Baseball, for all of its faults in trying to become a sport that can use modern technology (replay, time of games, etc.) has no peer when it comes to drama at the highest stage. True, the sport can be irritating and annoying in the midst of the NBA playoffs and its All-Star Game losing luster and respect year after year but when it comes to drama in the postseason, few could rival what goes on in the World Series.

This Fall Classic already had enough storylines going into it that made it great. The Cardinals were going for their 11th World Series title in 2011, the Rangers had come back to the Series after being punched out by Brian Wilson & the San Francisco Giants last season, Nelson Cruz had just gone ape over the Detroit Tigers by blasting HRs like they were nothing & the Cardinals already had the best player in the game in Albert Pujols.

So far, the Series lived up to all expectations without even needing the Yankees or Red Sox to carry ratings. Pujols did his best Babe Ruth/Reggie Jackson impersonation by belting three bombs in Game 3, Derek Holland pitched an absolute gem in Game 4 and bad managing from a legend in Tony La Russa cost the Cards in Game 5.

But Game 6? An instant classic.

For seven innings, Game 6 looked to be marred by bad base running and the inevitable shot of Dallas exploding in newfound baseball euphoria as their team won their first world title.

Then the eighth inning happened.

The Cards as they had done all year began clawing back from a 7 – 4 deficit, getting a run in the eighth to start a presumed rally. Then the ninth inning came with the Rangers only need a strike, one strike to clinch the title and then St. Louis hometown kid David Freese, not Albert Pujols ripped a ball that sailed over the head of Cruz who refused to crash into the wall to make a web gem for the final out. Two runs score, the Cards had tied it at 7.

Pacemaker level at that time? High.

The tenth inning shared the same drama, only with Josh Hamilton of the Rangers delivering a moon shot to right field and giving the Rangers a two run lead. Hamilton, who’d been through enough this season with the death of a fan at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington due to a freak accident had looked to be the storybook hero who exorcised personal demons to get to the sports ultimate perch.

Until the Rangers bullpen found themselves yet again within a strike of clinching. Then it was former Astro Lance Berkman giving the Red Birds life with a double of his own that knotted the game up at 9. Astros fans cursed, Rangers fans were in disbelief and Busch Stadium couldn’t believe it. Twice, the Cardinals were at death’s proverbial door and TWICE, they ducked the death swing.

Fittingly, the game ended in the 11th by the hometown kid who sent a baseball into the air in need of the sort of Disney orchestration you find in their sports films and landed in center field. On a patch of grass near delirious Cardinals fans.

The Cards had won.

On a walk-off home run, in a do-or-die situation when they were supposed to lose in consecutive innings and yet found a way to win. You know the odd thing about all that storybook magic? There’s still a Game 7 to be played tonight.

But somehow, it’s games like these that pull in viewers who could care less about the sport. Because no other sport can bring the drama like baseball and drama is the key component in whether you live or die by sport. Someone has to win, someone has to lose. But the stories that piece those two moments together are what make sports beautiful.

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