Cardinal Infielder David Freese Didn't Always See Bright Lights and Batting Gloves In His Future

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ST. LOUIS - "When I quit baseball out of high school, Darin had Ryan talk to me for about 45 minutes one day outside Lafayette. We hit together one day. Ryan kind of talked to me, am I making the right decision." said David Freese.

Even Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard couldn't convince Freese to stay in the game. "I guess I didn't listen to him too much, cuz I went to Mizzou just as a student." said Freese.

However his run as a Tiger didn't last long. Freese left Mizzou, got back into baseball at Meramec Community College, Alabama Southern and eventually landed with the redbirds where he is now fighting for a National Leage Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Cardinals and the Phillies meet numerous times througout the season but David and Ryan crossed paths way before then. They both played here at Lafayette baseball field. Ryan on varsity and David on junior varsity.

"David was a couple years behind me so I think I was up on varsity but I heard we had a pretty good kid coming up" said Howard.

"He was a great guy, hard worker and a heck of an athlete and as you can see now a pretty
darn good baseball player" said David Freese about Ryan Howard.

When the Phillies come to town, Freese and Howard's high school baseball coach, Steve Miller won't pick favorites. "Obvoiusly I'm a Cardinal fan at heart and I root for David obviously and then the Cardinals, but when Ryan comes to home plate and I've been at games when the Phillies come in town, I have to root for Ryan" said Miller.

Despite the rivalry, Howard is always looking out for his younger high school teammate. "I told him hey anytime you got questions you know about anything being up here or whatever, don't hesitate to give me a call or whatever" said Howard.

Maybe just not during the N-L-D-S.