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calendar   Friday - October 27, 2006

The Thrill Of Victory!

Please excuse us folks here in St. Louis tonight. We’re just a little excited is all. Call us back in the morning. Right now, we’ve got some champagne and beer to drink and some partying to do. The St. Louis Cardinals are World Champions! Whooo-hooooooo ....

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St. Louis 4, Detroit 2

ST. LOUIS (AP)—Favored by few, the St. Louis Cardinals used an unlikely cast of characters to win their first World Series in nearly a quarter century.

Jeff Weaver dominated, David Eckstein drove in two runs on balls that didn’t leave the infield and the Cards took advantage of another wild throw by a Tigers pitcher to beat Detroit 4-2 on Friday night and won the Series in five games. “I think we shocked the world,” Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds said. “It’s an unbelievable experience.”

Manager Tony La Russa’s Cardinals had just 83 regular-season wins, the fewest by a World Series winner, and nearly missed the playoffs after a late-season slump. But the Cardinals beat San Diego and the New York Mets in the playoffs, then won their first title since 1982 by taming a heavily favored Tigers team that entered the Series with six days’ rest.

After closer Adam Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge for the final out, the ballpark erupted. Wainwright raised his arms in triumph, catcher Yadier Molina ran to the mound and the pair bounced off toward second base, where they were joined by teammates running out from the dugout and the bullpen.

“I don’t think anybody in uniform didn’t do something in the postseason. Everyone did,” said La Russa, whose uniform number—10—now matches the team’s World Series titles. “The defense was great. The pitching was great. Timely hitting. The best bench I’ve had in a long time. They just refused for us to lose.”

Minutes later fireworks filled the sky above the ballpark. Eckstein, the 5-foot-7 shortstop who had four hits in Game 4, was the Series MVP. “No one believed in us, but we believed in ourselves,” Eckstein said.

On a cold Midwest night more suitable to football than baseball, the Tigers made two more errors, raising their Series total to eight—three by Inge, the third baseman, and a record five by their pitchers. Eight of the 22 runs allowed by the Tigers were unearned, the most by a team since the 1956 New York Yankees against Brooklyn.

While the Tigers tossed the ball to the tarp, the Cardinals were mostly crisp, with the notable exception of right fielder Chris Duncan, who dropped a fly ball just before Sean Casey’s two-run homer in the fourth put Detroit ahead 2-1.

St. Louis came right back to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom half as pitcher Justin Verlander threw away a ball for the second time in two starts, and Scott Rolen added a big run with a two-out RBI single in the seventh off reliever Fernando Rodney, extending his postseason hitting streak to 10 games.

It was the Cardinals’ first title since 1982 and the first for the NL since the 2003 Florida Marlins. La Russa, who led the Oakland Athletics to a sweep in the earthquake-interrupted 1989 Bay Bridge Series, joined Sparky Anderson (Cincinnati and Detroit) as the only managers to win Series titles in each league.

It marked the first time since the 1912 Red Sox at Boston’s Fenway Park that a team won the Series at home in a first-year ballpark. And the Cardinals (83-78) almost didn’t even make it to the postseason. They had a seven-game NL Central lead with 12 to go but lost eight of nine before recovering to finish 1 1/2 games ahead of Houston, the defending NL champion.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/27/2006 at 11:02 PM   
Filed Under: • Sports •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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