The phenomenon of the Rally Squirrel, our favorite good luck charm of the NLDS, still continues during the NLCS. In fact, squirrel sightings are spreading throughout all of Cardinal Nation.
My count: five squirrels in two days. True, squirrels are not uncommon around my office — the building’s adjacent to a wooded area and squirrels dart across the sidewalk or through the parking lot from time to time. But not like this.
As I walked into work Monday — disappointed in Sunday’s loss, already anxious about game two — a squirrel ran from a hedge next to the door onto the sidewalk. It paused for a moment before dashing over to the trees on the other side. Ah, my own Rally Squirrel, telling me not to worry!
But wait, there’s more.
Leaving for lunch, driving toward the parking lot’s exit, there was another one — running across the pavement. Hours later, going home for the day, I got into my car. As I went to turn the key, I noticed something in the parking lot: another squirrel was running through, but it paused for several seconds right in front of my car. Honestly!
And we know how things turned out in Milwaukee that night. Thank you, Rally Squirrel!
The sightings haven’t ended, though. Yesterday I walked into a coworkers office, one with a large window straight ahead. What was out there? Two squirrels, one chasing the other. “Rally squirrels!” I exclaimed. My coworker looked puzzled, which was fine. She’s not a baseball fan.
Yet rally squirrels aren’t just visiting Illinois. Cardinals fan Joanne (@AllAlbertPujols on Twitter) shared her rally squirrel experience — in California. “Monday I was driving from a shoot with my producer, and I screamed at her to stop when a squirrel ran across the road. She said, ‘It’s just a rabid squirrel!’ I said, ‘Nooo, it’s a rally squirrel! It’s a good omen!'”
And the rally squirrels are in Arkansas as well — Miranda has had her share of encounters this week.
“I see squirrels a lot. Tree-filled neighborhood and a campus full of beautiful trees … the squirrels are plentiful and very friendly. They will wait for you to pass if you are in a car. If you are on a run or walk, they will sit, eat their nuts and watch. On Monday, I observed an overly friendly one run up towards my car as I was driving to campus. I seriously thought he was going to show me a Cardinal shirt under his squirrelly garb. It was as if he was letting me know it was going to be a good day.
“Yesterday morning I was on an exercise bike and there was one scampering around in the backyard. Once he noticed me, he stopped, shook his little tail and began digging around.”
Hello, Rally Squirrel!
Today’s a new day, tonight’s a new game — and the first one at Busch Stadium since the Rally Squirrel had his moment on the big stage. Yet he will definitely be a presence, whether he scampers onto the field again or not.
All fans at tonight’s game will receive a rally towel “with a squirrel motif,” plus stuffed Rally Squirrels will be available for $5 at the Cardinals team store. So will “Got Squirrel” t-shirts. Of course the @BuschSquirrel Twitter feed is going strong and up to nearly 24,000 followers.
And while I’ll be alert for squirrel sightings as I make my way through the day, I can’t help but have one thought.
Poor Torty Craig.
Had your own Rally Squirrel encounter this week? Share your story below!
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.