When I saw that the Cardinals were going to hold a reunion of the 2011 World Series championship team, I knew I had to go to that game. I wanted one of those sweet David Freese bobbleheads to add to my collection. I also mentally reviewed the starting rotation and realized that Adam Wainwright would be starting. When the Cards had the reunion of the 2006 World Series championship team, Wainwright also pitched that night and got a shutout, so I figured Waino would be even more motivated to pitch well. I read where Wainwright would probably get his 2,000 strikeout during this start, and I wanted to see that in person (more on that later). So I decided to find tickets close to the field where I could see the players ride around the warning track in the Ford F-150 trucks. I went on StubHub and purchased seats in Section 193, row 3 (left field bleachers).
The Phillips 66 gasoline franchise sponsored a display called the Nest. The Rally Squirrel, you may recall, ran in front of Skip Schumaker while he was at bat, as you will see on the plaque below. Here are some photos of the display:
Even though our seats were in Section 193, we decided to enter at Gate 6. The lines go through quicker at Gate 6 than they do at Gates 4 and 5. Plus, I get to see Elvira, my favorite scorecard seller. She always recognizes me when I show up. I gave her one of my business cards to this blog once upon a time. Last night, they were offering a deal where if you bought the 2021 Yearbook, you would get a bonus – a replica of the Jack Buck statue with the voice chip. For some reason, I didn’t get the Jack statue – I think I had something else going on that night and I couldn’t attend the game. I had purchased the yearbook at the last game I attended. If I had known they were going to run that deal, I would have waited. I tried to buy the Jack statue, but Elvira wouldn’t let me. I guess I’ll have to check on eBay to see if I can find one. As we was leaving, Elvira asked me if we were going to be coming to any more games the rest of the season. I told her I wasn’t sure, but told her to take care if I didn’t see her until next season. I am thinking about going to the last home game on October 4th, when the team is honoring Mike Shannon on his retirement, and a special t-shirt is the giveaway.
I wore my 2011 World Series t-shirt. It still fits, although it was a little tighter than it used to be:
When the son went to buy supper, I checked out our David Freese bobbleheads. I opened mine, and lo and behold! I got one of the MVP David Freese bobbleheads. There were a limited number of these available and I got one!
After the son and I ate, we walked over to our seats. We were in the section right next to the Padres’ bullpen. There was a little boy in the first row wearing a Padres jersey. He had a sign that stated he wanted Tommy Pham’s autograph for his 9th birthday, but I don’t think he got that. He did end up getting a baseball, however.
Finally, after the playing of “God Bless America” (a middle school band) and the singing of the National Anthem (a middle school choir), the festivities began. There was a video on the screen, then the Ford F-150 trucks with the 2011 players riding in the back came out of the wagon gate and started driving around the stadium on the warning track. Everyone waved and greeted the players as they rode by, and several of them were taping videos the crowds on their cell phones. Everyone was standing, and there were tall people standing in front of me, so I couldn’t snap too many good photos of the players. Here are some of the best photos I took:
The players got out of the cars at home plate, and shook hands with Bill DeWitt, III, John Mozeliak, C.J. Cherre, and other staff from 2011. Matt Carpenter was also at home plate, since he was called up near the end of the 2011 season. The other two players left from the 2011 season, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, crossed the field to the dugout since they were starting. Yadi tipped his hat to the crowd when his name was announced and the crowd (over 40,000) cheered.
Chris Carpenter and David Freese threw out the first pitch. Jack Flaherty caught Chris’ pitch and Nolan Arenado caught Freese’s pitch. One third baseman to another. Then the players and staff that were at home plate stood behind the World Series and had their photo taken. Adam Wainwright snuck into the photo at the last minute.
The players then paraded on foot back to the wagon gate. If I had known that, I would have bought seats in the right field box seats. I would have been able to take better photos of the players.
During the game, it was announced that in 2022, the seating area closest (Homer’s Landing) to where David Freese hit the home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series would be renamed Freese’s Landing. They showed Freese up in the party room during the announcement, and it was clear he had no idea that this was going to happen. He looked shocked and slightly uncomfortable as he waved to the crowd.
Oh yes, there was a game last night. Adam Wainwright only gave up 2 hits until the 4th inning, when he gave up 4 hits, which resulted in 2 runs for the Padres. Waino got strikeout 1,998 in the 4th inning; he got strikeout 1,999 in the 5th inning (striking out Fernando Tatis, Jr., no less); but he never got strikeout 2,000 thanks to home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi, who played fast and loose with the strike zone. Cuzzi tormented the Padres as well. Padres’ manager Jayce Tingler got ejected for arguing about the strike zone in the 5th inning. Machado and Tatis, Jr. also had a heated discussion in the the dugout in the 5th inning.
It was a darn shame that Waino couldn’t get his 2,000th strikeout in front of the home fans. It’s like Cuzzi knew that Waino was close to the 2K milestone and wanted to make sure he didn’t get it. Twitter was hot about Cuzzi’s umping as well.
The son wanted to go someplace cooler to watch the bottom of the 7th inning, so we headed to Ford Plaza. By the middle of the 8th inning, we were both tired and decided to head home. It turned out we decided to head home too soon, because while we were waiting for the Metrolink, Harrison Bader got on base and ended up on third base. Then Bader scored on Tommy Edman’s sac fly. Paul Goldschmidt drew a walk. And then Tyler O’Neill played the hero again by getting a home run and making the score . Gallegos got the Padres out in the top of the 9th and the Cardinals won the series. The Cards also won today’s game, sweeping their second series in a row and and winning their eighth game in a row. They are currently in possession of the second wild card spot.
The Cardinals only play two teams for the rest of the season, the Brewers (who have clinched the division title) and the Cubs. The Cards need to win as many games as possible. Thursday’s game is on YouTube and not on Bally Sports. There is a doubleheader in Chicago on Friday – the first game is a makeup game from earlier in the season.
I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately. I should have posted about Ted Simmons’ number retirement (we were there), but I didn’t, for some reason. I’m really not just a fair weather fan, but until the last couple of weeks, there really hasn’t been much to write about. Now it looks like the Cards may be in the postseason again, where they will face either the Giants or the Dodgers, depending on who wins the NL West. The Dodgers currently are in possession of the first wild card spot. I’d rather face the Dodgers in the WC game than in a series, although the Cards have been known to beat the Dodgers in the playoffs. The starters for the WC game, should the Cards face the Dodgers, would probably be Wainwright against Scherzer.
Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!