Sunday, April 1, 2012

My dear, dear Cardinals...

THANK YOU for winning the World Series.  And most importantly, for giving us a 7 game World Series.

I'm going to back up a bit and reminisce about my earliest memories.  See, we lived in St. Louis from the time I was 1 until I was almost 5 while my dad was in Chiropractic school.  During our years there we went to a ton of Cardinals games, my dad is quite the baseball fan.  Literally, my earliest memory is at a Cardinals game during the Ozzie Smith era, watching the game with my dad, eating treat after treat.  I loved going to the games with my dad. Hence, I am a HUGE Cardinals fan.  HUGE.

Seeing as I'm such a huge fan I have watched them in their bid for World Series Champions three times in the last 10 years.  I watched them get swept in the 2004 WS by the Boston Red Sox....{grumble, grumble, dang Red Sox and their breaking of the curse....grumble, grumble}.  I watched them win in 2006 against the Detroit Tigers.  I love the Cards.  I do.  Heck, my family planned a trip to Chicago around the Cardinals schedule.  If we were going to go to a Cubs game and finally see Wrigley Field we HAD to see the Cardinals play.

So when the second half of the season had them playing pretty fantastic baseball I kept hoping and hoping they would make it into the post season.  And then win the NLCS.  And then maybe, just maybe go to the World Series.

Let's just say my hoping and hoping sure came to fruition.  What an incredible second half of the season.  And did they ever make it into the World Series.

I kept telling Ryan, "if the Cardinals make it to the World Series I want to go."  He said that IF they made it he would take me.  Thinking that there was NO chance of that happening.

Guess what buddy, they made it.  I cashed in that promise pretty quick.

So, what did he do????  He said we could go to game 7.  And bought refundable airplane tickets.

See, there hadn't been a game 7 of the World Series in about 10 years, if I remember correctly.  Had I known that at the time I would have pushed for a different game.  Say, a ticket to game 1-5.  NOT 6 or 7.  But, to give him credit, it would have been virtually impossible to make game 1-6 happen with our schedule.  Plus, we didn't really want to go to a game in Texas.  If we went to see the Cardinals play we wanted to see them play on their home turf.

So, it was set after much begging, pleading, threatening and maybe a little bit of crying on my part.  We had tickets to see game 7.  In St. Louis. With my dad and sister, Allie.

Now it was just waiting and seeing if they could keep the Series going.

Holy cow!  Can we just have a moment of silence for how suspenseful and record-breaking the Series was.  I didn't think I would survive the earlier series' with the Pirates, the Brewers and then games 1-6 with the Rangers.

But they did it.  They made it an incredible series.  AND, most importantly for me, they made it a 7 game series.  I had never rooted for the Cardinals to lose, but I did this time...just so we could have 7 games.

I about had an anxiety attack during game 6.  I had to stop watching it before I threw up.  I kept yelling down to Ryan...."What's the score?!?!"  "What's happening?!?!?"

It was rough.

But, after a CUH-RAZY game 6, we were off to St. Louis. And can I just give a shoutout to Southwest in appreciation of their easy ticket changing process.  Since game 6 got moved a night due to weather, that meant game 7 got moved too.  I don't know what we would have done without some flexibility.

 Ah, the anxiety of now wishing, and hoping, and praying for a win.

We met up with my dad and Allie at the airport and headed over to Busch Stadium.  What a game to watch my first time in the new stadium.

I had to get my Cardinals gear at the game because Las Vegas had a whole lot of NOTHING.

Then we got in there and soaked up the atmosphere--trying to just enjoy being there, hoping we win and at the same time praying that I could handle it if they didn't.

We made it through Chris Daughtry singing the National Anthem.

Then, well, then it was time to Play Ball!!!!

And play.

And play.

Oh, the excitement and anticipation that was in there air.

And then there was the HomeRun by Freese.  I lost my voice screaming after that Run.

I'm not one of those people that lets my mood or life be affected by whether my team won or not.  I LIKE when my team wins, but it's just a game to me.  It's not like they pay my bills!  I let it be the entertainment it's meant to be.

But let me just say, being there, watching the game that won the Series....well, it was an incredible experience.  Almost surreal.  I still can't believe I actually got to be there and watch my team win.

As I close, let me just say, I love my husband. I don't think he really realized how much I love my Cardinals until this series.  Being there was never an option before.  But for some reason, I couldn't let this opportunity pass.  And thank goodness I didn't!  This trip was my Christmas present, Valentine's day present, Anniversary present and Birthday present all wrapped into one.  And it was worth it.

I don't know if I'd push so hard to go again-- It's hard to imagine a Series ever competing with this one. But I will be eternally grateful that I was there to see it pulled off.

Congratulations to my wonderful Cardinals!  Here's to hoping 2012 is just as magical.

Did you know opening day is this week????  I did.  Let the 2012 games begin!  I know I'll be watching.

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