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The 17 Year Ci"Card"as have Been Good To St. Louis Baseball Fans

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Yadier Molina Will Be 55 When The Cicadas Next Emerge

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St. Louis just suffered a terrible stretch, losing all four games at home against the Reds. It is only early June, but fans of the Cardinals are growing a little uneasy about their underachieving team.

Nevertheless, they have plenty of reason to be optimistic, partly because of the standings and the division in which they play. St. Louis, in spite of being just a few games over .500, find themselves in second place.

That spot in the standings, a mere two games behind the first place Chicago Cubs, should this year instill much confidence around Busch Stadium. Fans therein should take pleasure in hearing the cicadas around the city, for those particular insects have served as a good luck charm in the past.

The last time the cicadas emerged, way back in 2004, the Cardinals were exactly where they are today on the exact same date. On June 5 they were two games back in the standings, the only difference being they were then looking up at the Reds instead of the Cubs.

Less than a month later, before the All-Star break, St. Louis took over first place. At the end of the regular season they were still there, advancing through the playoffs by beating the Dodgers in the Division Series.

They then dispatched of the Houston Astros in the league championship, thereby earning its tenth pennant. Unfortunately, the team of destiny that year, the Boston Red Sox, won their first World Series Title in nearly a century.

Seventeen years prior, when the cicadas had made their final appearance of the 20th Century, the Cardinals were in a similar place in the standings. Their record was exactly the same, only tey found themselves two games up instead of two games back.

Like they were to do seventeen years later, the 1987 Cards went on to capture the N. L. Central. They also advanced in the postseason, beating the San Francisco Giants in seven games to win the pennant.

Cicada luck would carry them only so far, for the St. Louis squad faced a similar fate in the Fall Classic. Kirby Puckett and the Minnesota Twins won a dramatic game seven, capturing the first World Series Championship in franchise history.

If the first two months of the season are any indication it appears that, even if the Cards do win the pennant, their opponentw will not be the Twins this year. A rematch with the last cicada Series, however, seems very likely, since the Red Sox are carrying one of the best records in all of baseball.

Even without the re-emergence of the cicadas, the Cardinals have every reason to be optimistic. Ace John Flaherty is enjoying another Cy Young season, and the club greatly improved on both sides of the diamond by acquiring God Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado from the Colorado Rockies before the season.

Still in all, hearing the chirp of the cicadas should put additional confidence in the Redbirds, who are looking to get back to the World Series for the first time since 2013. It would give Matt carpenter, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright the opportunity to avenge that series, especially if the opponents are indeed the Red Sox.

St. Louis fans are hoping that instead of just helping their team to the pennnant, the cicadas will this year chirp loud enough to bring the championship to the Cardinals. If not, their next chance may not come again until the 2038 team, which will probably include neither Yadier Molina nor Adam Wainwright.




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