MLB Network, which launched on Jan. 1, 2009, is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2024. By strategy of Friday, MLB Network will depend down the tip 15 moments it has lined in its history, thru weeknight segments on MLB Tonight (6 p.m. ET), as nicely as across its social platforms. And don’t neglect to spend MLB Network’s 15th Anniversary retrospective existing — “MLB Network Legendary Moments” offered by Budweiser, with Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey and Harold Reynolds — scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 22.
The No. 2 second on the countdown: Sport 6 of the 2011 World Sequence between the Cardinals and Rangers.
A model of this memoir became once printed in 2019.
Sport 6 of the 2011 World Sequence is on the short checklist of craziest games in World Sequence history, with the Cardinals prevailing 10-9 in 11 innings. The Rangers — who had misplaced the World Sequence to the Giants the old 365 days — were on the verge of their first World Sequence title in franchise history, as they led the Cardinals 7-5 going into the bottom of the ninth.
We obtained’t give a paunchy recap here — the important thing things to get in thoughts are that David Freese tied it, Josh Hamilton gave the Rangers the lead but again within the 10th, Lance Berkman tied it but again, and Freese obtained it an inning later — and also that you just would be able to examine the story ninth inning within the video above.
The game had one assorted essential subplot: Cardinals myth Albert Pujols became once heading gratis agency that winter, and the stop of the World Sequence might perhaps perhaps be his final sport for St. Louis forward of he signed with the Angels.
To inspire remind all americans what made that night so special, we asked 12 MLB.com staffers who were at Busch Stadium that night (as nicely as one who wasn’t) to share a reminiscence of that legendary sport on October 27, 2011. These are their recollections.
Jesse Sanchez, National Reporter
I’m from the Dallas-Fortress Worth divulge, where the Texas Rangers reign. My fondest baseball reminiscence is getting tickets to the World Sequence for my other folks in 2010 and 2011 and looking at followers cherish my mother — Relaxation In Peace — cherish each and each second of it. I do know what it supposed to the neighborhood to exact be within the Fall Classic. It supposed the entirety. The first time the Rangers were one strike far off from winning the World Sequence I take into accout tweeting something cherish, “Wake up your kids, Rangers followers, your favourite team is able to invent history. You are going to be World Sequence champs!” I finally deleted it.
I take talking to a sad Adrián Beltré after Sport 6. He acknowledged he became once engaging on how he became once going to celebrate the World Sequence snatch. Turned into he going to throw his glove up within the air? Turned into he going to charge the mound? Turned into he going to flee around the outfield? He did none of it. They misplaced and then misplaced Sport 7. Texans are a proud neighborhood and we always remark elephantine league players — or any person, truly — with ties to the Lone Star Sing. Freese became once born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Texans, or at least the ones I knew, stopped claiming him after that sport. From that time on, he belonged to St. Louis, the sphere where he became once raised.
Jenifer Langosch, Editor (and one-time Cardinals beat reporter)
My marching orders the night of Sport 6 were outlined forward of Jaime García threw the first pitch: I became once to duvet the Pujols angle. Free agency became once looming for the franchise first baseman, which suggests a Rangers snatch in Sport 6 had the most likely to invent this Pujols’ final sport for the Cardinals. That became once to be my memoir that night.
Once the Rangers took a 7-4 lead within the seventh, the stop felt near — for every person. When Pujols came to bat with two out within the seventh, followers answered with a standing ovation. What went unspoken, nonetheless no longer unrecognized, when he grounded out to stop the inning became once he might perhaps perhaps no longer bring together one other at-bat. I began writing my section.
Clearly, we know now that it wasn’t destined to stop that scheme. Followers gave Pujols two extra stirring sendoffs with ovations when he came to the plate with the Cards trailing within the ninth and 10th innings. Yes, they were attempting to will their team to a near-from-gradual snatch. But they were furthermore hoping to elongate the preserve of their vital particular person. They purchased both.
