Commentary Magazine


The Best Month in Baseball History

“Contentions” is not a website usually devoted to sports, but from time to time it does take note of feats of excellence. And so a word is in order about the World Series that ended late Friday night between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. As Tom Boswell of the Washington Post points out, it was the capstone to perhaps the best month in baseball history.

It all began with what is generally regarded as the most riveting day (September 28) in the history of the regular season, in which both the Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays came back from record deficits at the beginning of September to win, in thrilling fashion, on the final day (the Cardinals were 10 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the wild card slot just a month before the regular season ended).

The Cardinals, who should never have made the playoffs, then went on to prevail against (among others) the Philadelphia Phillies, with one of the best starting
rotations ever assembled.

As for the World Series: it included the finest hitting performance by a player in a World Series game (Albert Pujols in Game 3, which included three home runs, five total hits, six RBIs, and 14 total bases). And then came Game Six, which many consider the finest game in World Series history, with the Cardinals not once but twice coming back after being down to their last strike of the season (the Cardinals overcame two-run deficits in the 9th and 10th innings before eventually winning 10-9 in the 11th inning). The Cardinal’s victory in game 7 completed the best long-shot comeback in the sport’s history. As Boswell puts it, it was a “drive from irrelevance to a title the like of which has never been seen since the World Series began in 1903. It was worth the wait.”

Indeed it was.