The Cardinals needed help. They got "Rally Cat"—and now baseball has a new hero and meme. MLB.com explains: The St. Louis Cardinals trailed the Kansas City Royals 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth in a crucial playoff-race game Wednesday, but they had the bases loaded. Let Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch set the stage further: "There for a brief moment, before rally cat came into their lives, Yadier Molina paused at the plate, stood tall, and pointed his bat toward left field, appearing as if he were calling his shot." As it turns out, he was pointing to a cat in the outfield that went on to interrupt the game for a few entertaining minutes. When the game resumed, Molina hit a grand slam on the very next pitch, and the lead held for a St. Louis victory.
"I'm not a cat person, but I sure like that one," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said after the game. The MLB site has video of the cat (immediately dubbed "Rally Cat" in the game's broadcast) scampering around and either biting or scratching the St. Louis field crew member who finally corralled it. Others are posting YouTube clips. It's not clear whether the cat is a stray, but if so it would surely find a home quickly given the fans' reaction. The incident calls to mind a similar one involving a squirrel in the 2011 playoffs. In fact, as the Post-Dispatch notes, the Cards etched a silhouette of "Rally Squirrel" on their championship rings that year. (Read more baseball stories.)