We all remember it. Roy Oswalt stares at the catcher, taking in his signs. Skip Schumacher digs in, ready to pounce on whatever pitch comes his way. All is tranquil amidst the chaos of Game 3 of the NDLS. When suddenly out of nowhere, this beautiful bundle of fur, claws, and passion comes bounding across the plate, distracting Oswalt leading to him throw a ball.
The Cardinals went on to win the World Series. But with that, he disappeared. Like a true hero, he accepted his fame without the need for repayment. St. Louis had their own L'il Sebastian.
But where did he go? Did the fame go to his head leading to crippling alcoholism, driving him away from his family to live in the remote wilderness of the Ozarks? Has he used his success to cultivate the youth of the gray squirrel population, hoping to find a Rally Squirrel Junior?
Here are some more likely possibilities:
1. He got run over by a car.
It sucks, but I couldn't write this tribute without discussing the possibility so we might as well get it over with. Squirrels get squished by cars a lot, like really all the time. Rally Squirrel already showed that he's fearless, but that reckless could easily have gotten him killed.
2. He died a natural death
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in all honesty he's definitely dead. The average life expectancy of a squirrel that makes it to adulthood is 6 years. It is 2017 now, and the Rally Squirrel was at least 1 year old at the time he rose to fame. He would have to be pushing record levels at this point, so we all can pray.
3. He's hidden deep within the tunnels of Busch Stadium, plotting his next appearance
Squirrels hate the Phillies. Might have something to do with their mascot looking like a terribly mutated one. This led to one attacking Chase Utley during a 2015 matchup (this time in Philadelphia). Upon hearing the news, the Rally Squirrel decided that he would wait to get his own shot at Chase. However, he died waiting for his chance due to his old age, and thus, somewhere in Busch Stadium, you'll find the body of an American Hero.
4. He's the ballboy for Independent League Ottawa Champions
After secretly getting cut from the Cardinals roster, he hopped on a bus and joined the Canadian American league, attempting to work his way back up to the big leagues. We're all rooting for this comeback kid. Good luck, Rally Squirrel.
5. The Cubs took him.
Joe Maddon lowered our beloved Rally Squirrel into a ceremonial cauldron as chants echoed throughout the Cubs locker room. According to sources, Maddon intended to use the Rally Squirrel as a charm to help will the Cubs to the World Series. As we can see, it was very effective. Even against his own will, the Rally Squirrel continued his rallying abilities.
In all actuality, there are rumors that the real Rally Squirrel was caught and released into a wildlife rescue center at Castlewood State Park in October, however, it is doubtful that this is true. He might have been caught, but he definitely died. I'm sorry Cardinals fans, we're all weeping together. We must rally together to thank him for his service, and pray that he is helping the Cardinals win up in Squirrel Heaven.
Dexter Fowler. Brett Cecil. Less Matt Adams. More Aledmys Diaz. More Alex Reyes. Better Adam Wainwright. All of those are reasons for optimism heading into 2017 for the St. Louis Cardinals. And with good reason! The Cardinals finished just one game out of the playoffs in 2016, and appear to have improved over the course of the offseason.