David Freese

David Freese
David Freese

St. Louis Cardinals — No. 23
Third baseman
Born: April 28, 1983 (1983-04-28) (age 28)
Corpus Christi, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 6, 2009 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
(through 2011)
Batting average     .297
Home runs     15
Runs batted in     98
Career highlights and awards

David Richard Freese (born April 28, 1983) is a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball. A star high school player, Freese chose not to play college baseball in his freshman year of college,[1] but returned to the game a year later.[2] With the Cardinals, Freese won the 2011 NL Championship Series MVP Award and the 2011 World Series MVP Award.


Early life

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Freese was raised in the Greater St. Louis area and he grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.[2] He graduated in 2001 from Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Missouri.[3] Freese recorded a Lafayette-record .533 batting average and 23 home runs during his senior season.[1] He was considered to be the best shortstop in the state.[1]

As a senior in high school, Freese was offered a scholarship to play college baseball for the University of Missouri team, but, feeling burned out, decided instead to quit the sport.[1][2] He enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he studied computer science and pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon.[2]

During the summer after his freshman year, Freese worked for the Rockwood School District maintenance department.[1] When he visited Lafayette High School towards the end of the summer, he realized how much he missed baseball.[2] Freese asked Tony Dattoli, the coach at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, for a roster spot.

In the 2004 season at community college, Freese hit .396 with 41 RBIs and 10 home runs and was named to the NJCAA All-America second team.[4] Dattoli recommended Freese to Steve Kittrell, the head coach of the Jaguars baseball team at the University of South Alabama. At South Alabama, opposing teams respected his hitting ability; scouts told their pitchers: "Don't let Freese beat us."[2][5] In 2005 as a junior, Freese hit .373, with a .443 on-base percentage (OBP), .525 slugging percentage (SLG), and 52 runs scored in 56 games. He was seventh in the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) in average and led the school one year after Adam Lind had done so. Freese was even better in 2006, hitting .414 with a .503 OBP and .661 SLG with 73 runs and 73 RBI in 60 games. He won the SBC batting title and also led the conference in RBI. He tied for 9th in NCAA Division I in RBI, was 12th in average and just missed the top 10 in runs scored. He made the All-Conference team at third base and was named SBC Player of the Year. He was named an American Baseball Coaches Association All-American as the top third baseman in NCAA Division I, ahead of Evan Longoria and Pedro Alvarez, among others.[6] Kittrell considers Freese to be the best player he coached at South Alabama, where he also coached Lind, Luis Gonzalez and Juan Pierre.[2]

Baseball career

Minor leagues: 2006–2008

Prior to the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft, the Boston Red Sox attempted to sign Freese for $90,000. However, South Alabama made the College World Series regional playoffs, which extended their season past the pre-draft signing deadline.[7]

Freese was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the ninth round (273rd overall) of the draft. Freese played for the Eugene Emeralds, Fort Wayne Wizards and Lake Elsinore Storm in the San Diego farm system in 2006 and 2007. He batted .379/.465/.776 with 19 runs and 26 RBI in 18 games for the Emeralds and .299/.374/.510 with 44 RBI in 53 games for the Wizards in 2006. Freese batted .302/.400/.489 for the Storm in 128 games during the 2007 season. He scored 104 runs and drove in 96. He ranked seventh in the California League in OBP, seventh in RBI and tied with Tony Granadillo for third in runs. He made the California League All-Star team.[8] However, the Padres had third basemen Chase Headley and Kevin Kouzmanoff as well, potentially blocking Freese's path to the majors. As a result, Freese began to practice as a catcher.[1]

Before the 2008 season, Freese was traded by the Padres to the Cardinals for Jim Edmonds.[5] He spent the season in Triple-A with the Memphis Redbirds, where he batted .306/.361/.550 with 26 home runs and 91 RBI. He led Pacific Coast League third basemen in fielding percentage (.967) and double plays (26).[citation needed]

Early MLB career: 2009–2010

Freese emerged as a potential starter when an injury seemed likely to put Cardinals starting third baseman Troy Glaus on the the disabled list at the beginning of the 2009 season.[9][10] Freese made his Major League debut on Opening Day of the 2009 season, coming off the bench and hitting a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the Cardinals' home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.[11] Freese was expected to be the team's starting third baseman, but was quickly passed over by Brian Barden and Joe Thurston.[12] He was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on April 20, 2009 to make room for newly acquired reliever Blaine Boyer.[13] He later had surgery to repair a left ankle injury that hampered him during spring training.[1] He was activated and assigned to Double-A Springfield in late July with plans to later assign him to Memphis. He was recalled in the September call-up on September 23, 2009. Freese played only 17 games for the Cardinals in 2009,[1] in addition to 56 games for Triple-A Memphis.

