St. Louis is Sports Heaven
December 15, 2011 • Joe O'Brien
Filed under Editorials
It has been an amazing year for athletics in the city of St. Louis. The St. Louis Cardinals are 2011 World Series Champions after a playoff run that can only be described as spectacular. We have always been blessed with having such great professional sports teams and athletes in St. Louis. Here is a look back at St. Louis two major sports teams and how they fared during the year.
The St. Louis Cardinals story is nothing short of amazing, being 10 ½ games behind with only 31 games to play, being 8 ½ at the beginning of September, being 7 ½ out with 20 games out, and being 3 games out with 5 to play. They went into the playoffs the hottest team in baseball which is what they needed going toe to toe with the best team in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies. They went on to win in five games with a showdown of former teammates and Cy Young winners Chris Carpenter and Roy Holladay. It was a game of the ages and ended up with Carpenter getting first baseman and St. Louis native, Ryan Howard, to ground out in the ninth inning to finish the game.
They then faced the Milwaukee Brewers. It was an amazing series ending with a game six that had 8 homeruns hit by both teams combined.
The Cardinals entered the 2011 World Series as the underdogs. Many thought that with such an emotional ride to get here that the Cardinals would be emotionally drained and not be able to finish the series. People in St. Louis felt that nothing was going to stop them from their eleventh World Series title. Twice in game 6 with the Cards down 3 games to two they were down to their final strike, both times the Cardinals came through with clutch hits from David Freese, and Lance Berkman, and then in the eleventh, David Freese hit a walk-off homerun to win the game.
In the first inning of the seventh game, the
Cardinals had two on and two out when Freese doubled both in. A sense of defeat wormed its way through the Ranger team. This pivotal moment occurred in the first inning. They went on in game 7 to win the World Series. It was truly an unbelievable last month of the season. I remember watching the game on the edge of my seat living and dying on every pitch and it was just awesome.
The other St. Louis sports team to be turning heads this year is the St. Louis Blues. They started with a shaky performance going 6-7 in their first 13 games, but then Dave Checketts made a key decision to fire head coach Davis Payne and hire Ken Hitchcock.
The team has reignited and has been one of the hottest teams in the league with a record of 17-9-2. They just got star forward David Perron back from a concussion he suffered last season. The major difference is the shutdown defense for the Blues and spectacular goaltending from Brian Elliot whom the Blues acquired through free agents. He is 11-2-0 and is leading the league in save percentage, and shutouts this season with 4. He has provided the spark the team has been looking for and they are now tied for first place in the Central Division. With ¼ of the season over, if the Blues continue their winning ways, there is no telling how far this team can go and might bring the first Stanley Cup that St. Louis fans have been searching for since the Blues entered into the NHL in 1967.
With all of the success of the St. Louis sports teams in the past year you can see why everyone in St. Louis is excited. We have a lot going for us. Even though we lost Albert Pujols, This is still sports heaven, the best sports town in the United States.