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I'm not going to get into too many details of the Cardinals' win last night, partly because I still have beer in my eyes from Foley's last night and partly because the game itself was not inherently exciting. The first was 1982, when I was seven, probably too young to truly absorb it; Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee were my favorite cartoon characters, and as far as I knew, winning the World Series was just how Cardinals seasons ended, no big deal. We're all lucky, Cardinals fans, Rangers fans, baseball fans, sports fans, residents of earth.
The last two months of baseball -- not just Cardinals baseball, but baseball, as an institution, as a pastime, as a calling -- have been as thrilling an end to a season as any I can remember, and it's important to remember that no one thought any of it would happen. The second, much later, much later than people realize, was 2006, a lightning bolt from a team that didn't have nearly enough talent to win the World Series and just sort of watched all the better teams politely walk into doors and off cliffs, leaving the Cardinals as the only team left to obligingly accept the trophy.


Louis Cardinals pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter in the eighth inning of the home opener at Busch Stadium on April 11, 2016 in St.
Remember, at the end of August, many observers were complaining that the baseball season had grown dull, that everyone already knew the playoff teams (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona and Atlanta in the NL; Yankees, Boston, Detroit and Texas in the AL) and that baseball should so something (like, say, add another wild-card team) to fix the "problem" of a pointless September. No "malfunctioning" bullpen phones, no wild comebacks with only one strike left (let alone two of them), no three-homer outbursts. And then the Cardinals and Rays got hot, and the Braves and Red Sox fell apart, and there was that amazing final day of the regular season and then the thrilling postseason and that Game Six and good heavens for two months now it has just been madness. Another night like Game Six, and there'd be a lot fewer people alive this morning to enjoy it.


I just know that we have all just been the best two months Major League Baseball has seen in a long time, and at the end of it, the St. Louis Cardinals, a team everyone (including Cardinals fans, and even sorta including the Cardinals management themselves) wrote off, were the last team standing.



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