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World Series: Oh what a night (for Cardinal fans)

October 28, 2011 |  9:25 am


St. Louis is undeniably a baseball town, if for no other reason than the sport keeps football fans from dwelling on the fact that the Rams are winless nearly two months into the football season.

But Thursday's cardiac comeback, in which the Cardinals rallied from deficits five times -- the final two times after being down to their last strike -- to win Game 6 of the World Series has taken the fever pitch up a few octaves.

More than an hour after Thursday's game -- which lasted 4 hours and 33 minutes over 11 innings, the first extra-inning World Series game since 2005 -- several hundred fans remained in the stands behind the Cardinals' abandoned dugout, chanting.

The scene outside Busch Stadium was even more festive, with huge clots of fans, all dressed in Cardinal red, milling about the ballpark. No one seemed to want to leave, yet no one seemed to know what to do either. Which isn't surprising since there has never been a World Series game like Thursday's, one in which the Cardinals and Texas Rangers traded late-round punches like two heavyweight contenders before David Freese delivered the knockout blow with a solo homer leading off the 11th.

Every so often a fan in the excited but well-behaved crowd would shout out a tribute to the Cardinals, to Freese or just to life in general. And even at 1 a.m., sports-talk radio was buzzing with elated fans calling in just to have someone to share the moment with.

At Gateway Burgers in the Union Station Mall about a mile from Busch Stadium, workers were making plans to set up a mobile grill on Market Street for the Cardinals' victory parade -- and this was more than five hours before Game 6 even started.

Friday morning they were ordering more hamburger patties and buns.


Freese frame: Man of the hour

Hey, neither side is willing to give in

Rangers run through their pitchers in Game 6

-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from St. Louis

Photo: Cardinals fans. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images.