Exhibit at Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum offers look back of 2011 championship year



The St. Louis Cardinals took fans on a tremendous journey in 2011, with their memorable September hot streak and playoff heroics, ultimately leading to their 11th World Series championship.

In honor of the club’s 10year anniversary, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a featured exhibit earlier this month called, “2011 Cardinals: What A Team! What A Ride!

Located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation at Ballpark Village, the museum’s new exhibit encapsulates a historic season, playoff run and World Series, taking fans through the journey with the team.

“The team is a generational group of players,” said Brian Finch, the museum’s tours & operations manager, as well as team historian. “The way in which they won defined a generation of Cardinal fans.”

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With over 50 pieces of memorabilia scattered throughout, the exhibit begins with a walk-through of the team’s season. Such memorabilia items include shredded jerseys (courtesy of utility man Nick Punto), game-used equipment and line-up cards used by manager Tony La Russa.

After displaying the team’s resilience into the playoffs, next is a showcase of the big moments throughout their playoff run. This ultimately leads to the World Series, and their dramatic comeback win in Game 6 thanks to David Freese’s walk-off home run. The homerun ball, along with various other Game 6 memorabilia items have their own section in the exhibit.

A wall displays highlights and memorabilia from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

Finch noted that out of all things in the exhibit, Freese’s homerun ball is his favorite, for more reasons than the moment it encapsulated.

When the ball was returned to the team by the fan who retrieved it, team trainer Barry Weinberg continued the old team tradition of marking the ball with its date, significance and other game notes.

“If that ball doesn’t go over the fence, we don’t have all of this,” Finch said.

David Freese’s game worn jersey from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

Right in the middle of the exhibit lies Freese’s game-worn jersey from Game 6, reconstructed after being torn to shreds, along with his National League Championship Season and World Series MVP trophies (donated by Freese himself).

David Freese’s NLCS and World Series MVP trophies, displayed behind his reconstructed jersey.

The jersey parts have been separated since the walk-off home run, with one part sitting in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. and one part in the Cardinals Museum. For the exhibit, the Hall of Fame donated its half to the Cardinals, making the jersey whole again for the first time in 10 years.

Finch, who was still working for the Cardinals in 2011, said Game 6 is a night he, and all Cardinals fans will never forget.

“I’ve never heard the ballpark that loud, or felt it actually shake from the noise,” said Finch. “The way in which the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals won is more important than them actually winning.”

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum has reopened with enhanced sanitization and timed-ticket purchasing options to ensure the wellness of guests and staff. The museum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will remain open through the seventh inning during home night games. This special exhibit is included with the price of admission to the museum, and available through 2021.