5 Years Ago Today, David Freese Became A Cardinals Legend

World Series Rangers Cardinals Baseball

Five years ago tonight, what were you doing?

Any other day you ask me that question and I’m going to struggle mightily to give you an answer. It’s hard enough to tell you what I did last week.

But today?

I know exactly where I was: Busch Stadium. Watching the greatest baseball game I’ll ever see…

Ben Hochman of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a nice article today telling the story of various people’s memory of that night.

He inspired me to re-run my David Freese GM6 story below.

First, a quick aside…

In a few hours I’m getting on a plane to go to Denver to visit my friend Bo. The same Bo from the story below. I don’t think either of us knew when I planned this trip that we’d be together for the 5th anniversary of ‘The Freese Game’. Sometimes things are just meant to be, I suppose.

Ok, now the story. From January 4th 2012:

The following story is true. 

It can be verified by other people, including an employee of the Cardinals. And it probably would have been one of the all-time classics, if not, for you know, what happened.

Game 6. 

I wasn’t going to go. I had 2 standing room tickets to the game, but I also had a ticket to Game 7. If the Cardinals lost, well, I didn’t want to see that. And if they won? I was in the door for Game 7. If not for my friend Bo literally flying in that morning from Denver to go to the game, I wasn’t interested. In fact, I asked him If we should sell the tickets and make a little cash. He made it clear we were going to the game.

For all the games I’ve been to, including a previous World Series game, I’d never had standing room tickets. I figured we’d get in like 30 minutes before the game and be set. Turns out there are people that go in 2 hours before the game and lay down like they’re in a coffin to protect spots for themselves and friends. Long story short, Bo and I were in the upper deck, RF, with an obstructed view when I started texting my other friend, who works for the Cardinals. 

She tells us there are some spots to stand by the Bow Tie Bar in LF. We go and are thankful. 

Cut to the top of the 5th. Bo and Cardinals friend decided to go to the bathroom. David Freese has just dropped the easiest fly ball of all time. And I’m apoplectic. I’m also kind of tipsy and convinced that my ‘Freese is the new Buckner’ line is pure comedy gold. I say it to a few people milling around and not much reaction. I say it again, louder, to no one in particular. I come with a third time to a lady walking by who seems to be as upset about the drop as I am.

“He’ll make up for it.”

Lady, no. You DON’T come back from errors like that. It’s a sign. Everything that Freese has done to this point is moot. He’ll be the guy that dropped that fly ball FOREVER.

“He’s an awesome guy and he’ll make up for it. I know it.”

I don’t give a sheeeeeeeet about how nice he is, who cares about how nice he is? Did you just see that drop? That’s the most awful play in the history of this franchise.

“That’s my brother.”

Bo and Cardinals employee are walking back at this point. Want to know who I’m talking to. You know, just David Freese’s sister. Yes, we asked for a driver’s licence (name changed since marriage). Yes, now that you mention it, she does look like David. Yes, she did have seats, but was too nervous and needed to walk around. Yes, we’re absolutely sure it was Pam, David Freese’s sister. 

Today, I say, Pam was more right than I ever could have imagined. David did more than make up for that drop and erase any thought of being called Buckner Jr. 

I’ve told this story a handful of times, and trust me, it sounds pretty unbelievable to me that the one person wanting to argue about David Freese being the new Bill Buckner at Game 6 of the World Series was actually David Freese’s sister. 

But it’s true. And it’ll be one of the things I remember most about Game 6. I’ve never been so wrong.

And this is coming from a guy who tried to not go to the game in the first place.

After this story ran, my cousin happened to run into David Freese (at a promotional event, I think) and he asked him about his sister’s experience at GM6.

He said it’s one of his family’s favorite stories about the game.

Oh, and if nothing else I wanted to get on the record that all the quotes above are paraphrases. I didn’t take notes. There are no recordings of this. But you get the jist.

Happy anniversary, Cardinals fans.

Photo: The Blaze

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