Now that’s what the World Series is all about.

I don’t care what teams are playing, when a series has as much drama and as many unlikely occurrences as this year’s did – and goes the whole seven games to boot – well, that’s some quality entertainment right there.

But the match up between the two participants made it possible. It was a classic Fall Classic even before it started; one team on a mission to achieve redemption after getting so close but missing the mark last year, another that by all accounts had little business being there and was just lucky to be involved.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison

Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, the lucky bunch that had been on the most unlikely of rolls since late in the regular season kept rolling through the entire postseason, and the St. Louis Cardinals had their 11th Major League Baseball championship.

The series had so many “no way” aspects.

No way the Cardinals come back from two two-run deficits after the ninth inning in Game 6.

No way they trail five times in that dang game still win.

No way David Freese turns into David “Burn” the way he did.

No way Albert Pujols goes as nuts as he did in Game 3, but then sputters his way through the other six contests.

And no way the bullpen doesn’t hear Tony La Russa on the phone at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

But to coin a term that my kids used growing up: “way.” And that, of course, is only a smattering of the unlikely, unexpected stuff that went on.

Baseball is a unique sport in many ways, but one of the most unique things about it is that you can watch (or play) for years without seeing a particular thing happen, and then it not only happens, it becomes a big deal. La Russa and the “Phone-gate” fiasco come to mind.

I guess we’ll never really know what took place when LaRussa asked for Motte and got someone else, but I guess the good news is, it doesn’t matter. The weird scenario the likes of which may never be witnessed again, was just a piece of the whole wild and wooly puzzle.

And what about those Rangers?

They held up their end of the deal just fine, thank you, but after the Cardinals’ Game 6 miracle and Game 7 dominance, they have to be wondering what in the Sam Hill it takes to win one of these things. For crying in the mud, they pretty much did everything it takes – except cut the power to the Cardinals’ crazy train.

And now that the Rangers made two trips in two years to the Fall Classic and come up empty both times, Texas fans must be wondering if their team is about to become the Buffalo Bills of baseball. Hey, only two more consecutive World Series losses to go – it could happen.

Meanwhile, as the Cards move toward 2012, they’ll do so with someone not named La Russa acting as field manager for the first time in 16 years. I guess I’m kind of surprised Tony decided to go – but I guess I shouldn’t be.

He managed for 33 seasons and 5,097 regular season games, winning three World Series, six league championships and 2,728 regular season games (third all-time). He was named manager of the year four times and would seem to be a shoo-in for a fifth, and he’s a guaranteed first-ballot Hall-of Famer.

He’s 67 now, so who can blame La Russa for going out on top, and becoming the first manager to retire immediately after leading a team to a championship. Who can blame him for settling down and doing what he wants.

“Maybe open a book store,” he said.

Sounds pretty good.

The bottom line: the 2011 MLB World Series was good fun. And good baseball.

Because of the excitement of the moment, lots of World Series are called “great” while they’re going on. But this one will be remembered as one of the best – especially by members of Cardinal Nation, who know their team did something quite remarkable.

Now that the Cards have succeeded in their “Quest for 11 in 2011,” it will be fun again to watch them go for back-to-back titles next year, as they and their new manager try to “Make it 12 in 2012” (it’s OK with me if they use that…).

Now, about that whole Albert thing…

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.  Email:  ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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