ST. LOUIS — David Freese, the hometown boy made good, is the MVP of the World Series.
Down to their final strike in Game 6, the Cardinals' reluctant hero delivered a tying two-run triple in the ninth inning Thursday night.
Freese then did one better: a leadoff homer in the 11th that gave St. Louis a dramatic win over the Rangers and forced the first Game 7 since 2002.
Freese, also the NL championship series MVP, capped his memorable October by hitting a two-run double in the first inning Friday night to tie the Texas Rangers at 2-all. He also drew a pair of walks that helped lead to runs, and the Cardinals held on for a 6-2 win and their 11th championship.
"This means everything," Freese said.
When the final out was made, Freese threw his arms in the air and dashed for the mound, where he joined a happy scrum as confetti floated down from the upper reaches of Busch Stadium.
"This is why you keep battling," Freese said. "Sometimes things don't work out, you get injured, you do stupid stuff, but you try to stay on path. You surround yourself with guys like we have on this team. I'm so glad to be part of this."
Freese batted .348 in the World Series, with seven RBIs, three doubles and one big homer.
He's the fourth Cardinals player to win the MVP award, joining Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson in 1964 and '67, catcher Darrell Porter in 1982 and David Eckstein in their 2006 victory over Detroit.
"You learn from all these veterans about how to go about this game," Freese said, "and I wouldn't be here without them."
Freese could just as well be the MVP of the entire postseason.
The kid who grew up in a St. Louis suburb hit a three-run homer in Game 6 of the NLCS against Milwaukee, the first act in his coming out party.
His performance in Act 2 against the Rangers made him the sixth player to be MVP of a championship series and the World Series.