In an alternate universe, David Freese is an outcast. His dropped pop-up cost the Cardinals the World Series. But in the real world, he is a redemption story. His mistake was not a huge one. It wasn’t on the same level as Buckner, but it was a mistake on the grandest of stages. It was a mistake Freese was able to overcome with an amazing offensive performance.
The kid from St. Louis seemed to come from nowhere in the NLCS. In fact, he was interviewed after winning the NLCS MVP and asked how it felt being the MVP on a team with players like Pujols, Holliday, and Berkman. Well, he can be asked that question again. Berkman had an impressive World Series, Pujols had a three home run night, and while ineffective Holliday is a threat every time he steps to the plate. But it was Freese who was crowned MVP of the World Series.
As you all know by now, Freese hit a game-tying triple in Game Six followed later by a game-winning home run. In Game Seven, with the Cardinals already in a 2-0 hole before they even game to bat, things were starting to look bleak. But Freese, again, knocked in the game-tying runs with two outs. From there, the Cardinals never looked back and Freese earned the hardware.
Pretty good for a guy with 98 career RBI in three seasons. Pretty good for a guy making $416,000 a year. He’s quickly becoming one of the best young players in the league. In his first three seasons in the league, Freese has compiled a .298/.354/.429 triple slash. At 28, Freese has plenty of years ahead of him. And playing in his hometown, Freese may be able to provide Cardinals fans a decent replacement for their star if Pujols decides to leave for greener pastures.
David Freese became the sixth person to win the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP in the same postseason under it’s current format. He almost single-handedly lead the Cardinals to their 11th World Championship. His heroics helped provide one of the greatest World Series games in history. And he will forever be remembered for it. (After Game Six, the Hall of Fame asked for his bat. Freese, claiming he was not superstitious, gave them the bat and used a new one for Game Seven. So, apparently the bat had very little to do with Freese’s success)
Now, the calendar turns to November. Winter is peeking around the corner ready to turn ballfields across the country to frozen tundras. We have over 100 days before pitchers and catchers report. Sure there will be off-season story lines to follow, but even without those, this World Series will give us something to remember. We can hold on to Freese’s monstrous World Series as the fuel to get us through baseball’s hibernation period that is winter.