Stan Musial was its greatest player over time, but I asked my sister Julie to write the greatest Cardinal game of all time in my notebook and she wrote, “Game #6 of 2011 DAVID FREESE”. At the time she did this we were in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum in Ballpark Village in St. Louis. We were having a blast in this 5 compass museum.
At the time she wrote this I was feeling like a Cubs fan on the day they won their first World Series after 108 years. In other words I was delightfully disoriented. Today I tried, and failed, to make sense of the notes I took while in the Cardinal Hall of Fame and Museum. They are a jumble.
The Cardinals were not really supposed to win in 2011. On August 25 they were 10 games back in their division. But then the biggest turnaround in baseball history occurred. They miraculously won the pennant but were one strike from elimination twice in the World Series. Then DAVID FREESE hit a home run in the 11th inning of Game 6, resulting in Game 7. The Cardinals won that game 6-2 and became the unlikeliest World Champions in history. FREEZE’s jersey was ripped into 2 pieces. The larger piece is in Cooperstown, New York, in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The other piece is in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis. It was tossed to a fan in the stands and later reacquired by the team.
This just might be the most important object, at least it was MY favorite, in this 8,000 square feet museum among the memorabilia from 100 years of Cardinal history. Ruth’s favorite was the World Champion’s ring she got to try on.
This is not to downplay the more than illustrious career of Stan Musial, who is well-honored here. Stan The Man hit 475 home runs, including 5 in one double-header in 1954. He had 3,630 career hits.
This 2-year-old museum is a rarity. There are only a few teams who have one–the Giants, the Cincinnati Reds.
The overall American League Champ is the Yankees. This team has won 27 World Series Championships. The Cardinals lead the National League with 11, most recently in 2011. It has won 19 National League Pennants. All of this and more is well-documented in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, which you will enjoy even if you’re not a Cardinal fan.
Quotes abound in this museum. My favorite was spoken by George Kissell, illustrious instructor, and much more, who worked for the Cardinals for 68 years. Yes, 68! “Tell me,” George said, “and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand.” Consider me involved.
Cardinal fan Julie told me that 2016 is indisputably Chicago’s year. And it was.