David Freese is Paul Bunyan in The Gateway to the West tonight, having driven the St. Louis Cardinals to a winner-take-all Game 7 in the 2011 World Series. The Texas Rangers, reeling, have a long night ahead of them.
Thirty-six years after Carlton Fisk and Bernie Carbo and Dwight Evans against the Big Red Machine, we have Freese and Lance Berkman and Marc Rzepczynski against the Rangers. If Game 6 of the 2011 Series fell far short in terms of quality, it had every drop of the drama poured into Game 6 of the 1975 Classic.
Freese is the more impressive because, if we look at Game 6 (2011) as the movie version of Game 6 (1975), he played the roles of both Fisk and Carbo, delivering the heart-stopping game-tying hit and the winner in extra frames. Like Fisk, he is a hometown hero, born in enemy territory in Texas but raised in St. Louis.
The game had a dozen heroes, and two dozen thrilling plays, but here are the 10 that will go down as most critical to its outcome.