There’s nothing better than a sports rivalry that’s endured generations and become such a part of its sport’s fabric, every player who gets involved immediately understands and embraces what it means to the organization and the fans.
A handful of these rivalries exist in baseball. One of the best is continuing this weekend as the Chicago Cubs visit the St. Louis Cardinals.
In this case, we’re talking about a rivalry that dates back 126 seasons, and encompasses 2,400 games. That certainly covers the generations part, and as we saw on Saturday, the fans, and especially the players, are as passionate as they’ve ever been.
Perhaps even more so.
We based that thought on Kolten Wong’s postgame comments. The Cardinals second baseman was the hero in Saturday’s 8-6 victory after launching a two-run walk-off homer in the 10th inning. Then he became an even bigger hero to Cardinals fans by expressing his joy in ruining the day for Cubs fans.
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) May 5, 2018
The comment we’re referencing comes about 44 seconds into the above video.
For those who can’t wait, Wong says, ”A lot of Cubs fans came out. I’m glad we could piss them off today. Cardinals nation, let’s go, baby!”
That is some simple but very effective throwing of shade right there. It comes from a six-year veteran who clearly knows what this rivalry means to the fans, and understands that he just gave Cardinals fans the trash-talking edge for at least 24 hours.
Of course Cubs and Cardinals fans always attempt to take over the other’s ballpark when they play. Considering that 90 percent of eastern Missouri is only separated from Illinois by the Mississippi River, there are obviously many communities that are heavily populated by fans of both teams. That helps fuel the rivalry and guarantees both sides will be well represented when they meet. That then leads to the players taking even more pride in protecting the home field.
Whenever the Cubs and Cardinals play there’s an atmosphere that’s really only matched in the postseason. That’s the pure beauty of it. Saturday was no different. Sunday night won’t be either. Especially now that Wong has added a extra fuel to the fire.
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