While Cubs fans have to think back to a time before the Great War to reminisce about their most recent World Series win, Cardinals fans can glance back at recent history. The most recent, of course, was the miracle team of 2011. If you go a few years back, however, you’ll find an equally unlikely champion in 2006. We’ve now hit the ten-year anniversary of that team. In honor of the ’06 champions, the Cardinals are running a promotion on July 16th where they will be giving away 2006 World Series Replica Rings to the first 30,000 fans 16 and over. Winning Streak is getting in on the giveaway action, as one lucky follower of our Facebook page will be attending the game against the Miami Marlins with a guest as our treat. In honor of our June Giveaway, we’d like to take a stroll down memory lane.
The year was 2006. The Cardinals were coming off of a National League Championship in 2004 and a near miss and a second pennant the year after in 2005. Going in to 2006, the Cardinals seemed primed for a third straight 100+ win season. They had the MV3 of Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen, a promising young catcher named Yadier Molina, and a rotation fronted by reigning Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, and former Cy Young runner-up Mark Mulder.
However, things did not go according to plan. Injuries decimated the team’s core, and the rotation in particular suffered greatly, with Carpenter and innings-eater Jeff Supan proving to be the only reliable options. An injury also forced a late-season collapse for closer Jason Isringhausen which put rookie Adam Wainwright in the spotlight. The team limped into the playoffs with just 83 wins (the least by any World Series winner), and barely won the Central Division after a late charge by the Houston Astros. Many Cardinals fans will remember the home crowd at Busch Stadium rooting on the Atlanta Braves (who were playing the Astros on the last day of the season) with the Braves’ signature tomahawk chop.
When the playoffs started, though, the Cardinals came alive. Unlikely heroes like Jeff Weaver, Scott Spiezio, and Anthony Reyes, along with contributions by rising young stars like Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, and clutch play by veterans like David Eckstein propelled the Cardinals to the title.
Don’t Forget to Enter Our Contest!
There is still time to enter our June Giveaway and have a chance at winning a pair of tickets to the July 16th game, and by extension a chance at a 2006 Replica Ring. All you have to do is like and share the post pinned at the top of our page. Best of luck to you, friend!