By Kelsey Rettke
The World Series. The epic culmination to the Major League Baseball season, a heralded event that every fan dreams of attending to cheer on their home team. Luckily, the St. Louis Cardinals made it to that end. After a rough season fraught with disappointment the Cardinals have come back with a vengeance. After clinching the wild card spot, the Cards swiftly blew past the Phillies, and then the Brewers in the NLDS landing themselves triumphantly in the World Series, their 18th appearance.
And so it was with great excitement and anticipation that I eagerly awaited fall break, because I knew that I would get to be at the epic game on Wednesday, Oct. 19, game 2 of the World Series.
I couldn’t believe it. I had never been to a World Series game before—I had gone to a playoﬀ game in 2006, but never before have I ever experienced such intensity at a game before! Say what you will about the Cardinals, but St. Louis truly is baseball heaven. No other sport in the city is given quite the attention, or devotion.
My uncle is the Director of Stadium Operations for Busch Stadium so he was able to score some tickets nine rows behind home plate for the game. Before the game he took us to see the Budweiser Clydesdales (they always make an appearance at a St. Louis World Series, pulling along a red wagon with two drivers and a Dalmatian). They were huge and perfectly groomed.
We ﬁnally sat down and the crowd was already roaring. What a sight. I think I sat in my seat a total of three times. The rest was spent standing up and cheering along with the crowd.
Rally towels made the crowd seem like it was ﬂowing in one conjoined mass, all cheering as one connected fan base for our team. When the Cardinals scored a run, people I didn’t even know who sat around me were high ﬁving me and cheering along with us. As my cousin said “It doesn’t count unless you lose your voice.”
Over the past few weeks, there has been a new addition to the Cardinals family: the Rally Squirrel! During the race for the Wild Card spot, a squirrel kept running onto the ﬁeld and disrupting the game, and so the fans decided to name it the “Rally Squirrel.” Almost a day later, it happened again! Within a day or two, there were suddenly Rally Squirrel t-shirts popping up everywhere—I saw a man at the game with a little stuﬀed animal squirrel attached to his baseball cap—even the Build-A-Bear in the stadium has Rally Squirrels now.
I had probably the most fun I have ever had at a Cardinals game that Wednesday night. Not even bothered by the cold, I was wrapped in my die-hard Cardinals garb, cheering on the greatest team on earth in Cardinal Nation.
Even though the Cardinals lost that game, it was a once-in-a-lifetime (although I certainly hope not) experience. The raw energy from the crowd alone was enough for me. It’s all about the atmosphere, right? Sure, I could watch the games at home, but if you can be there, if you can say that you were at a World Series game, well then, that’s something else entirely.”