Long after David Freese launched an improbableof Game 6 last night, a message burned brightly on the Busch Stadium scoreboard: "See you TOMORROW NIGHT for Game 7 of the World Series!"
"We'll see you tomorrow night!" It's a line made famous by legendary Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck. Twenty years ago, Buck used those five words to call one of the most memorable walk-off home runs in World Series Game 6 history - Kirby Puckett's 11th-inning blast, which propelled the Minnesota Twins over the Atlanta Braves in 1991.
Now after one of the most thrilling Game 6's ever, baseball fans get to savor something that hasn't happened since 2002 - a World Series Game 7.
Suddenly the Cardinals, who were twice one strike away from elimination, have history on their side.
Here are some numbers that are sure to encourage the Red Birds: Home teams have won the last eight Game 7s in the World Series - a streak that started with the Cardinals beating Milwaukee in 1982. And which team has won the most Game 7's ever? You guessed it - the Cardinals, who have won 7 of 10 of the clinching games.
World Series Game 7s may be rare but they are rarely boring. Here are a few memorable moments, courtesy of the Associated Press:
- 1912: The Giants were one out from beating the Red Sox when Fred Snodgrass dropped a routine fly ball in center field. Tris Speaker's single tied the score and Larry Gardner's sacrifice fly won it 3-2.
- 1924: Earl McNeely's grounder bounced over rookie Giants third baseman Freddie Lindstrom's head to bring home Muddy Ruel with the winning run in the 12th inning, giving the original Washington Senators a 4-3 victory
- 1926: Babe Ruth was thrown out trying to steal second base for the final out as the Cardinals beat the Yankees 3-2.
- 1946: The score was tied at 3 in the eighth when the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter scored from first on Harry Walker's hit as Boston Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky hesitated with his relay after receiving the throw from outfielder Leon Culberson.
- 1955: Brooklyn fans treasure Johnny Podres' 2-0 win over the Yankees, who beat the Dodgers in the Series five times previously.
- 1957: Lew Burdette pitched a shutout on two days' rest to lead the Milwaukee Braves over the Yankees' Don Larsen 5-0.
- 1960: Bill Mazeroski's Series-ending home run in 1960 lifted Pittsburgh over the Yankees 10-9.
- 1962: The Giants fell 1-0 in Game 7 to the Yankees when Bobby Richardson gloved Willie McCovey's line drive to end the game with Willie Mays stranded at second.
- 1965: Sandy Koufax pitched a shutout on two days' rest as Los Angeles defeated Minnesota's Jim Kaat 2-0.
- 1975: Cincinnati's Joe Morgan got the go-ahead hit off Boston's Jim Burton - who never pitched in the major leagues again - to give the Reds a 4-3 victory at Fenway Park.
- 1986: The Mets overcame a 3-0 deficit against the Red Sox in Game 7 as Ray Knight and Darryl Strawberry homered in an 8-5 victory.
- 1991: Gene Larkin's 10th-inning single gave Minnesota a 1-0 win over Atlanta behind Jack Morris' seven-hitter.
- 1997: Edgar Renteria's 11th-inning single that won the title for Florida against Cleveland.
- 2001: Randy Johnson came out of the bullpen on no days' rest and the Diamondbacks rallied for two runs in the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera, beating the Yankees 3-2 on Luis Gonzalez's broken-bat single.