As all of you know I am a huge Philly Sports fan and will be
until my last breath escapes my lungs. My moms family immigrated from Italy in
1916 and planted its roots in the great city of Philadelphia, where much of her
family still lives. I was born in Northeast Philly, lived there until we had to
move to Reading when I was a kid and although I will always be a Philadelphia
sports fan there is a special place in my heart for the St. Louis Cardinals.
My dad is from St. Louis and moved halfway across the country after he met the love of his life in August 1982. He has told my brothers and I that the only regret he has is that he moved 2 months before the Cardinals won the 1982 World Series. As a kid, I always loved going to St. Louis to visit family and talk baseball, especially because my uncle was a photographer and had the coolest man cave in their basement complete with pool table, seats from the original Busch Stadium, and countless photos he took. Obviously, my heart was torn between these two great cities.
The Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball right now after going 22-7 since the fist week of August. If you follow the Cardinals then, like me, you probably are having flashbacks to 2006 when an 83 win Wild Card team was able to win it all. This team is one of the most well rounded Cardinals teams that I have seen in recent years led by future Hall of Fame catcher and arguably still the best defensive catcher in the game when he’s out there. Paul Goldschmidt has had a less than stellar first year in St. Louis but his veteran presence and leadership will help this young team make a deep push into October. Paul DeJong is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated players in all of baseball and since Kolten Wong is having a Gold-Glove caliber year making this one of the top middle infields in the game. Not to mention Matt Carpenter is back at third base and if he gets hot at the right time like he did last year in July he’s almost automatic. Not to mention that flamethrower Carlos Martinez has been killing it since being moved to the closer role. The only thing that scares me is the starting pitching, but in 2006 the Cards had a questionable starting rotation too led by fan favorite Chris Carpenter, old timer Jeff Suppan, Jared Weaver, rookie Anthony Reyes, and then rookie closer Adam Wainwright.
This team now has something to play for. Yesterday former Cardinal Chris Duncan, son of legendary pitching coach Dave Duncan, passed away after a long fight with brain cancer. Chris was an integral part of that 2006 team as a pinch hitter and outfielder. His passing will undoubtedly light a fire under this current Cardinals team.
Lastly, I need the Cardinals to win it this year so my pop can say he saw the Cards and Blues win Championships in the same year. My grandfather is a 94 years old World War II Navy Vet and has been a Cardinals fan since he was a boy. Growing up in St. Louis he was able to see some of the greatest Cardinals of all time bring championships to the city. He even was Stan Musial accountant and played sandlot ball with fellow St. Louis native Yogi Berra. The Cards need to make up for making that man witness the unthinkable crime of allowing the Cubs to win a World Series. A 108 year drought broken. God, I hate the Cubs. The Cardinals will win it this year. You can take that to the bank.