I’m kinda sorta breaking with my tradition of not writing about post season play until we get to the pennant winners. But not really, since this concerns a story written after last nights game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. It was written by Les Carpenter for Yahoo Sports (I’m assuming Les is in no way related to Cardinal pitcher, Chris Carpenter). This is a human interest story about sportsmanship, team spirit and the camaraderie of the players. Here’s an excerpt from the story:
“The National League Division Series had been decided, the mighty Philadelphia Phillies dispatched like a playoff pretender, and the St. Louis Cardinals raced into their clubhouse and tore into the three giant blue tubs of Champagne. Then they stood in a half circle near the door to the tiny room, late Friday night, shook the bottles, held the corks and …
They waited. And waited. And waited some more.
Five minutes passed, then seven, eight, then 10 and still they would not celebrate. Here was a baseball team, just after the most improbable of playoff victories, and its players were standing awkwardly as if this was a junior high mixer at the VFW Hall. But the national television people had grabbed their pitcher, Chris Carpenter, the one who stifled the Phillies on three hits in nine innings, the one who sent them to the Milwaukee Brewers with a 1-0 victory, and that meant he wasn’t in the room with them.
Carpenter was still on the field doing interviews. Given the way he pulled them through this night, making the postseason last another week longer, they couldn’t pop the cork on anything until he arrived. So with no Carpenter, there was no party. They would wait.
Finally someone spotted him. He was walking up the tunnel from the dugout. Someone waved to the others and they huddled in position near the clubhouse entrance. And as he turned the corner into the room they pounced. Bottles flashed. Liquid poured. And Chris Carpenter could do little else but hunch his shoulders as they doused him with Champagne, screaming for the joy of a playoff win they never could have imagined a month earlier.”
Last April I wrote about the San Francisco Giants Home Opener against the St Louis Cardinals. The post wasn’t about the game so much as it was about the reputation and tradition of “those classy” Cardinals. They’d just been selected as having the best and most knowledgeable of all fans in Major League Baseball.
After reading this article I think it’s safe to say “Those Classy Cardinals” doesn’t just relate to the St. Louis fans. It’s pretty safe to say that scene in the locker room represents a pretty darn classy group of baseball players and teammates also. Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals both on and off the field.
- Cardinals Defeat Phillies; Chris Carpenter Outduels Roy Halladay (huffingtonpost.com)
- St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies – live! | Steve Busfield (guardian.co.uk)
- Carpenter outduels Doc, Cards beat Phillies to reach NLCS (tsn.ca)