If you know me at all you know that I am a fanatical baseball fan. To be more precise, I am a St. Louis Cardinals fan.
My appreciation for the Cardinals leads me to do things that are pretty much totally out of character for me — yesterday I walked up to a perfect stranger wearing a Cardinals baseball hat and introduced myself. Today I sadly asked the guy behind the counter at the food co-op if he really was a Red Sox fan (he was wearing a Red Sox cap).
Growing up in St. Louis it was hard to avoid becoming a die-hard Cardinals baseball fan. I remember watching the 1967 Cardinals win the World Series behind Bob Gibson, my all time favorite pitcher; they brought televisions into the school gym so that we could all watch the final game.
I have attended one World Series game in person. In 1987, the year the Cardinals lost the Series to the Minnesota Twins* (after winning all three home games they just couldn’t make it work in the Metro dome), I won a pair of tickets in a raffle at work and took my father to see Game 4 at Busch Stadium on his birthday.
And, of course, while living in New England in 2004 I endured the jeers of Red Sox fans when the Cardinals lost the Series in four straight games.
After a wonderful 2006 World Series win, the Cardinals had a couple of “rebuilding” seasons and are back at the top of their division this year. The team is lucky to have “el hombre,” the man most likely to be referred to as the “best player in baseball,” Albert Pujols,
as well as a remarkably talented pitching staff led by Chris (or Cris) Carpenter who, in his last regular season outing this year, hit his first-ever big league home run, a grand slam, and ended the game with a win — the score was 13-0 — and a total of six RBIs.
The Cardinals’ ’09 post-season starts on Wednesday, October 7 with a game in LA against the formidable LA Dodgers. It’s a long way from there to the final game of the World Series but here’s hoping there’s another World Championship in the Cardinals’ near future.
*who just now clinched a spot in the American League playoffs with a 12th inning win over the Detroit Tigers.