Top Five Iconic Cardinals Moments
Posted by JE Powell
The January (yes, I know, I am a little late putting this up) United Cardinal Bloggers monthly project is for bloggers to list their top five iconic moments in Cardinals history. So, here are my Top Five:
5. The Ozzie Smith Backflip
My first taste of Cardinals fever started in the early ’80s when my dad and grandpa took me to my first game. Growing up in the ’80s I do not have a more clear or fond memory of Cardinals baseball than seeing Ozzie Smith do his backflip. As a youngster of five or six years, I was enthralled watching him do that and when I think of Cardinals baseball in the ’80s I think Ozzie Smith and his backflip.
4. McGwire’s 62nd Home Run
I realize that this feat has been tainted with Mark McGwire’s admission of taking steriods, but the home run race in 1998 between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa helped bring baseball back into the mainstream. The strike in 1994 had hurt the sport, but the home run duel between Big Mac and Sosa aided in bringing it back and the first one to 62 homers was Big Mac. I remember seeing him run the bases (nearly missing 1st in the process) and was extremely excited that the home run record now belonged to a Cardinal. I may take some slack for this pick, but at the time it was monumental.
3. Freese’s Helmet Slam
Yep, this one was very recent, but it will go down, in my opinion, as one of the greatest moments in World Series history. Game six of the WS was a tight one. While not necessarily the most well played game, it featured many WS firsts. The greatest moment was David Freese hitting a solo home run to end the game and as he neared home plate he slammed his batting helmet on the ground between his legs. One could certainly argue that the home run itself was iconic, but the image of Freese jumping up with the helmet going between his legs will live on for decades.
2. “Go Crazy Folks, Go Crazy!”
Is there a more famous line in Cardinals history? In baseball history? Ozzie Smith hit the game winning home run in game 5 of the 1985 Nation League Championship Series and Jack Buck, one of the greatest announcers Major League baseball has ever had, utter the immortal line, “Go crazy folks, go crazy…” I was only four at the time, but that is a phrase that will endure the test of time. In fact, that line is probably more famous than Smith’s home run.
1. Slaughter’s Mad Dash
I, of course, didn’t get to see this happen, nor do I recall even hearing audio of it, but it’s a moment so iconic that 60 years later my grandpa loved to tell me about it (there is even a wikipedia page about it, though I realize anyone can make a page there, I still think it’s pretty cool). The 1946 World Series was between the Cardinals and the Red Sox and the Mad Dash occured in the 8th inning of a tied game. Enos Slaughter was on 1st with 2 outs and Harry Walker got a hit on a hit and run. Slaughter ran through a stop sign and managed to score from 1st on the play.
My grandpa was working for Ford on the assembly line at the time and was listening to the game on the radio since each car had the radio tuned to the game by someone earlier on the line. It was a play that is still talked about, albeit from time to time, 6o+ years later. It was my grandpa’s favorite moment and has become one of mine just by hearing the joy in his voice when he would reminisce about it.
There you have it.
Those are my picks for the top five iconic moments. There are quite a few to choose from, but these are the ones that I think of when I think Cardinals baseball.