A beautiful Saturday morning, Adam Wainwright makes his spring debut in a few hours, and another step closer to the Cardinals opening the regular season — now 15 more days!
There’s an obvious Cardinals No. 15 to choose for today: Jim Edmonds. And of course I should want to highlight another one of the MV3 from 2004, following Scott Rolen a couple weeks ago, especially with his game-winning walk-off in Game Six of the 2004 NLCS and his induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame last year.
Or I could have done something fun on the guys still on the team now who did wear 15 for a while, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay. Maybe even something on Randal Grichuk.
Nope. Has to be Darrell Porter.
Every die-hard baseball fan has a story — that player and that moment when the game steals their heart and changes their life forever. For my friend Michael, it was Darrell Porter in Game Seven of the 1982 World Series.
Down 3-1 in the sixth in Game Seven, the Cardinals score three times to take a 4-3 lead.
But against Milwaukee, no lead was safe. I was pacing. For the first time in my life, I was nervous, tense, all edge-of-my-seat over a baseball game. C’mon, guys. I was counting outs.
Then the moment which changed my life as much as an English teacher’s decision that school year to assign seats in alphabetcal order.
Darrell Porter singles the other way to make the score 5-3; another hit, 6-3. He did, yes, he did. Darrell Porter came to the rescue — it’s not a one-run lead anymore.
We’re counting outs out loud now. Thanks, Dad, for letting me stay up and watch this on a school night. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Two outs in the ninth. Gorman Thomas keeps fouling them off. Swing, miss, Sutter fist in the air, me, two fists in the air, “Yesssss!” And who knew Darrell Porter was a country boy, talking like that in the postgame interview? MVP, who else would be?
But that’s just part of Michael’s story about Darrell Porter — take a few minutes and read the whole thing here.
There was no other real option for today and No. 15.
Because of Darrell Porter.
Just 15 more days!