Every kid who grows up playing baseball wants to win a World Series. Manhattanites got a chance to at least view part of that dream Monday afternoon, when the 2011 World Series trophy, won by the St. Louis Cardinals, came to Manhattan.
The event, held at the U.S. Cellular store, attracted plenty of Cardinal fans interested in seeing and standing next to baseball’s greatest prize, which has been on the road since December. Many got their pictures taken, the only prohibition being that fans were not allowed to actually touch the trophy. The event is part of a tour of four states and more than 50 U.S. Cellular stores
A “long-time” Cardinals fan, Michael J. Reid, Salina, took his time with the championship. He took pictures from five different angles before finally getting his picture taken next to the trophy. Reid, decked out in a 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Championship shirt, was smiling the entire time.
Witness to nearly half of the Cardinals’ 11-World Series titles, Reid said 2011 was his favorite.
“No one expected us to do it,” said Reid. “It was a dream come true.”
David Freese, after an injury-riddled 2011 regular season, came through as the Cardinals’ most valuable player in the post season. The third baseman had the record for the most runs batted in with 21 and total bases with 50, both postseason records.
His performance cemented his legacy in Cardinal history, including Reid’s heart, which cited the Texas native as his favorite current Cardinals player.
Deb Dukes, a Manhattan resident who grew up in southwest Missouri, checked one thing off her fan bucket list by witnessing the trophy. Her goals now are to attend opening day and attend a World Series.
Dukes has an entire room painted red and white for the Cardinals. She recently changed the felt on her pool table to red, and she annually adorns a small Christmas tree with Cardinals ornaments.
“I’m not an abnormality in St. Louis,” Dukes said, while wearing Cardinals earrings and a red St. Louis shirt.
Like Reid, Dukes’ smile did not leave her face while she stood next to the championship.
The life-long Cardinals fan grew up watching Cardinals’ Hall-of-Fame pitcher Bob Gibson with her dad, great aunt and grandparents.
“It’s a family tradition,” Dukes said. Two of Dukes’ three children are Cardinals fans.
Despite thousands of Cardinals fans witnessing the World Series trophy, there have not been any incidents along the tour, according to trophy watcher Tom Selsor. He said fans have been very respectful.
“It’s always being watched, it’s always secure,” Selsor said.