Hochman: When Dmitri was ‘da man.’ Cardinals rookie hit famous triple 25 Octobers ago

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Dmitri Young talks with reporters during a spring training in 2007 when he was with the Washington Nationals.

Evan Vucci, AP photo

Benjamin Hochman

Twenty-five years ago Wednesday, a 13-year-old boy sat in a red seat in a red sea.

It was the seventh inning at Busch Stadium and the Cardinals hadn’t scored.

A single. A walk. Hope peeked.

And then, Dmitri Young hit a triple. Two runs scored. Hope peaked.

Down 3-0 to start the inning, the Cardinals tied it when Young then scored on a hit.

This was what October was all about.

The boy in the stands? David Freese.

He was there to experience “The Dmitri Young Game,” when the seldom-used pinch-hitter thwacked a two-out opposite-field triple that drove in two. It was Game 4 of the 1996 National League Championship Series.

Fifteen Octobers later, the St. Louis native Freese thwacked his own two-out opposite-field triple that drove in two.

That was the most-famous triple in Cardinals’ history (baseball history?), but the Young triple has a particularly important part of local lore.

They say that kids who grow up on St. Louis baseball are spoiled. But for most kids born in the 1980s – thus too young to properly remember the 1987 World Series – their childhood memories always ended in September. From 1988-1995, the Cards never made the playoffs. So 1996 was many St. Louisans “first” playoffs. First gets quotation marks because some people like…

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