The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most storied franchises in the history of sports, and they have plenty of big moments when it matters most in the postseason, moments Cardinal fans will never forget.
Even though the Cardinals aren't participating in the playoffs in 2023, it is still entertaining to watch the Postseason and watch history be made. Cardinal fans have been spoiled in that regard by seeing some of the greatest moments in baseball history in St.Louis, ones that come to mind are Bob Gibson's 17-strikeout game in the World Series, Bruce Sutter striking out Gorman Thomas to end the 1982 World Series, Jack Clarks go-ahead home run at Dodger Stadium, Yadier Molina with the 9th inning home run at Shea Stadium in 2006, Albert Pujols and his 3 home run game in 2011 I could go on and on.
But the first one that comes to mind for most Cardinal fans is David Freese putting the team on his back not once, but twice in game 6 of the 2011 World Series. But there have been many other walk-off hits in Cardinal postseason history that were memorable and should be appreciated. Let's look back at the long successful history of the Cardinals and see who else has enjoyed coming through in the clutch and walking off for the Cardinals in October.
Curt Welch 1886 World Series Game 6
The first walk-off in the postseason in the history of the Browns/Cardinals actually did not come from a hit. The Browns defeated the Chicago White Stockings in Game 6 of the World Series 4-3 in 10 innings as Curt Welch scored from 3rd on a ball that got past the catcher (there is dispute on whether it was a wild pitch or a passed ball).
That year the Browns won Games 4 and 5 to overcome a 2-1 series deficit which gave them a chance to win the World Series at home for Game 6. The game began with a brief rain delay and some great pitching by White Stockings pitcher John Clarkson who held the Browns hitless through 6 innings ( Clarkson started 4 of the 6 World Series games).
After finally breaking through with a hit in the 7th, the Browns went to the bottom of the 8th down 3-0. The eventual hero of this game Curt Welch was attempting to sacrifice the future founder of the White Sox Charlie Comiskey to third with a bunt, but the White Stockings threw the ball away and it led to the Browns' first run. The Browns would tie the game in the 8th and ultimately went to extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th with the game tied, Welch led off the inning with a single, he was bunted over after an error got him into scoring position, then while at 3rd base a pitch got away from catcher King Kelly and Welch dashed on home. It is famously known as the " $15,000 slide " because at the time the reward for winning the World Series was money that both teams agreed to place the series on. As I mentioned earlier there is some dispute on whether it was called a wild pitch or passed ball, and some also believe that Welch didn't even slide when he scored, but regardless him scoring on the ball that got away won the World Series for the Browns and was the first postseason walk-off in Browns/Cardinals history.