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Hundreds of thousands attend Cardinals victory parade, rally

Hundreds of thousands of fans gathered in downtown St. Louis on Sunday to celebrate their World Series champs at a Cardinal victory parade and rally.

Cloudy skies and the occasional drizzle didn’t discourage the fans, who thronged the parade route along Market Street.

They cheered and snapped pictures as the Budweiser Clydesdales went by, followed by Cardinals team members and marching bands from area high schools.

Lifelong Cardinals fan Don Folkemer says this is the team’s best World Series championship yet. “Oh, what more could you ask for?” Folkemer asked. “What a wonderful turn of events for a team that was counted out by even their fans in August, and no one would have dreamt this. So it makes it that much more exciting.”

Fellow fan Donn Johnson agreed – and he’s seen every Cardinals win since 1964. He says this year’s victory extends beyond the ballpark.

“This has been a total surprise to everybody I think, and I think it’s made the city – well look at the people,” Johnson said. “It’s made the city come together in a way that I think only the Cardinals can do.”

The celebration continued after the parade with a rally in Busch Stadium, where Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told a crowd of more than 45,000 fans how much he admires his team’s determination.

“What these guys did so many times, elimination, it's a lesson for all of us: they never quit, took their best shot, and the best shot's the world championship,” La Russa said. “So, very, very special. I know you're going to appreciate them in the 10 year reunion, 20 year reunion, 30 year reunion, and 50 [year] reunion. This is very special.”

Also at the rally, Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley presented St. Louis native and World Series MVP David Freese with keys to the city and county.