8. Bob O'Farrell nails Babe Ruth stealing to win World Series (1926)
The Cardinals were pitted against the fearsome New York Yankees in 1926. After a seesaw battle that led to a winner-take-all Game 7, the Cardinals staked their claim to a one-run lead behind the pitching of future Hall of Famers Jesse Haines and Grover Cleveland Alexander.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Cardinals up 3-2, the legendary Babe Ruth walked up to the plate. He had homered once and walked three times in the game. Try as he might, Alexander wasn't able to retire Ruth, who took his fourth saunter to first base after ball four.
The next batter was Bob Meusel, who had hit .315 in the regular season. On the first pitch, Ruth decided to attempt to swipe second base. It was a risky choice to say the least, as the aggressive Ruth would have only a 51% success rate on stolen bases in his career. Cardinals catcher Bob O'Farrell popped up from his crouch and fired the ball to second baseman Rogers Hornsby, who laid the tag on Ruth to close out the World Series and capture the Cardinals' first of 11 championships.
7. Adam Wainwright whiffs Carlos Beltran to win NLCS (2006)
Adam Wainwright was just getting started with his illustrious career, but he had earned the trust of manager Tony La Russa to serve as the team's closer in the postseason. With two saves in the NLCS against the New York Mets already, Wainwright scampered out to the mound in the ninth inning of Game 7 eager to bring another pennant to the Gateway City.
The game had already been one for the ages. Mets outfielder Endy Chavez made a dramatic leaping catch at the left field wall to rob Scott Rolen of a two-run home run and double off Jim Edmonds running back to first. Chavez's catch preserved a 1-1 tie entering the bottom of the sixth inning.
Thankfully for Cardinals fans, Chavez's catch would end up being a footnote, as Yadier Molina hit a two-run dinger to put the Cardinals up 3-1 in the top of the ninth. It was on the shoulders of Wainwright, fresh off his first full season in the major leagues, to shut the door.
With the bases loaded and two outs after two singles and a walk, star outfielder Carlos Beltran strolled to the plate. After placing Beltran in an 0-2 hole, Wainwright threw what was soon to become his eponymous pitch: the "Uncle Charlie." Beltran could do nothing but stare at the sharp curveball on the outside corner, and the Cardinals were on their way to oppose and eventually beat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. The young Wainwright had announced his arrival with a bang.