I smooth penned a memoir about Pujols that night, exact no longer the one I anticipated. His one-out double within the ninth inning sparked the rally that might perhaps perhaps invent Freese a myth. Later on, Pujols informed journalists that he never let his thoughts accelerate to the possibility that this might perhaps perhaps need been the stop. The the relaxation of us couldn’t deliver the identical.
Designate Feinsand, National Reporter (then with the Unusual York Day-to-day Data)
I never concept I’d take into narrative a second within the World Sequence cherish the ones I lined in 2001, my first 365 days on the Yankees beat for MLB.com. Some would completely near stop, nonetheless the foundation of anything else topping the two-out, two-strike, ninth-inning house runs hit by Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius against D-backs nearer Byung-Hyun Kim seemed inconceivable. Freese modified all of that.
I became once working for the Unusual York Day-to-day Data overlaying the Cardinals-Rangers series in 2011, and when Neftali Feliz had Freese down to his final strike within the ninth, I concept to myself, “It’s pleasing frigid that the Rangers are about to grab their first-ever World Sequence and I bring together to be here to gaze it.” I had already sent within the first model of my sport memoir (central time zones are brutal for newspaper time limits wait on east), so I exact essential to invent obvious that the 7-5 final bring together became once merely. It became once no longer.
Busch Stadium went bonkers when Freese tied the sport in conjunction with his two-flee triple. When Hamilton homered within the 10th, the group swayed the a lot of scheme, insecure that the baseball gods had grew to change into on them so mercurial. But the Cardinals tied the sport within the 10th and Freese became once the hero but again within the 11th, sending the series to Sport 7 in conjunction with his stroll-off homer. The one quote I take into accout from the postgame came from Lance Berkman, who acknowledged, “If we lose the following day night, then this exact turns correct into a great footnote in history. If we snatch the following day night, then this turns correct into a pleasant elephantine deal.” As we now know, it became once indeed a pleasant elephantine deal.
Matthew Leach, Editor (then Cardinals beat reporter)
I’m sort of at a loss remembering minute specifics because every time I indulge in that sport and that week, I articulate in powerful bigger terms. I indulge in the insane moments and games that purchased the Cardinals there — from the delayed celebration in Houston on the stop of the customary season, to Sport 5 in Philadelphia, to the bizarreness of honest about your full NLCS, to the bullpen phone and to Pujols’ three homers in Arlington. Your entire bid became once so unlikely that you just sort of knew it would indulge in to stop this fashion if they were going to grab the entire bid.
After I indulge in that sport in insist I take into accout that it became once, frankly, sort of terrible for approximately six innings. Sloppy and ugly, and no one had any notion in anyway that it became once going to flip into an all-time classic. Roughly a disappointment, truly, after so powerful stress-free stuff had led as a lot because it. Even the tying hit, arguably, took field in allotment as a consequence of a mistake — Nelson Cruz obvious seemed cherish he essential no allotment of the wall.
Actually, here’s how to sum it up. That is a line from the very first sport memoir I sent that night, within the eighth inning. After I filed this memoir, it became once for a 7-4 Rangers snatch — forward of the Cardinals began coming wait on, forward of they tied it up, forward of the alternate of runs within the 10th, forward of Freese’s walkoff. Before this sport became once ever a classic, I wrote this:
“In a sport cherish this, though, merely success finding a single turning point. It became once merely one among the strangest World Sequence games in reminiscence.”
Three innings later, that felt cherish a pleasant merely name.
Richard Justice, ragged MLB.com Columnist (then with the Houston Story)
Freese informed his memoir with emotion and eloquence as we gathered around his locker the night he became a World Sequence hero for his field of origin team. How he became once so burned out that he stop baseball after excessive college, and easiest then did he initiate as a lot as trace how powerful he cherished it. How he would never neglect the opposite folks that had his wait on along the fashion (and americans that hadn’t). How accidents threatened to derail his Predominant League profession almost forward of it began. He became once 28 years broken-down the night a Cardinals myth became once born. First, he lofted a sport-tying triple over Cruz’s head in correct field, and then he sent the Cardinals to Sport 7 with a condominium flee within the 11th. Afterwards, he seemed humbled and no longer moderately ready to bring together his thoughts around what had took field. No screenwriter might perhaps perhaps need written it extra perfectly.
