2006 World Series
St. Louis Cardinals Win GAme 5
That's a Winner!

I finally made it to a World Series Game. Not my Astros, had tickets to Game 5 last year when we got swept in 4. But I was a Cardinals fan long before I ever moved to Houston - back in the Ozzie Smith days.


Game 4 was rained out - and Dad was sitting on the second row behind the Cardinals dugout. Despite a promise that the storm would move through, the game never even started. Would my dad ever get to see a World Series game? The game gets rescheduled to Friday, and with a win by the Cardinals on Thursday sets up Game 5 with the possibility of St. Louis winning the series 4-1. After an emotional series of text messages the night of the rain delay and a logistical nightmare of a Game 5 on Friday, we are going! Of course, rain was in the forecast for Thursday night and Friday night. We assumed we would end up with tickets in the third deck since our ticket benefactor would probably use them since the game would be on a Friday. When we got in town (me witrhout a suitcase that I just knew I shouldn't check but had more than four ounces of very expensive hair product in it), our ticket benefactor told dad he had got the good tickets back and just dropped them off at our hotel across from the ballpark. Dad decided to wait and see until we had them in our hand. Well, they were row D - so we laughed, "gee, fourth row..." Since I only had the clothes on my back, and it was 40 degrees at game time, we stgopped off in the store and bought an overpriced WS06 hooded sweatshirt to keep me warm. I had even packed long underware to go under my jeans... and here I am with an eight inch hole exposing my knee! I also filled out a credit card app to get a free blanket to cover up my hole. Imagine our surprise when we rolled up into our section and saw the Row D was the first row behind the Cardinals dugout! A few minutes later, Stan the Man rolled up in a golf cart just right out in front of us to throw out the first pitch!


The photos on the last row above are cropped and if you click on them you can see the full photo and tell where the ball is by looking at the pitcher and the batter.


The game was the most fun baseball game I ever attended and I kept hoping it would last longer, even in the cold. Hell, I would have been okay even if it was ten degrees! We were on tv throughout the game and I got a solo shot in the ninth when I was leaning over on the dugout watching intently. I knew once I did that, the camera would find me - but I was just really into the game. In those last innings victory seemed forthcoming... all the cards had fallen into place. Of course there was that moment in the ninth that I felt that oh so familiar Astro gut wrench, but Wainwright pulled it out. You can see in the photos above the strike count if you click on them. Oddly enough as close as we were to al the action, when they won I saw this flash of white to my left running out from the dugout and then we were sort of removed from the celebration. At the time I thought it was somewhat anticlimactic, but later realized I was just overwhelmed again. I even missed the shot I had been waiting for - of them running out of the dugout - I was a little busy throwing my own hands up in the air! I could not even remember if that last out was a strikeout or a field play...


Other than the celebration being out in the middle of the field where we basicaly couldn't see anything, the celebration was cool right there at the dugout. All the players and family came and went through the dugout right where we were sitting. You can even see someone carrying La Russa's wife over to him in one photo, Spiezio and Carpenter with their sons, Eckstein giving an interview, the trophy, and several views of the jumbotron tribute to Jack Buck - That's a Winner! As we exited the stadium, there was a startling collection of SWAT lined up to ensure you did not even think about causing trouble. THe fans were crazy, every one high fiving everyone, peope riding on top of cars. I saw a cop approaching one guy directing traffic with his own whistle, looked down the street, assessed the situation, and decide the guy wasn't doing any harm and let him continue! The trash can with nothing but beer bottles was a fitting end.


On the flight home we flew right by the Clear Lake area and could see the La Porte bridge, San Jacinto Monument, Ellington Field, and Nasa Road One.


27 Oct 2006

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Susan N. Freeman