WHITE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - For one person in the Heartland, the excitement of the Cardinals in the World Series is more personal than most. Bob Sykes pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1979 to 1981.
These days, the field where Bob Sykes spends most of his time is much bigger than the one he used to pitch on. Still the thrill at Busch Stadium is not far from his heart.
"I wish sometimes the fields I pitched in were as big as the fields I spread in, maybe some of those balls would have stayed in the park," Sykes said.
That was some 30 years ago. But Sykes says, even to this day he's still treated like family by the Cardinals.
"The Cardinals are in the World Series, come out of nowhere, I get a call, tickets," Sykes said.
Sykes had never been to a World Series, so he took up the offer and headed to game one.
"It was exciting, I didn't want to leave," Sykes said.
Sykes says he's watched the rest of the games glued to the television. He says it's where he prefers to watch baseball, and is taking note of some much bigger life lessons.
"Somebody that was not supposed to be there, that everybody deemed a loser, beating a team right now and competing with a team that was supposed to be a world beater," Sykes said. "I think it speaks to anybody or everybody who is trying to do anything in their life."
But as game six moved into the final innings, Sykes says it was clear the pitchers were not the only ones there to win, the offensive also showed its strength.
"They stepped into that box knowing what they had to do and they just reeked of confidence, so for me at the end of the game it was basically the offense," Sykes said. "They knew what they had to do and just went out and did it."
But as the Cardinals get ready for game seven, Sykes says the team has shown the country how to turn some tough situations into moments for the memory books.
"They showed what a true major league ball player is all about, forget what you are supposed to do, people tell you are going to do, and just go out and play, play hard," Sykes said.