Freese began the 2010 season as the Cardinals' starting third baseman. However, he suffered a right ankle injury in June. This injury required him to have two ankle surgeries and ended his season after 70 games.[1]

Breakout season: 2011

David Freese in June 2011.
Freese during the 2011 World Series parade

Freese was projected to start the 2011 season and did so. He started off the year batting over .320, but was hit by a pitch that fractured his left hand, and missed 51 games (about two months).[1] After returning to the starting lineup, he finished the season with a .297 batting average, 10 home runs, and 55 RBI. He recorded hits in eight of the final nine regular-season games.[1] Freese credited his improvement in power hitting to hitting coach Mark McGwire, who helped him refine his stroke.[14][15]

2011 postseason

In his first playoff series, he drove in 4 runs against Philadelphia in Game 4 to force a fifth game.[16] In the National League Championship Series (NLCS) against Milwaukee, Freese had a .545 batting average, hit 3 home runs, drove in 9 runs, and scored 7 runs. He was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.[17] Through Game 3 of the World Series against Texas, Freese had a 13-game postseason hitting streak, a Cardinals record and just two short of matching the all-time National League record. The hitting streak was snapped in Game 4.[18]

In Game 6 of the World Series, with Texas leading, 3 games to 2, Freese came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, with two out and two men on base. With a count of one ball and two strikes, Freese hit a two-run triple to tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the 11th inning, again with two strikes, Freese hit a game-winning lead-off, "walk-off", solo home-run to deep center field (420 feet), to send the World Series to its first Game 7 since 2002.[19][20] Freese joined Jim Edmonds, the man he was traded for, as the only players in Cardinals history to hit an extra-inning walk-off home run in the postseason.

In Game 7 of the World Series, Freese hit a two-run double in the bottom of the first inning, bringing his 2011 postseason RBI total to 21, an MLB record.[21][22] The Cardinals went on to win the game and the series,[23] making Freese a World Series champion for the first time. For his efforts, Freese was named the World Series MVP.[24] He became the sixth player to win the LCS and World Series MVP awards in the same year.[25] Freese also won the Babe Ruth Award as the postseason MVP.[26]

