30 Teams. 30 Posts: The Cardinals
It has been awhile since I did a post for my “30 Teams. 30 Posts” project in which I take each team in the Major Leagues, do a little write up with 5 photos related to the team that I find interesting. I will finish the project one of these days….
Today I tackle the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Before I start, I must be honest about a few things regarding the Redbirds. First is that I was rooting for the Rangers during this year’s Fall Classic and was pretty bummed when they failed to beat Cardinals. Reason being is that I almost always root for the underdog or the team with the least amount of franchise success and the Cardinals are number 2 behind the Yankees in total World Serious Championships. Heck, they won as recently as 2006. The other thing is that the Cardinals have knocked my Padres out of the playoffs 3 times (’96, ’05, and ’06) which is still pretty frustrating. So with all that said, I have to separate my own feelings about the team to really appreciate the Cardinals…which is not that hard as they are a great organization with a rich Baseball history.
My earliest memories of the Cardinals is collecting Ozzie Smith Baseball cards. To this day Ozzie Smith is still loved by most San Diego Padres fans like myself as he did spend his first 4 years in the big leagues with the Friars. When I found this out as a kid he automatically was my favorite short stop. In addition, I always loved the speedy Vince Coleman. When I got a little bit older and started to learn about the history of the game I fell in love with the classic Cardinals such as Bob Gibson, Curt Flood, Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean and the entire Gashouse Gang. It’s pretty amazing to look at a list all the Hall of Fame and All-Star players the Cardinals have had over the years. Half of this may have to do with the fact that they have been an organization since the late 1800′s but still that does not take anything away from the great players and teams that have worn the birds on the bat on their chest over the years.
I don’t have too much more to say but for you fans of the Cardinals, here ya go. Congrats on another World Series win, enjoy these photos and continue to be the great fans that you are known for being.
Members of the 1967 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. With a roster filled with these studs it’s no wonder they followed up that season by making it back to the World Series in 1968.
Game 3 of the 2011 World Series. Albert Pujols went 5 for 6 with 2 singles, 3 home runs, and six RBI’s. There are only 2 words to describe that game: utter and complete domination. As much as I wanted the Rangers to win, I have to admit that I was in complete awe of what Prince Albert did to Texas pitching that night.
Game 4 of the 1934 World Series. Dizzy Dean attempts to break up a double play and is knocked out after being hit in the head by the ball which was thrown by Billy Rogell of the Tigers. This is one of the more famous moments in World Series history and one which was well documented. With that said, it was not until recently that I came across this photo of the incident as it was one that I had never seen before
Game 5 of the 1985 NLCS. Ozzie Smith hits the game winning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Keep in mind that Ozzie only hit 28 regular season home runs during his 19 seasons in the big leagues and this is what made this moment so improbable and cool. The late Jack Buck’s famous “Go crazy, folks!” call was and still is to this day one of the greatest calls in Baseball history as it captured the enthusiasm of the crowd perfectly. Click HERE to watch this amazing moment.
A great photo of a young Stan Musial which has to be from the early 1940′s. Little did he or the Cardinals organization know at that time what this young man had in store for his Baseball career: 22 seasons all with the Red Birds in which he accumulated 3630 total hits, 475 home runs, 1951 RBI’s and a career batting line of .331/.417/.559. Stan The Man was one of the greatest of all time and without a doubt, one of the nicest men to ever play the game.