Cards walk red carpet at premiere of video
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
ST. LOUIS -- David Freese was given the red-carpet treatment for the third time since the St. Louis Cardinals' improbable World Series championship run.
He got a standing ovation, too, prior to the premiere of the Series video Tuesday night, with fans chanting "Hometown Hero," to salute a player born and raised in St. Louis. They even referenced Green Pines Elementary School.
"It's been a lot of fun," Freese said. "You win a championship, you get to do a lot of cool stuff. Everybody says the word 'ride', and that's what it was.
"The way we finished was unreal."
Freese has chatted with Jay Leno and Ellen DeGeneres since Game 7. He also served as guest presenter at the Country Music Awards and hung out at a GQ magazine party, trying to duck out of red-carpet entrances at both events.
Freese amiably shuffled down a receiving line doing several interviews before getting to his seat at the Peabody Opera House on Tuesday.
"I've done a lot of cool things," Freese said.
He was the star of the video, too.
Freese chuckled at his dropped popup early in the epic Game 6. He later saw his game-ending homer in Game 6, where he flung his helmet between his legs in the final steps toward home.
Teammate Kyle McClellan also attended the video premiere, although this was his first red-carpet experience. Before watching the video, the reliever said he'd always remember the victory lap to celebrate with fans after Game 7.
It still seemed somewhat unreal to McClellan -- something he thought he'd never be watching on TV.
"It feels like it's not you going through it because you're used to seeing it from the other side," McClellan said.
Actor Jon Hamm, another St. Louis native, narrated the video and said the Cardinals "will be remembered as the team that refused to quit" and one that "persevered time and time and time again."
A sold-out crowd, many of them dressed in Cardinals red, cheered lustily throughout.
The video opened with Adam Wainwright's season-ending elbow injury and the Albert Pujols contract impasse in spring training but concentrated on the Cardinals' clinching the NL wild-card berth on the final day of the season, followed by triumphs over the 102-win Phillies, NL Central champion Brewers and AL champion Rangers.
"I really don't want to ruin it for you," Cardinals broadcaster John Rooney said, "but I know how this one ends."