T.R. Sullivan, ragged MLB.com Rangers beat reporter
There had been many literary giants who indulge in devoted their prose to baseball: Pulitzer Prize winners, Harvard and Yale scholars, finest-promoting authors. But easiest a baseball beat creator can trace what it became once cherish writing under intense deadline stress that night in Sport 6 of the World Sequence. That is the fetch. A fable must be ready as quickly because the sport is over. Rangers going to grab 7-5 and their first World Sequence title ever? Write it nicely. Freese ties it with a two-out, two-strike triple? Rewrite it. Nothing about lyrical bandboxes or social implications. Write it like a flash, nonetheless with readability and vigor.
A Hamilton dash-forward house flee within the 10th? Now we’re talking a Sport for the Ages. No writers block allowed. This one has to be immense and grew to change into over in 10 minutes. Berkman ties the sport within the 10th? The adrenaline is pumping. Then 11th inning, Freese house flee. Sport over. Rewrite but again for the fourth time. Write it like a flash, flip it in, dash downstairs and seek knowledge from 25 Rangers what it became once preserve to be one strike far off from winning the World Sequence. One other night as a baseball beat creator.
Will Leitch, Columnist (an avowed Cardinals fan, then with Unusual York Magazine)
I became once no longer at Busch Stadium for Sport 6 of the 2011 World Sequence, nonetheless I had an wonderful excuse: My essential other became once eight months pregnant with our first child, and no longer easiest did I no longer prefer to be in a assorted town than her, I in fact exact essential to take into narrative at her till she felt the slightest twitch so we might perhaps perhaps flee to the health center. As an quite a lot of, for Sport 6, I went to Foley’s, the decent Cardinals fan bar of Unusual York Metropolis, where Andy Cohen and Jon Hamm dispute alongside a full bunch of fellow Toasted Ravioli eaters one day of the season. My essential other came with me, nonetheless, as tends to happen with pregnant girls, she purchased hot and drained, so she decided to head house around the sixth inning. She insisted I preserve. I did no longer argue with her.
I did, on the opposite hand, stroll her out to flag a cab, nonetheless the bar became once so crowded that Foley’s owner needed to clear out a field thru a non-public exit to bring together us out of there. This led to such a fuss that word spread one day of the bar that the sport became once so intense that it led to Will Leitch’s essential other to enter labor. So when I returned to the bar to examine the relaxation of the sport, other folks seemed at me, aghast, asserting things cherish, “I’m able to’t indulge in you came wait on.” “Clearly I came wait on,” I acknowledged. “Are you looking at this freaking sport?” Our son didn’t stop up being born till November, nonetheless I never went wait on and corrected any one. I sort of cherish them all believing the parable. It became once that kind of sport.
Anthony Castrovince, Columnist
For the length of the World Sequence, when the series of credentialed media grows critically, teams are compelled to be creative with media seating, constructing auxiliary press containers that are usually positioned down the lines. While some in my profession will gripe about this field, I even indulge in always sort of enjoyed the a lot of perspective it equipped. And on this night, at this story Sport 6 at Busch Stadium, where the makeshift auxiliary press box became once in an identical scheme positioned within the suites overlooking the correct-field nook, the sideways sightline grew to change into correct into a entrance-row seat for history.
I became once mentally making ready to invent my dash to the freight elevators where my fellow media contributors and I might perhaps perhaps be carted cherish cattle to the bowels of the constructing for the postgame pressers, and I’ll never neglect that image of the ball crusing under us and then over the outstretched glove of Cruz on the warning tune, my old mind barely ready to activity the mathematical fact that all americans had scooted house, it became once a label-novel ballgame, and my tough draft revolving around the Rangers’ long-awaited triumph had been rendered moot. Appropriate a month removed from the fever dream of that final night of the customary season, when, amid all forms of craziness, the Cardinals performed their historical Wild Card comeback, here we were but again. The the relaxation of the evening is a haze, though I attain take into accout having a laptop scenario and, as a consequence, an inordinately sophisticated time writing my postgame section on a sport that truly defied phrases.
