David Freese, the third baseman for the National League Division Champion St. Louis Cardinals, is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He grew up in the St. Louis metropolitan area, the son of a civil engineer and a teacher, and as a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom he would one day achieve star status.
Freese, then playing shortstop for Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Missouri, had a .533 batting average and 23 home runs during his senior year at the school. Many considered him to be the best shortstop in the Show-Me State, and he was offered a baseball scholarship to the University of Missouri. Surprisingly, he turned down the opportunity, although he did enroll at the school as a computer science major.
Before too long, David decided that he really missed baseball, and wanted to once again participate in the sport. Enrolling on the team of a local community college, Freese went on to produce a .373/.443/.525 batting line in his junior year.
The Boston Red Sox were the first team to try to snag Freese before he hit the draft in 2006, but the young player went through the draft selection process, being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 9th round, on June 12th 2006. Having success throughout the minor leagues, but blocked at the major league level, he began to remake himself as a catcher. The Padres traded Freese to the Cardinals in 2008, and he came up to the majors the following year, making his Major League debut on April 6th, 2009.
He began the 2011 season hitting .320, but had his left hand fractured by a pitch, forcing him to miss 51 games. In the National League Championship Series that year, Freese delivered a stunning .545 bating average and was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player.
Freese played a part in the NLDS this year, coming in for one of the two go-ahead runs in the improbable comeback that marked the Division Championship for St. Louis.
David Freese has had challenges in his life with alcohol, having been arrested three times in the last ten years for public intoxication, resisting arrest and driving under the influence.
This year, the 29-year-old posted a .293 average, about in line with his major league career average, while hitting 20 home runs and driving in 79 runs over 144 games. Making just over half a million dollars a year, Freese is a very cost-effective player who is likely to be a member of the St. Louis team for many years to come.
(U.S. Army photo)