The initial intention was a simple re-animation of Game Six of the 2011 World Series. So, I tagged my some of my fellow compadres regarding that day in a group text message. I included my brother in El Paso. This was right before first pitch this Friday last, as the Texas Rangers visited Busch Stadium for the first time since the 2011 Fall Classic.
Well, the thread continued for the hours that netted a W for the Rangers -- yes -- at the hands of Nelly Cruz, who drove in the decisive two runs in the 9th. In short, my brother and I "blew up" this thread with animated (at times too colorful) conversation reminiscing what we felt in Game 6.
October 27, 2011
There was a place called, Woody's. There was a scheduled meeting at Woody's, but mostly there was a Game 6. All the superstition and lore regarding baseball was in place by Yours Truly. When the meeting adjourned, we focused all attention to the flat screen.
Just a year before, Game Six of the 2010 ALCS was completed by Neftali Feliz. A-Rod was caught looking at the last strike, which sent the Texas Rangers to their first World Series in franchise history. I cannot deny I stormed to a nearby corner of the ballpark. With one of my flags in hand, I was able to be part of the celebration, as fans were slowly making their way out. Arlington was electric that night.
Fast forward to our evening at Woody's. Ear buds broadcasting Nadel's radio call in my ears (I always have the radio on for baseball).
I won't relive the entire grueling, but fascinating game. That's plastered all over the Internet. But, after Beltre and Cruz hit back-to-back HRs, to give Feliz a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 9th, and with one strike away from winning the 2011 Fall Classic, Freese, like Aaron "Bleeping" Boone did the Red Sox in 2003, put a ball out of Cruz's reach in RF. The commentary of why and how he missed that ball has been discussed ad nauseum. Nelly was compared to Buckner. Yes, Knight turned third and scored in 1986 for the Mets from a routine ground ball missed by Bucker at first. Yes, Freese turned this ball into a triple and tied the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Extra innings. When Josh "This Isn't a Baseball Town" Hamilton put a different ball in the RF bleachers in the very next inning, I left the contingency at Woody's, and went home to my ladies. We were sure the ghosts of baseball had left the Rangers dugout. This. Had. To. Be. The. Moment.
Feldman replaced Feliz, and also had one strike left for all the marbles. Freese, however, had other ideas. The St. Louis area native put that pitch in the center field grassy area over the wall, and Joe Buck in a very timely manner said, "We will see you...tomorrow." I'm not a fan of Buck, but he nailed that call for baseball fans.
I knew it was over. I didn't even watch Game 7. I know, "What kind of fan are you?"
The emotional toil from Game 6 was enough for me. I couldn't watch Game 7.
So, today, on this beautiful Sunday in Arlington, the Rangers find themselves at the cusp of sweeping the top-ranked Cardinals at Busch stadium. Nelly's RBI on Friday made us feel a lot better about that fly ball.
What this series means this season, who knows? There's still a lot of baseball to play.
Ooooh, but if feels so good!
Where were you in Game Six?