This month’s United Cardinals Bloggers project is naming the 5 most iconic moments in St. Louis Cardinals history. The simple answer? It’s very tough. There are some that stick out in my mind. Granted, I was watching the game on television when it happened, no less.
I’ve gone back and forth on this, rearranging my list numerous times.
5. Albert Pujols‘ NLCS Game 5 Home Run, 2005
There’s no doubt in my mind that this home run is in the top 5 of everything I have watched. Even though the Cardinals would go on to lose to Houston at home, Albert’s home run gave the Cards the lead and let fans say goodbye to Busch one more time. For that, I’m forever grateful. With David Eckstein and Jim Edmonds on base, Pujols crushed the ball into off the roof and onto the railroad tracks out in left field.
4. Jim Edmonds’ NLCS Game 6 Walk-Off Home Run, 2004
Just when you thought the game would never end, Edmonds saved the season for one more day. It was a home run the moved the Cardinals another game closer to their first World Series since 1987. Unfortunately, the Cardinals would lose to Boston in 4 straight. It should be noted, though, that every single game in the 2004 NLCS were won on a home run but Edmonds’ home run was a walk-off. This would be the final walk-off home run for the Cardinals in the postseason until 2011.
3. Albert Pujols’ 2011 World Series Game 3 Performance
His performance for that game alone speaks for itself. It was not just the 3 home runs that tied a World Series record set by both Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson but Pujols had 5 hits, 6 RBI, and 14 total bases during the third Game of the 2011 World Series. Albert was rudely criticized the day before since he didn’t talk to the media after Game 2 and he followed up with what is likely the last great performance that we’ll see of him as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
2. Ozzie Smith‘s 1985 NLCS Game 5 Home Run
I’ve been flipping this between 2 and 1 but I’ve settled it for #2. It’s the home run that led Jack Buck to make the iconic call, “Go crazy, folks! Go Crazy!” The walk-off home run by the Wizard forced the Cardinals-Dodgers series to play a 6th game. This was the first home run that the switch-hitting Wizard of Oz hit from the left side of the plate. This home run is easily the #1 if you were to factor in only games at Old Busch. But we’re not and the next one is still very fresh in my mind…
1. David Freese‘s Walk-Off Home Run, 2011 World Series Game 6
In what is easily the greatest baseball game I have ever watched, David Freese gave Cardinals fans not just a home run to remember but a game to remember! Dropping a pop fly earlier in the game, Freese rebounded to hit a triple in the 9th inning when he was down to his final strike and took the game into extra. Two innings later in the bottom of the 11th and down to his last strike once more, Freese crushed the ball into the stands for the first Cardinals walk-off home run in a postseason since Edmonds did so in 2004.