, the night I became convinced there really was a CURSE. People forget that the final Bill Buckner between the legs whiff was only the last of a series of Red Sox gaffes that enable the Mets to come back from the brink of losing the World Series to eventually winning it.
Of course in 1976 The Big Red Machine won Game 7 and the World Series cementing their legacy as one of the greatest teams ever. The Mets won Game 7 in 1986. How could they not? So what’s going to happen tonight? Based on history, there’s no telling. But I like the chances of the Cardinals. I’ll be watching. That’s for sure.