Most of us may know that roots ran deep in the post season this year. You would have to be living under a rock not be aware of the Mookie/Preston Wilson connection and to a lesser extent the story of Ed and Scott Spiezio. Of course there was also that guy dropping the ball in right field, Chris Duncan, son of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. The Tigers had their own family thing going on, too. Relief pitcher Jason Grilli is the son of Steve Grilli, who pitched for Detroit and Toronto from 1975-79.
If you count the Wilsons, who are actually stepfather and stepson (among other things as Matt over at Diamondhacks so astutely pointed out to us), there have been 175 father/son combinations that
have played in the major leagues. Twenty-four of
those have each played in a playoff game, but just 14 have both made it
to the World Series. Ed and Scott Spiezio are the first
father/son combination in MLB history to have appeared in a World
Series game as a player for the same franchise. Of the 14 tandems that have played in the Fall Classic six have collected a championship ring:
They put their foot on the throat of the opponent’s neck when they are down and don’t let them get back up.
The Cardinals did that. The Tigers didn’t.
They may not have been the best team in baseball over the course of the season, but they were the best in October.
There’s always next year, but this one belongs to the Cardinals.
The last time the St. Louis Cardinals were up 3 games to 1 in World
Series play was in 1985 against the Kansas City Royals. After losing Game 5, St. Louis led 1-0 in the 9th inning of the 6th game. The Cardinals had not blown a ninth-inning lead all
season, and no team had ever rallied in the ninth from the brink of
elimination to win the Series.
I remember The Call because Bill was in the Navy, and we
were stationed in Virginia. We
attending a Halloween party that night, dressed as Cardinal baseball
players, watching the game with every ghoul and goblin in attendance rooting
against us just because they could. After umpire Don Denkinger called Royals lead-off hitter Jorge Orta safe
at first I checked my empty glass thinking I had drank too much and didn’t see
the play correctly; but as I watched replay after replay show the runner clearly out I decided that, certainly, I hadn’t drank enough .
While The Call itself did not cost the Cardinals the Series,
it seemed to put an evil October curse on the Redbirds as they managed to botch
one play after another that led to a Game 6 loss and complete meltdown in Game
7 as the Royals won by a score of 11-0.
This is, as any Cardinal fan will tell you, why they play the games and why no one is saying this Series is over – yet. Anything can happen. In fact, it probably already has.