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Greatest Cardinals Moment: Boyer WS grand slam vs. Spiezio triple

If you missed this morning’s post, we’re full swing into the Cardinals Greatest moment bracket! The Bing Devine regional is hosted here at The Intrepid STL, so let’s keep rolling with the next vote! Next up is a fascinating match between a play that helped the Cardinals to a World Series win way back in the 60s and one that started their trek to another title in 2006. Let’s break it down:

#3 Boyer slams the Cardinals to a Game 4 win (1964 World Series)

Ken Boyer was 6 for 27 during the ’64 Series featuring the Cardinals vs. Yankees, but one of his hits is elevated in Cardinals lore above the rest. With the Cardinals trailing the series two games to one, and the game 3-0, Boyer unloaded on a pitch to change the fortunes of the Redbirds.

With the bases loaded, Boyer launched one deep to left–it curled just inside the foul pole to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead, which became the final score of that game. St. Louis went on to defeat New York in seven games to claim the World Series title, the seventh in franchise history.

Vanquished by the Cardinals, the Yankees loss in that ’64 Series ended their run of 15 of 18 World Series appearances. After that, New York wouldn’t reach another World Series until 1976. So basically, the Cardinals sent the Yankees into the second-longest World Series-less drought in New York’s history. Pretty cool.

Somehow, there is video of the big blow by Boyer. Check it out:

#14 Spiezio saves the season

Down the stretch of the season, the 2006 Cardinals were spiraling out of control. Tuesday, September 19th, the Cardinals were 80-69 and leading the NL Central by seven games with only a couple weeks remaining in the season. St. Louis proceeded to lose 8 of its next 9, watching the Houston Astros creep to within half a game of the division lead. The season’s conclusion seemed destined for disaster.

Then, the Cardinals won a game, and the Astros lost one. St. Louis held a 1.5 game lead with only two games remaining on their schedule. If the Astros could climb back to within 0.5 games over the season’s final two days, it would force the Cardinals to go back and make up game 162, previously rained out earlier in the season.

September 30th, the Cardinals trailed the Brewers 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth, but had a stew brewing themselves. That’s when Scott Spiezio’s chapter in Cardinals history became about more than his (tacky?) red goatee. With the bases loaded, Spiezio cleared ’em with a go-ahead triple. The Cardinals would win the game, and lose the next day, matching the Astros stride for stride. In the end, the Cardinals won the Central by 1.5 games, and did not have to play the makeup game.

Spiezio’s heroics after a demoralizing spiral secured the Cardinals spot in the postseason party–and we all know what happened next. The Cardinals rolled through the Padres, Mets and Tigers to their first World Series title since 1982. It’s an underrated moment in Cardinals history at #14 in this regional, because without the clutch triple by Spiezio, there’s no way to know whether St. Louis would’ve hoisted the trophy as the last team standing in late October. With the season in jeopardy, Spiezio launched the Cardinals into the playoffs-and they never looked back.

Time to vote–who yuh got?

It’s the grand slam that pushed the Cardinals into their next era of greatness vs. a triple that solidified the club’s most recent such era. Which moment gets your vote?

(Also, head over to Cards Conclave to vote in their first round matches!

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