It has been seven years since the St. Louis Cardinals secured their last World Series – the franchise’s 11th and arguably the most exciting one yet.
Before the 2011 season even started, the odds were not in favor of the Cardinals. Contract talks with the team’s best slugger, Albert Pujols, stalled, causing unneeded distraction within the team. And a couple days after the start of training camp, their best pitcher, Adam Wainwright, suffered an injury.
130 games into the season, St. Louis had a mere 4.3 percent chance of entering the playoffs. Their only opportunity to make it into the postseason was through a wild-card entry, but they were 10-and-a-half games behind wild-card leading Atlanta Braves. In the last 32 games, the Cardinals made their comeback, winning all but nine of them to steal the last playoff spot from the Braves.
In every postseason series, St. Louis was always the underdog, yet the team kept on finding ways to get the victory. They eventually reached the World Series where they faced the Texas Rangers, who were considered as one of the best defensive teams in both the American League and National League.
After six matches, it seemed that the Rangers were going to walk away with the Commissioner’s Trophy. But the Cardinals would make another comeback. Twice, they were one strike away from elimination, but they dug deep and found another gear to survive. And in the seventh game, St. Louis played better to claim the title, becoming the first wild card team to win the World Series since 2004.