As the Cardinals stand on the brink of making the play-offs, here is a little something to put you in the right mood. I like to collect tickets from historic games. And these are tickets from 10 of the Redbirds' Fall Classic appearances.
Back row, left to right:
- 1942 (the yellow ticket) Used by a fan who sat in the Yankee Stadium bleachers to watch Stan Musial win his first World Series ring. It's from clinching game five in New York in which St. Louis hurler Johnny Beazley beat the Yankees' Red Ruffing 4-2. Enos Slaughter and Whitey Kurowski each hit a homer for the Cardinals.
- 1944 (White ticket with red and blue lettering) This ticket was an upper deck seat behind home plate for the first game of the Streetcar Series at Sportsman's Park. Cardinals starter Mort Cooper held the Browns to only two hits over seven innings in the only all St. Louis series. Unfortunately, the first one was a single in the fourth inning by right fielder Gene "Rowdy Moore and the other one was a homer from the very next hitter, first baseman George McQuinn. Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion was 2-for-4 and scored the National leaguers' only run in a 2-1 loss. The Brownies' Denny Galehouse got the win, but the Cardinals took the series in six games.
- 1967 In the center is a ticket to game 3 of the 1967 series, during which Nellie Briles beat the Red Sox 5-2 with a complete game, seven hit performance. Lou Brock and Roger Maris were each 2-for-4 and Mike Shannon was 2-for-3 with a homer to pace the Cardinals offense.
- 1968 Although it was a heartbreaking series for Cardinals fans, this is probably the best looking World Series ticket in my collection. In game two, the Tigers pounded the Cardinals 8-1 with '67 Series star Nellie Briles giving up four runs in five innings. Future Hall of Fame Steve Carlton came in to relieve and was thrashed for four hits and a walk to give up two runs in one inning or work. Mickey Lolich won the game for the Tigers. Al Kaline, Norm Cash and Willie Horton combined to go 7-for-13 in the middle of the Tigers order and score six runs.
Front row, left to right
- 1964 A ticket to game 2 of the Cardinals World Series against the Yankees, New York's Mel Stottlemyre beat Bob Gibson in an 8-3 game. Mickey Mantle was 1-for-4 with a walk and scored two runs while driving in two more. Dick Groat, Mike Shannon and Carl Warwick scored the St. Louis runs.
- 2006 The big ticket in the center is from game 3 of the Cardinals' most recent championship. Chris Carpenter held the Tigers to three hits over eight innings as he struck out six and walked none. Centerfielder Jim Edmonds doubled just inside the first base bag in the fourth to drive in a pair of runs.
- 1982 The two leftmost tickets in the big plastic case are from the Cardinals Fall Classic against the Brewers. The first is game two, played in St. Louis, in which Redbirds rookie John Stupor beat veteran Don Sutton 5-4. Steve Braun drew a bases loaded walk in the eighth inning to drive in George Hendrick with the deciding run. Bruce Sutter got the save after Milwaukee's Paul Molitor led off the ninth with a bunt single but was nailed trying to steal second base followed by a ground out from Robin Yount and a flyout from Cecil Cooper. The other ticket is from game 5 in Milwaukee in which Bob Forsch lost to Mike Caldwell to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
- 1985 The gold ticket is from game 4 of the 1985 World Series against the Royals in which John Tudor beat Bud Black 3-0. Tito Landrum hit a solo homer in the second to give the Cardinals the lead. Willie McGee hit a solo shot in the second to make it 2-0 and Terry Pendleton scored on an error in the fifth to round out the scoring.
-1987 Danny Cox outdueled Bert Bleyleven in game 5 to give the Cardinals a 3-2 lead before the series headed back to Minnesota. The Cardinals did their damage in the fourth inning when left fielder Vince Coleman singled, Ozzie Smith bunted for a hit. They double stole with one out, prompting the Twins to walk Dan Driessen, then Curt Ford singled and Jose Oquendo reached on an error to give St. Louis a 3-0 lead.
- 2004 The Cardinals worst World Series appearance, some Red Sox fan offered me $2,000 for my tickets just before I walked into the stadium. I turned him down only to watch Pedro Martinez and the Red Sox hold the Birds to four hits. Steriod-fueled Manny Ramirez hit a homer as did Cardinals right fielder Larry Walker.