Nick Punto, a former player for the Gaucho baseball team, won title for the World Series with The Cardinals over the weekend. (By Keith Allison/Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
From the first time one picks up a bat to play T-Ball, most children dream of someday playing on the World Series-winning team. This dream came true last Friday for St. Louis Cardinal’s second baseman and Saddleback College alumnus Nick Punto when his team won the Series.
After graduating from Trabuco Hills High School and playing for the Gauchos, Punto was eventually inducted into Saddleback College’s Hall of Fame in 1998. He is perhaps one of the most famous athletes to come out of the college.
He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox, but he didn’t make his debut in the league until 2001 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
That year, Punto had a .239 batting average, 4 home runs, and 26 runs brought in. In 2005, 2006, and 2007 he struggled for the Minnesota Twins.
He posted career lows in all categories and had one the worst slugging percentages in the history of the league in 2007.
Punto had a rough few years in the league. In the second half of the 2008 season, after being injured the first half, he improved.
He was the Twins starting shortstop and had a .284 batting average and had 28 runs brought in.
After a year full of strong performances in 2008, 2009, and 2010, he was injured and was placed on the disabled list for a majority of both seasons.
During this time, he lost his starting job to Brendin Harris.
In January, 2011, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. He had a decent year and stayed healthy.
He came off the bench and was the second string second baseman behind Ryan Theriot.
Punto and the Cardinals won two upset series, defeating the Phillies and Brewers team.
They faced the Texas Rangers in the World Series.
Punto started at second base in three out of seven games in the World Series. He had a few crucial hits throughout the game.
He also started in game six which will go down as one of the greatest World Series games of all time, if not the best.
Punto and the Cardinals didn’t give up. They won game seven, and Punto captured his dream–a World Series championship.