Winning the 2006 World Series was great for the St. Louis Cardinals because it came 24 years after their previous championship. This season, however, will triumph the 2006 version because of how it happened.
Not only did the Cardinals erase a September double-digit deficit to win the wild card position, but they also were down to their final strike against the Texas Rangers in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
St. Louis battled through everything that stood in their way in 2011 including injuries, a lack-luster pitching staff and insurmountable deficits to win their 11th World Series championship.
Even the first-round seemed unlikely, right? They had to face the best pitching staff in baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies. They weren’t supposed to win that series.
Then it was Milwaukee that stood in their way. People doubted their ability to outlast the Brewers and their vaunted home field advantage. They weren’t supposed to win that series.
Finally, Texas came calling with one of the best offenses in Major League Baseball. It was their destiny to win the World Series given losing the previous season.
That didn’t come to fruition.
St. Louis, down to their final out, continued to get the clutch hits that they needed to stay alive. It sounds oddly close to how their entire season played out.
They barely made the postseason, but they made it and that’s all that matters. They narrowly escaped defeat and made it through by the skin of their teeth.
2006 was special, but didn’t have the ups-and-downs that 2011 had. The Cardinals won two of their three series by less than the maximum amount including a five-game series victory over the Detroit Tigers. St. Louis won five games by one run in 2011 compared to zero in 2006.
Given how the Cardinals made the postseason, given who they had to defeat to win the World Series and given how they won the title, this championship blows the 2006 version out of the water.
St. Louis will have their parade at 4 p.m. on Sunday.