By Keith Antigiovanni
The Texas Rangers repeated as American League champions after winning the AL West for the second straight year. Texas has posted a third straight winning year under manager Ron Washington.
Their opponent are the Cardinals who are going to make their 18th World Series appearance after a challenging year that allowed them to win the Wild Card on the final day of the season.
Texas is a hungry team who wants to win its' first World Series title since they moved to DFW in 1972 while the Cardinals have won 10 World Series.
Texas has a proud professional baseball tradition that goes back to the early 1900's when the Dallas and Fort Worth teams dominated the Texas League between 1902 to 1958 until they became one team in 1960-1963 and 1965-1971 until the Rangers moved to Arlington four decades ago.
When you talk tradition the Cardinals have the NL's most prolific that stretches back to 1920 when General Manager Branch Rickey created the modern farm system when the Cardinals bought independent minor league teams to develop a talent base.
The farm system brought them 40 winning seasons, 12 pennants and 8 World Series titles between 1920 and 1970. The winning tradition continued into the 1980's under manager Whitey Herzog when his birds won 3 pennants and 1 World Series title.
After a mediocre early 1990's Tony La Russa was hired in 1996 and led the redbirds to the NL Central title, NLCS and 1 game away from the World Series.
The 2000's was an incredible era when the Cardinals posted the NL's best winning percentage, 9 winning seasons, 7 central titles, 5 NLCS, 2 NL titles and 1 World Series title.