World Champion St. Louis Cardinals: 2006 World Series at a Glance
The Cardinals entered the World Series as underdogs to the heavily favored Detroit Tigers. (In 2005 who could have guessed we’d be writing that!)
The Cardinals had been underdogs to San Diego in the NLDS and the New York Mets in the NLCS, so not being expected to win in the World Series was nothing new. One reporter said "It's not a question if the Cardinals can win the World Series, it's a question of whether or not the Cardinals can even win a game." The Cardinals won the first game of the World Series in Detroit 7-2. The winning pitcher was Anthony Reyes, outdueling Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. This was the first time in Major League history that two rookie pitchers faced each other in Game 1 of the World Series. Reyes retired 17 straight batters and went 8+ innings, whereas Verlander was pulled in the sixth. The game was also characterized by homeruns from Cardinals Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen.
In Game 2, the Cardinals lost 3-1, as Detroit's veteran pitcher Kenny Rogers out-pitched St. Louis's Jeff Weaver, allowing only two hits through eight innings. There was controversy concerning the appearance of dirt or possibly pine tar (an illegal substance in baseball for pitchers) on Rogers's hand; however, after the substance was washed off of Rogers' pitching hand before the second inning, nothing else was done. An ESPN.com online poll showed the majority of ESPN online voters believe Kenny Rogers was cheating.
In baseball, there is such a fine line between cheating and gamesmanship. If the player is on your team, it is gamesmanship. If he is on another team, it is cheating.
The Cardinals took Game 3, 5-0. Former Cy Young award winner for St. Louis, Chris Carpenter, went 8 innings on 3 hits. Two runs were scored on a Jim Edmonds double, and another two on an error by Detroit pitcher Joel Zumaya.
Game 4 was originally rained out. And although rain threatened the second attempt, it was played the next day and the Cardinals won 5-4 to move within one victory of the World Series title. David Eckstein – the manchild – was the player of the game, hitting an RBI double off Craig Monroe's glove that put the Cardinals on top in the 8th. He also had 3 more doubles and 2 more RBIs. An error by the pitcher allowed a run and brought the Tigers up to 6 total errors in the series, 4 being from the pitching staff (more than any other team in World Series History).
On October 27, the Cardinals won game 5, 4-2. The winning pitcher was Jeff Weaver (yes Yankee fans – that Jeff Weaver!!) who went 8 innings, allowing 2 runs with one earned run on 4 hits while striking out 9. Adam Wainwright got the save, striking out Brandon Inge for the final out.
This was the first World Series win for the Cardinals since 1982. David Eckstein was presented the 2006 World Series MVP Award, along with a Chevrolet Corvette Z06, for his performance.
The number of championships won matches the uniform number of manager Tony LaRussa (10), who had asked to wear the number because he wanted to help the Cards win their tenth world championship. LaRussa also joined Sparky Anderson as the only two managers to win the World Series while managing in both leagues.
Cardinals Fact Sheet
In case you’ve spent the last six decades in the Ukraine, the Cardinals uniform colors are Cardinal red, White, and Navy blue.
The team motto is less humble then accurate: “Welcome to Baseball Heaven.” The Cards mascot is named Fredbird, an anthropomorphized Northern Cardinal, presumably because of his love for 1970’s southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and their hit single Free Bird. Just Kidding.
Other nicknames: Often called Redbirds, a synonym for the Cardinal bird. That’s not extremely creative. They’re also sometimes called Cards.
The Cards Theme Song -- "The Budweiser Clydesdale Jingle (Here Comes the King)" -- is associated with the team from its time as an asset of Anheuser-Busch. The song was often played by organist Ernie Hays during the Seventh-inning stretch while the Budweiser Clydesdales made a circuit of Busch Stadium. Currently, it is played in the middle of the 8th inning, with the Clydesdales still occasionally making appearances. Sometimes the horses crap on the field, but that’s okay because the Washington Nationals do that every night.
Other songs that have been associated with the Cardinals:
"The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey, played after Cardinals victories during the glory years of the 1980s and still a beloved song among Cardinals fans who lived in that era.
"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter, currently played after losses and after every American Idol ejection.
Pre-bat songs include:
"Number One Spot" by Ludacris, for David Eckstein
"Ridin" by Chamillionaire, for Juan Encarnación
"Rollin'" by Limp Bizkit, for Scott Rolen
"Temperature" by Sean Paul, for Ronnie Belliard
"Swing" by Trace Adkins, for Chris Duncan
"Bat Country" by Avenged Sevenfold, for Anthony Reyes
"Back in Black" by AC/DC, for Aaron Miles
Cardinals Hall of Famers
Elected at least partly based on performance with Cardinals
Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander (1926-1929)
"Sunny Jim" Bottomley (1922-1932)
Lou Brock (1964-1979)
"Three Finger" Brown (1903)
Jesse Burkett (1899-1901)
Steve Carlton - "Lefty" (1965-1971)
Orlando Cepeda - "The Baby Bull" (1966-1968)
Charlie Comiskey (1882-1889, 1891)
Dizzy Dean (1930, 1932-1937)
"Leo The Lip" Durocher (1933-1937)
Frankie Frisch - "The Fordham Flash" (1927-1938)
Bob Gibson (1959-1975)
Burleigh Grimes (1930-1931, 1933-1934)
Chick Hafey (1924-1931)
Jesse Haines (1920-1937)
Rogers Hornsby - "The Rajah" (1915-1926, 1933)
Miller Huggins (1910-1916)
Joe "Ducky" Medwick (1932-1940, 1947-1948)
Johnny Mize - "The Big Cat" (1936-1941)
Stan "The Man" Musial (1941-1944, 1946-1963)
Albert "Red" Schoendienst (1945-1956, 1961-1963, 1965-1976, 1980, 1990)
Enos "Country" Slaughter (1938-1942, 1946-1953)
Ozzie Smith - "The Wizard of Oz" (1982-1996)
Bruce Sutter (1981-1984)
Other Hall-of-Famers associated with Cardinals
Walter Alston (1936)
Jake Beckley (1904-1907)
Roger Bresnahan (1909-1912)
Roger Connor (1894-1897)
Dennis Eckersley (1996-1997)
Pud Galvin (1892)
Rabbit Maranville (1927-1928)
Bill McKechnie (1928-1929)
John McGraw (1900)
Kid Nichols (1904-1905)
Wilbert "Uncle Robbie" Robinson (1900)
Dazzy Vance (1933-1934)
Bobby Wallace (1899-1901, 1917-1918)
Hoyt Wilhelm (1957)
Vic Willis (1910)
Cy Young (1899-1900)
Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers was with the Cardinals from December 8, 1980 to December 12, 1980, but he never played for the team.