On August 25th, the Saint Louis Cardinals were looking at the reality of being 10.5 games behind the Atlanta braves in the wild card race, with little hope of making it into the post season. September marked the beginning their miraculous run to the end of the 2011 regular season; The upstart Cardinals won 13 of their final 19 games and stole the wild card spot in the National League Division Series.The Cardinals again shocked the country by defeating the untouchable, World Series favorite Philadelphia Phillies. The Cardinals then set their sights on Milwaukee in the National League Championship series and defeated the Brewers easily in 4 games.
The Texas Rangers had a similar storybook post season as well, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers to make their second world series appearance in two years. The match up with the Cardinals marked the beginning of what would become one of the most memorable and exciting world series of all time.
The series began in Saint Louis where the first two games were split at one game a piece. After traveling back to Texas, game 3 became one for the history books. The Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers 16-7 thanks to the efforts of Albert Pujols, who went 5 for 6 and becoming the third player in History to Homer 3 times in a World Series game. The only others to ever accomplish that were baseball legends Babe Ruth, and Reggie Jackson.
After coming off of a record-breaking night, the Cardinals fell in the series 3-2 by losing their next two games. The rangers were now one game away from winning it all, with the odds in their favor.
Then came game six, which will arguably go down as the best World Series game ever played. After being initially rained out, the game proceeded the next day back in Saint Louis. Initially, the first couple innings were wracked with errors and defensive mistakes. Leaving 11 men on base and only 3-of-12 with runners in scoring position, the Cardinals trailed 7-4 in the top of the 8th inning.
That’s when the magic happened.
Pujols started the rally with a one out double. Three batters later, St Louis native David Freese tripled to tie the game 7-7. In the 10th, Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton hit a 2 run homerun putting the Rangers up 9-7. Thanks to bats from Adrian Beltre and Lance Berkman, the Cardinals once again fought there way back to tie it.
In the 11th inning, Texas Bats were unable to produce and David Freese was once again up to bat. He blasted a solo homerun into center field and the Cardinals won it on a Walk-off. The Rangers were one- out away from winning two separate times, but the Cards fought back to win it. In game seven, the Cardinals dominated both on offense and defense winning the game 6-2, making them the 2011 World Series Champions.This marked the 11th World Series championship for the franchise, the most ever of any National League team.
Baseball fan or not, you could not write a better storybook ending than that.