2. Enos Slaughter's mad dash (1946)
Despite a career that saw 10 All-Star appearances, Enos Slaughter is unquestionably best known for what has come to be deemed his "mad dash" in the seventh game of the 1946 World Series.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the score tied 3-3, Slaughter led off with a single but couldn't be advanced after a failed bunt from Whitey Kurowski and a flyout from Del Rice. With Harry Walker coming to the plate, Cardinals manager Eddie Dyer decided to roll the dice and send Slaughter in motion.
On a 2-1 count, Slaughter took off. Walker hit a line drive to center field that landed for a hit. The center fielder threw it in to the cutoff man, shortstop Johnny Pesky. As Pesky fielded the ball, Slaughter ignored third-base coach Mike Gonzalez's signal for him to stop at third. Pesky hesitated on the throw, leading to a weak hopper to the catcher that allowed Slaughter to score the go-ahead run, which the Cardinals would not relinquish on their way to a Game 7 victory.
The moment was immortalized in 1999 when a statue was crafted outside Busch Stadium depicting Slaughter's slide across the plate.
1. David Freese's Game 6 walk-off home run (2011)
Local St. Louis kid David Freese was the linchpin in the Cardinals' magical run in the championship year of 2011, hitting .397 with 25 RBIs in the postseason, and he capped it off with possibly the most memorable moment in modern Cardinals history. In what stands as one of baseball's greatest World Series games, the Cardinals banged out 13 hits in an 11-inning effort against the Texas Rangers that saw multiple lead changes and the epitome of clutch hitting.
With the Cardinals facing elimination down by two runs in the bottom of the ninth, Freese hit a game-tying triple to send the game into extra innings. The Rangers took the lead again in the 10th, but the Cardinals battled back to tie it once again. After the Rangers were held scoreless in the 11th, Freese led off the inning with a walk-off shot into center field, sending the stadium into a frenzy. The Cardinals rode this momentum into Game 7 and secured their 11th title.
The area where Freese hit the fateful home run is now dubbed "Freese's Landing," and fans elected him into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2023 to show appreciation for his crucial role in the championship. Freese turned down the opportunity to be inducted, but St. Louis' adoration of the hometown hero is still alive and well.
The Cardinals were mired in last place in the National League Central in 2023 and haven't been to a World Series since 2013, but Cardinals fans still have a plethora of postseason memories to reminisce over — and hopefully many more to come.