Jon Paul Morosi, National Reporter
I became once working for FoxSports.com on the time and became once sitting within the press box with Designate Kriegel, our national columnist. We decided to fade and stroll a lot of the fashion down forward of the bottom of the ninth. The scramble from the press box to the clubhouses at Busch Stadium is notoriously congested after a playoff sport. We essential to bring together a head initiate up, so we took the steps to the first stage of the stadium and squeezed into essentially the most traditional field we might perhaps perhaps glean with a inspect — near the aisle within the allotment gradual house plate. The momentum of the inning took on a existence of its dangle — the noise from the followers, the quality of the at-bats. Once Freese’s ball landed previous Cruz’s glove, the sphere went delirious. As Freese’s ball went up, I had a sense that it became once going to bring together over Cruz’s head. There became once something relating to the fashion it became once carrying, and Cruz’s route to it, that made the stop consequence predictable from our vantage point. We doubtless had one among the finest views to your full ballpark and knew a split-second forward of most all americans else that the sport became once going to be tied.
Chris Haft, ragged MLB.com Reporter
I’ve been lucky ample to duvet four Kentucky Derbies, and americans races characteristic a most wonderful sort of repetitiveness: When those horses hit the tip of the stretch, you don’t blink. Or breathe. Or dash. Or talk (except which that you just would be able to need gotten a extraordinarily, truly, truly elephantine wager down, in which case you’re screaming your head off). Something else can happen, and the savory tension all nonetheless paralyzes you.
That’s how I take into accout those final three or four innings of World Sequence Sport 6, 2011. To attain anything else nonetheless inspect each and each pitch with laser-cherish point of curiosity supposed risking that you just’d dash over something inconceivable, compelling or exact ridiculously thrilling. When the ball sailed over Cruz’s glove, I am pleasing obvious we already had reached the point where my editor had fashioned selections for me: Create memoir knowing “A” if Cards snatch; style memoir knowing “B” if Rangers snatch. I even indulge in completely no recollection of what I wrote. I attain take into accout that I left the ballpark feeling right away drained and energized, prompting me to search for samples of Anheuser-Busch’s most neatly-most in fashion products.
Whilst you’re a young sportswriter, the foundation is to listen larger than you talk, to soak in what that you just would be able to. If I had an opportunity to chat with a reporter who lined Joe Carter’s stroll-off in 1993, or Kirk Gibson’s homer in 1988, or Invoice Buckner’s goof in 1986, I asked. I wondered if I’d ever duvet a World Sequence that memorable.
Then 2011 took field. It wasn’t powerful of a pure contention pitting the Cardinals against the Rangers, nonetheless the games were so merely that none of that mattered. When Pujols hit three house runs in Sport 3, I take into accout being floored on the greatness I became once looking at. For Sport 6, I sat with several of my MLB.com teammates in an auxiliary press box down the correct-field line. When Freese’s ninth-inning triple landed, that vantage gave us a level-easy inspect of the bedlam under.
Later on, I take into accout Pujols opining that followers — no longer exact St. Louis followers, nonetheless baseball followers around the country — would take into accout the sport for a truly long time. It became once the history I hoped I’d in some unspecified time in the future take into narrative, and Pujols became once correct. I completely haven’t forgotten.
Of the entire World Sequence I’ve lined for MLB.com relationship wait on to 2001, this is the one I take into accout most vividly. The auxiliary press box became once in a loge located exact above correct field and I distinctly take into accout having a seek down and seeing Cruz playing as deep a correct field as I’ve ever considered. Rangers nearer Feliz had Freese down to his final strike, and then Freese hit a ball to correct field and I concept “oh, that’s it,” nonetheless come what might perhaps — to currently I smooth don’t moderately understand how — the ball purchased over Cruz’s head, tipping off his glove and allowing two runs to bring together. I became once dumbfounded, all of us were. I’d preserve to gaze the Statcast knowledge and spend probability on that play, because as I commit it to memory, he became once playing almost in conjunction with his heels on the filth of the warning tune. It exact seemed cherish he iced up.