It is no surprise that I would write about the inspiring run of our St. Louis Cardinals—after all I live in St. Louis and we believe win or lose, this is baseball heaven. This was even more true this year as we saw our Redbirds come from 10 1/2 games behind in August to win the World Series in 7 nail biting games on October 28, 2011. St. Louis fans are not usually fair weather but this year I had a lot more people tell me they had not attended a game than usual. And while our sales held up at Busch stadium thanks to the diehards, we could see attendance slipping just a little. We all needed some magic.
What is more magical than animals? Yes, even the Cards can be influenced by furry friends. We have a store in Busch Stadium if they need one close by to hug, but this came from a real live furry friend—a squirrel who just needed more time to collect his acorns and food scraps and wandered into the stadium to give the Cards some encouragement. “We need more games,” he seemed to say as he was shooed away. It worked!! Rally Squirrel as the fans named him was just what the doctor ordered to shake things up. His determination to go live in Busch Stadium was contagious and the rest as they say is history. The fans started cheering and the players got the message:
If a squirrel can make it to homeplate, so can you!
Of course there is more to winning the Wild Card berth, the NLCS and then the World Series than the motivation a fuzzy, grey squirrel can provide. Like in any business it takes uncommon leadership, plan, a team—24 players + Albert Pujols, determination, encouragement and yes, just a little bit of luck too. The Cards had all that plus a great story.
The Ace-Chris Carpenter
The Utility Man- Allen Craig
The Hometown boy- David Freese.
The Cardinals have given the world something to think about and learn from—giving up is not an option. You have to come to the plate every time as if this is the last. It all matters and there are no sure things—no guaranteed job. Lemons can become lemonade. Change is good and it takes hard work. Thanks David Freese for reminding us that dreams do really come true and being from St. Louis is an honor.
The American dream is alive in well in St. Louis, Missouri (home of Beer, Baseball and Bears) aka Baseball Heaven, USA.