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My favorite baseball memory: The moment that made Frank Cusumano want to work in sports

5 On Your Side sports director Frank Cusumano's first Cardinals game he ever attended just happens to be one of the most historic games in baseball history
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — At 5 On Your Side, we're missing baseball like the rest of St. Louis.

So while we're waiting for our national past time to return, let's share some stories of our favorite baseball memories.

Next up... 5 On Your Side sports director Frank Cusumano, who had a front row seat to history with his dad.

On October 2,1968, I went to school like any other 6-year-old at Our Lady of the Pillar.

I packed a lunch, likely spaghetti with clams, and had my olive green shorts and white button down collar shirt on. It was our uniform at Our Lady of the Pillar grade school. Then at about 10:30 something happened that likely changed the course of my life.

Principal Sister Franchesa came into our classroom and had a word with Sister Marie Elaine. Sister Marie Elaine said, "Frankie, get your things and go to the front office." I was a little concerned. I was a bit devious and thought I had gotten into trouble again.

They told me my dad was in the parking lot and he was taking me somewhere. My dad had a smile on his face and said, “We are going to the World Series.”

I was stunned and incredibly excited. I had not been to a game but had listened to many and read about the Cardinals in the Globe Democrat and the Post-Dispatch. I knew the entire starting line up and almost every member of the pitching staff. I even knew the Detroit Tigers starting line up. As my wife likes to say to say now, I may not know when the trash comes, but I can give you the Portland Trailblazer roster from their 1977 World Championship team.

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It wasn’t just any game. It was the best pitched game in World Series history. 

Bob Gibson struck out a record 17 Tigers. He did it with one of the most un-hittable pitches the game has ever seen, the slider. His big wind up and attention grabbing leg kick were so compelling to watch. We sat up high. It didn’t matter. I could feel Gibby’s intensity from section 368. I have later felt it in person in the numerous interviews we have done over the years. I can still remember the final out like it was yesterday when Willie Horton had no chance on strikeout number 17.

I was in love with sports before then, but that moment sealed the deal. I was going to do this for a living. My dad and I shared a lot of great baseball moments together. In fact, a week later, we went to Game 7 together. That one didn’t work out as well. But the first game I went to was historical. It was almost like meeting my wife, Monique. It was love at first sight.

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