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'Freese's Landing': Cardinals rechristen seats near where his winning homer hit for World Series MVP David Freese

'Freese's Landing': Cardinals rechristen seats near where his winning homer hit for World Series MVP David Freese

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World Series Game 6

David Freese celebrates the most memorable home run in Cardinals history — his game-ending blast in the 11th inning of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series at Busch Stadium. (Post-Dispatch file photo by Chris Lee)

The seats overlooking the spot at Busch Stadium where history landed 10 years ago will now carry the name of the hometown hitter who put it there.

As an tribute to World Series MVP David Freese and the home run he hit to win Game 6 of the 2011 World Series and catapult the Cardinals to their 11th championship, the all inclusive-seats near the batter's eye, that grass lawn sloping up from the center field wall toward the scoreboard, will be renamed.

"Freese's Landing" will debut in 2022.

It will replace "Homer's Landing."

The team announced the honor during Saturday's game at Busch Stadium during the 10-year reunion of that Cardinals team.

Before the game, as many as 46 players, coaches, and support staff that was part of that unlikely, charismatic run for a championship were celebrated on the field and gathered for a team photo with the trophy they won. Adam Wainwright, that night's starter and a member of that team, stopped to join the photo on his way out to warmup for his game against San Diego.

From Adron Chambers to Rafael Furcal and Jason Motte, ovations greeted every member of the team as they paraded their way to home plate, and some of the loudest were for Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, San Diego associate manager Skip Schumaker, and, of course, Freese.

Freese, a Lafayette High grad and St. Louis-area native, was, like the Cardinals, down to the final strike of his season when he tagged a triple to the right-field wall that scored two and tied Game 6 against the Texas Rangers. Freese's triple kept the Cardinals alive and forced the game into extra innings.

In the 10th, the Rangers were again one strike away from claiming their first title in franchise history when Berkman tied the game with a single.

The Cardinals' leadoff hitter in the 11th inning, Freese hit a home run to straightaway center field to secure the comeback victory and punctuate one of the most compelling World Series games ever..

Freese rounded the bases on the way to a 10-9 victory and spiked his batting helmet between his legs before touching home plate and launching into a mosh pit of his teammates. The Cardinals handed out bobbleheads of that helmet-spike Saturday night.

The walk-off shot, Freese's fifth home run of the postseason, inspired broadcaster Joe Buck, calling the game for FOX, to borrow from his father and announce, "And we'll see you tomorrow night." The Cardinals won Game 7 in far less dramatic fashion, 6-2.

Known for a decade as the place Freese's winner landed, the batter's eye took on greater prominence earlier this season when it was the site for several celebrations, and because of COVID-19 policies and social distancing was where Scott Rolen threw the first ceremonial first pitch of the new season to Nolan Arenado, who was standing in center field.

The seats included in the new "Freese's Landing" are toward right field from the batter's eye and on the second deck, right under the scoreboard and the retired numbers.

Freese played with the Cardinals from 2009 through the 2013 World Series. He would also spend time with the Angels, Pirates, and then ultimately finish his career back in the playoffs as an October factor for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The MVP of the 2011 World Series and 2011 National League Championship Series, Freese retired after the 2019 season. That summer he hit .315 with a .599 slugging percentage and a 1.002 OPS in 79 games for the Dodgers. 

In 69 postseason games, Freese hit .299 with a .549 slugging percentage and a .919 OPS. He ranks among some of the greatest October hitters and held records for total bases, RBIs, and many other statistics until some were surpassed during the expanded playoffs of 2020. Freese has 10 homers and 39 RBIs in the playoffs, and 21 of those 36 came in 2011.

That remains the record for a single postseason.

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