Fans cheer St. Louis Cardinals during Sunday's World Series championship Parade
Team members paraded on back of pick-up trucks
The St. Louis Cardinals finished their improbable run Friday night with a 6-2 win
David Freese was named the most valuable player of the series
Overcast skies were overcome by a sea of red in downtown St. Louis on Sunday as crowds of Cardinals fans lined the streets to celebrate the their home team’s World Series victory.
The Cardinals won their 11th World Series championship Friday night, defeating the Texas Rangers in a series that went the full seven games.
“From a lesson standpoint, this teaches everyone that you can’t give up,” St. Louis Mayor Frances G. Slay told CNN affiliate KDSK.
“Game 6 – we will never forget that. It was hard to believe that was actually unfolding in front of us,” he said. The mayor was referring to a game that saw the Cardinals pushed to their last strike in the 9th and 10th innings, only to come back and erase two-run deficits both times before finally winning 10-9 in the 11th inning.
Team members were paraded Sunday on the back of pick-up trucks as they waved at fans who braved chilly temperatures to pack the parade route.
“I am living the dream,” said outfielder Jon Jay. “We are celebrating all day,” he said.
Catcher Yadier Molina, whose play Friday was key in the Cardinals’ comeback, said he could barely speak.
“I have been partying non-stop. I have not slept yet,” he said.
“We got it. It is unbelievable,” outfielder Allen Craig said. “This is an unbelievable group of guys. I am just glad to be a part of this.”
Craig, who caught the last out of the game, was more than a part of it. He hit a home run in the third inning of Friday’s game and stole a home run from the Rangers’ Nelson Cruz by leaping and stretching above the top of the outfield wall to make the catch.
Friday’s win may have seemed a little anti-climactic compared to the instant-classic World Series game 6 Thursday, when the Cardinals displayed their never-say-die attitude.
They finished the comeback in the 11th inning on David Freese’s walk-off home run.
Freese was named the most valuable player of the series.
“This is a dream come true,” Freese said after the Cardinals clinched the series. “This is why you keep battling.”
Manager Tony La Russa said the fans, cheering and supporting, helped his team to the muster the strength to comeback so many times.
“It is amazing, incredible,” La Russa said. “This is for you, fans. Thank you so much.”
Comebacks are nothing new for the Cards, who made a furious dash just to reach the postseason. The team erased a 10-and-a-half-game deficit behind the Atlanta Braves in the last month of the regular season just to make it to the playoffs. They punctuated that comeback by taking the must-win last two games of the season and taking the National League wild-card spot from the Braves.
Once in the playoffs, the Cards defeated division champs the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League pennant..
The Cardinals last won the World Series in 2006.