Personal Life

In December 2009, Freese was arrested for DWI in Maryland Heights, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.[27] Freese blew a .232, which is nearly three times the state's legal limit of .08. It was the second such arrest for Freese, who was also arrested in November 2002 in Maryland Heights for driving while intoxicated.[28] The 2009 arrest was a violation of Freese's probation, due to a September 2007 arrest for resisting arrest (amongst other charges) in Lake Elsinore, California.[29]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Langosch, Jenifer (October 16, 2011). "Cardinals infielder David Freese's journey required important detour". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111018&content_id=25697982&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb. Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g McCullough, Andy (October 19, 2011). "St. Louis Cardinals-Texas Rangers World Series: David Freese came full circle to emerge as hometown hero". The Star Ledger. http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2011/10/st_louis_cardinals_-_texas_ran.html. Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.rockwood.k12.mo.us/news/Pages/10192011GoCardinals.aspx
  4. ^ "David Freese". South Alabama Jaguars. Archived from Bios/dfreese.shtml the original on June 28, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060628041304/http://www.southalabama.edu/athletics/baseball/2006%20Bios/dfreese.shtml. 
  5. ^ a b "Cardinals deal Edmonds to Padres". MLB.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. December 15, 2007. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071215&content_id=2327164&vkey=news_stl&fext=.jsp. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ "2006 EUGENE EMERALDS OUTLOOK". The Register-Guard: p. D.8. June 18, 2006. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/registerguard/access/1064934701.html?dids=1064934701:1064934701&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jun+18%2C+2006&author=The+Register-Guard&pub=Register-Guard&desc=2006+EUGENE+EMERALDS+OUTLOOK&pqatl=google. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hardacker, Jonathan (October 31, 2011). "Report: World Series MVP David Freese Nearly Became Member of Red Sox Organization in 2006". NESN. http://www.nesn.com/2011/10/david-freese-nearly-became-member-of-red-sox-organization-in-2006.html. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 
  8. ^ Shugar, Mark (June 20, 2007). "Cal League coasts past Carolina: Blanked in Home Run Derby, Bell shines in All-Star Game". MLB.com (Minor League Baseball). http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070620&content_id=262471&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ Leach, Matthew (March 20, 2009). "Freese tosses name in hat at third". MLB.com. Major League Baseball Advanced Media. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090320&content_id=4038962&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb&partnerId=rss_mlb. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Freese impresses in St. Louis loss". Associated Press. March 28, 2009. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hYDMWsY6aX5RD4H5qFH_UL3pHUtgD97795GO0. [dead link]
  11. ^ Leach, Matthew (April 6, 2009). "Motte can't close door". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/news/wrap.jsp?ymd=20090406&content_id=4140898&vkey=wrapup2005&fext=.jsp&team=home&c_id=stl. Retrieved October 21, 2011. 
  12. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals get Blaine Boyer from Atlanta Braves for Brian Barton". ESPN.com. Associated Press (ESPN). April 20, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4084599. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  13. ^ "CARPENTER PROGRESSES SLOWLY". Belleville News-Democrat: p. 3D. April 22, 2009. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=ND&s_site=belleville&p_multi=ND&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=127C01269C7055A0&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved October 17, 2011.  (subscription required)
  14. ^ Wilhelm, David (October 13, 2011). "Freese earning rave reviews for postseason performance - St. Louis Cardinals". Belleville News-Democrat. http://www.bnd.com/2011/10/13/1898435/freese-is-making-his-presence.html. Retrieved October 22, 2011. "'I've been a top-hand guy my whole life, basically,' the right-handed-hitting Freese said. 'I rarely use strength in my left hand, which is what you really can do damage with. So that's what I'm working on—trying to use my left arm as strength.'" 
  15. ^ Carpenter, Les (October 11, 2011). "Mark McGwire's Quiet Comeback". ThePostGame (Yahoo! Sports). http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/eye-performance/201110/mark-mcgwires-quiet-comeback. Retrieved October 22, 2011. 
  16. ^ "David Freese's 4 RBIs help Cardinals even series with Phillies". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 5, 2011. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=311005124. Retrieved 2011-10-28. "David Freese, shut down by Phillies aces the first three games, became a hometown star ...." 
  17. ^ Gardner, Charles F. (October 16, 2011). "Freese wins NLCS MVP award". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/freese-wins-nlcs-mvp-award-131964263.html. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  18. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (October 23, 2011). "Freese held hitless, ending club-record streak: Third baseman records knocks in 13 straight playoff games". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media, L.P. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111023&content_id=25761942&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  19. ^ "Freese powers Cardinals past Rangers". FOXSports.com. Associated Press. October 28, 2011. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/World-Series-David-Freese-St-Louis-Cardinals-Texas-Rangers-102711?gt1=39002. Retrieved 2011-10-28. "It was as great a game as the sport has ever witnessed, rivaling the Carlton Fisk homer in Game 6 of the 1975 Series and Bill Buckner's error in Game 6 of the 1986 Series. .... This was just the third time that a team one out from elimination in the World Series came back to win the game, according to STATS LLC. .... Freese had already written himself into St. Louis lore with [the] tying ... triple." 
  20. ^ In Game 6 of the World Series, Freese posted the best "win probability added" (WPA) in MLB postseason history, with a 0.969. "David Freese: now THAT was the best World Series performance in history". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. October 28, 2011. http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/16084. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  21. ^ "David Freese sets postseason RBI record, wins World Series MVP - MLB - Sporting News". Aol.sportingnews.com. http://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2011-10-28/david-freese-sets-postseason-rbi-record-in-first-inning-of-game-7. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  22. ^ See also: Run batted in #Postseason (single season).
  23. ^ Associated Press. "Cardinals complete improbable run, win 11th World Series title". ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=311028124. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  24. ^ Associated Press (29 October 2011). "Hometown boy David Freese wins MVP". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7162955/hometown-boy-david-freese-mvp-world-series. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  25. ^ Associated Press (28 October 2011). "Freese sets postseason RBI record, named MVP". Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/baseball/mlb/10/28/world-series-mvp.ap/. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  26. ^ Goold, Derrick (November 7, 2011). "Freese to receive Babe Ruth Award as postseason MVP". stltoday.com. http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/birdland/freese-to-receive-babe-ruth-award-as-postseason-mvp/article_4a0d9d1e-097e-11e1-a89a-001a4bcf6878.html. Retrieved November 8, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Cardinals' Freese faces DWI charge". ESPN.com. Associated Press (ESPN). December 14, 2009. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4741582. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Court documents: DWI arrest is not the first for Cardinals' David Freese". December 22, 2009. http://www.pulledover.com/Missouri-DWI-News/missouri-dwi-arrests-public-figures/court-documents-dwi-arrest-is-not-first/. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  29. ^ "St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese's DWI is violation of probation". KSDK.com (KSDK). December 22, 2009. http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/192246/3/St-Louis-Cardinals-third-baseman-David-Freeses-DWI-is-violation-of-probation. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 

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