A project is proposed by the United Cardinal Bloggers to the membership every month. Ranging from prospect ranking to awards voting to roundtable discussions, the projects invoke thought and give a solid picture of some of the best baseball minds that follow the team closely. The various sites provide unique thoughts.
Occasionally, the project strikes more of a creative tone than an analytic one. This month, the question was based on the new Timeless Ticket from the Milwaukee Brewers. A unique opportunity to purchase a Golden Ticket to attend any single game in the future of the franchise, the promotion has garnered a lot of attention.
The project for this month adds a wrinkle to that promotion. What if the Golden Ticket came with a time machine? One game, any game, from your team’s history. Which game would you be in attendance for?
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Just pick a game. Gibby’s 20 strikeouts. McGwire’s 62 (or 70). Ozzie’s 2500 hits. Any game from Stan’s career. Lou’s record breaking steals. The Denkinger Game. The Sandberg Game (which was almost the McGee game). The choices, when discussing a historic franchise, are virtually endless.
So, I’d go back to October 27, 2006. Awfully recent date, isn’t it?
You see, until that date, I had not personally witnessed a World Series victory for my favorite team. I was too young in 1982, though I was alive. But October 27, 2006 was something special.
For years, my dad had told me about how the great Cardinals teams of the past were. As I went to games as a kid, I suffered through losses in 1985 and 1987. From there, I had the woeful teams of the early 1990’s. I loved my Cardinals, but they left me wondering if I would ever be able to tell my son about the great teams I got to watch.
Sure, there were moments. I watched Mark Whitten have a historic double-header. I watched Felix Jose hit a home run off the scoreboard, a feat so great only one other player had ever done it. But there was no World Championship. There were no bragging rights.
But then came 2006. They opened a new ballpark, the first of which my father and I would both see as a new stadium. You see, baseball and family run side by side for me. I cannot think about baseball without thinking of my dad. So a stadium we could both call our own was something special. Even more so was a championship we could enjoy together.
I sat in my dad’s living room for the final pitch of the 2006 World Series. I watched Adam Wainwright strikeout Brandon Inge and fell to my knees in front of the television. For the first time in my memory, my team had reached the pinnacle of its sport. For the first time in my memory, I watched my team celebrate a world championship with my dad.
We were not together in 2011 when they put up another banner. He passed away in 2012, ensuring that we would not be together for another one. The championship of 2006 proved to be the one series that dad and I enjoyed together.
So, I’d go back, just a short time to 2006. I’d watch the final out of a World Championship. I’d fall to my knees all over again. I wouldn’t even care if I was at the stadium. I would be just as satisfied to be in that living room again.
Because, ultimately, I’d go back just to savor the moment with Dad.
Bill Ivie is the founder of i70baseball
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