November 1, 2006 Edition

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Cardinals come through

Angie Skimahorn
TD Staff

I grew up a Cardinal fan. I had no choice really. My two brothers and my dad watched them every time they were on television ~ and when they weren't on TV, we listened to them on the radio. I thought that once I was grown with a family of my own I would never have to watch a game again...

Of course that is not the way things turned out. By the time I was grown with a family of my own, it was way too late. I had become a diehard fan ~ it's in my blood. When the Cards are on TV ~ I'm watching. If for some reason I can't watch, I'm listening to them on the radio or anxiously awaiting the score.

I have to say ~ of all the years for my team to win the World Series,. I didn't think this would be it. I've been so hopeful and optimistic in the past. I would watch faithfully as they had amazing seasons... only to get to the playoffs or the World Series and totally collapse. The 2004 World Series against the Red Sox is an excellent example. I had no doubt that we would win that one. I was so disappointed when we not only lost ~ but were swept.

This year, the Cardinals had an injury-plagued season with Rolen, Pujols, Edmonds and Eckstein - among others ~ out for extended periods of time or playing at less than 100 percent. We led the division all year but were never what I would call a dominating team. Down the stretch, the Astros started closing the gap, and I didn't expect the Cardinals to make it into the playoffs.

The Cardinals pulled it out though and went on to the playoffs. I didn't want to get my hopes up too high. I wanted to be optimistic, but I kept flashing back to 2004. With each post season win ~ my hopes soared. With each loss ~ I wondered if this would be the beginning of their unraveling.

In the National League Championship Series, bench players Scott Spiezio and So Taguchi came up with some big hits that gave the Cardinals the boost they needed to get to the World Series.

We never really lost our momentum ~ the unraveling never happened. I knew we had it won after game four. The Cardinals were up three games to one. I wanted so badly for them to finish the season off in St. Louis on Friday night. Although I got a little nervous in the ninth inning ~ the Cardinals came through and won the World Series in Busch Stadium in front of the hometown crowd.

It was a long time coming for those of us who have been there so many times in recent history ~ only to watch our team crumble. This Cardinal team had the right chemistry and the drive to win.

I was 10 years old the last time the Cardinals won a World Series ~ hopefully it won't be another 24 years before we win again. If it is, I'll be there ~ faithfully rooting for my team.

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