If the St. Louis Cardinals were to win the 2013 World Series, it wouldn’t exactly be the most surprising outcome, as the Cardinals have recent world championships in 2006 and 2011. However, another world title would mean something significant for St. Louis. In addition to the enormous joy and satisfaction St. Louis fans would get, a 2013 World Series title would further solidify the Cardinals as one of the most successful and best-run organizations in all of sports.
Since their last World Series championship in 2011, the personnel both on the field and in the dugout has changed dramatically. Former manager Tony LaRussa has retired, but Mike Matheny has taken over without any significant dip in team success as the Cardinals reached the playoffs last year in Matheny’s first season and are once again atop the NL Central this season.
Since their last World Series title, the Cardinals also parted ways with Albert Pujols, one of baseball’s preeminent hitters and a major factor in their last two world championships. However, there is little difference in the team’s success without him, as they’ve easily replaced his productivity without giving his absence a second thought.
The St. Louis pitching staff looks drastically different than it did two years ago when they won their last championship. Outside of Adam Wainwright, it’s mostly new faces on the mound for the Cardinals, but they’ve once again showcased their incredible ability to cultivate young pitching that comes to the big leagues ready to have successful and prepared to perform on the biggest stage, an uncanny ability that few organizations are able to replicate.
With all the new names and faces in place on the field and in the dugout, winning the World Series this season would be proof that it’s the values, hard work and intelligence of the organization as a whole that is responsible for the team’s sustained success and the championships they’ve won, and not the efforts of a few individuals.
That would be another reason to celebrate for the best fan base in baseball.