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Review: 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Collector’s Edition DVD Set

In some cultures, being “content” is more desirable than being “happy.” There is a security, a stability…a complete sense of calm fulfillment that comes with contentment that perhaps surpasses the euphoria of happiness.

Earlier, I reviewed the 2011 World Series Highlight film from A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions. I called that film “beautiful”. It was dramatic, inspiring, and emotional in its Hollywood-like rendition of the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals’ amazing postseason run. I stand by that review.

This, however – the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Collector’s Edition DVD set (also by A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions) – is a profound historical record of that team’s magical World Series win.

As a 34-year-old Cardinal fan, I have been witness to three World Championship teams (1982, 2006, and 2011). It occurred to me this morning just how blessed I am as a sports fan to be able to say that. And until the 2006 win, I didn’t realize just how much I value my memories of those Championships. I don’t remember much of the ’82 Series, so when the Cards of 2006 won it all, if felt like the first time for me – and I instantly knew I didn’t want to forget a single moment of it. The 2011 Championship is no different. Thank God for the Collector’s Edition DVD set.

This 8-disc set includes every one of the World Series games in their entirety plus an additional Bonus Features disc. Being able to watch any inning of any game at any time is an odd feeling, one that is almost soothing as a long-time Cardinal fan. I never have to worry about forgetting what it was like to watch Allen Craig stroke a hit to right field in Game 1…or how dominating Albert “The Betrayer” Pujols looked on that Texas night in Game 3…or how astounding that Game 6 comeback was in St. Louis.

Let’s think about that Game 6 for a moment. For decades, baseball fans will watch Freese’s triple, Berkman’s single, or the Iceman’s game-winning homerun. But how many fans will be able to relive the entire story of that game? The error by Holliday in LF…the throwing error by Salas…the irony of Freese’s drop…the gut-wrenching pick-off of Holliday at third…and the two errors by the Rangers? How many fans will be able to watch that Game 6 in the context of the rest of that World Series leading up to it?

Many fans will watch the highlights and replays for decades to come…but only those fans who own the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Collector’s Edition DVD set will be able to relive the entire story of the Cardinals unlikely World Series Championship.

I have only recently learned to appreciate just how much context means to baseball. A baseball game is more than a sporting event. It is an unraveling story that takes shape over the course of 9, 10, or even 11 innings. And even that game is only a chapter in the larger context of the current series and season.

In baseball, being able to occasionally watch a single at-bat replayed here and there on MLB Network or ESPN is like visiting the dealership once a month to test-drive your dream car. Wouldn’t you rather pull the trigger, make the deal, and take it home to drive every Summer evening, wide-open on the highway? Wouldn’t you rather own the dream instead of borrowing it when it’s convenient?

I think that’s where my sense of contentment comes in – the sense of fulfillment I mentioned earlier. Owning this DVD set makes me feel like I have it all. Every pitch. Every inning. Every game in this 7-game Series. As long as I have it, it becomes nearly impossible to forget what it felt like to win it all in 2011.

This set is once again masterfully done. The game discs are free of frills and distractions. Each one is a simple presentation of the game, including a bit of the pre-game discussions and applicable ceremonies. No interruptions, no dramatic voice-overs…just pure and simple baseball as it actually happened each night. But it doesn’t end there. The Bonus Features disc includes highlights of dramatic moments from the regular season (e.g. walk-off winning hits, Albert’s 2,000th hit, etc.), memorable postseason moments and recaps, and even trophy presentations and the celebratory parade in St. Louis. You really can’t go wrong with this piece of history.

Okay, okay…I’ll stop…but let me leave you with a few thoughts for the next Cardinals’ World Series DVD set as well as my favorite feature of the entire set 😉

1. As before, I would love to see an audio commentary available for each game – Carp and Tony on Game 7? Freese and Berkman for Game 6? I know it would be expensive and time-consuming…but wouldn’t it be worth it?

2. In my 2006 edition, I loved all of the interviews and moments with Tony and the players available on the bonus disc. I missed that here. I would love to hear more from the team as they give their perspective and insights of such a historic series and season.

3. Hmmm…how about packaging the DVD set with a memorable knick-knack only available with the DVD set? Like…oh…a mini replica of David Freese’s Game 6 bat…or his jersey? What about a World Series Champions Cardinals key chain? Just a little something to sweeten the pot a bit ;).

And finally…my FAVORITE FEATURE:  I absolutely love having the ability – in the Audio Setup feature of each game disc – to change the in-game audio broadcast to Mike Shannon and John Rooney, or even the Texas broadcasters! One of my favorite things to do while watching games on DVD is to see what others have to say about memorable moments as they happen…from both sides of the tracks. The ability to listen to both the TV and radio broadcasts of each game is a highly underrated feature.

Oh…and in case you missed it: CLICK HERE to buy your copy today!

A special thanks to A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions for giving Cards N Stuff this amazing opportunity to review and give away these DVD sets. Thanks so much!

GO CARDS!!!

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