To a man, Cards' quest inspired by Beltran

To a man, Cards' quest inspired by Beltran

To a man, Cards' quest inspired by Beltran

BOSTON -- Adam Wainwright, on the eve of making his first career World Series start, shared a light moment during his press conference about how thankful he was for a (literal) dream that didn't come true last week.

Wainwright, who is among a group of Cardinals players who have talked openly about wanting to get Carlos Beltran to the World Series, said that he dreamt the night before Game 6 of the National League Championship Series that it was the Dodgers, not the Cardinals, who won the NL pennant and advanced to the World Series. Beltran had fallen one win short again … until 2014.

"We didn't get to the World Series, and we weren't the team to get him there," Wainwright recalled. "And he ended up signing with the Yankees next year, and the Yankees took him to the World Series. And I remember the gist of the dream was he was sitting on a podium like this saying, 'I'm so happy to be a Yankee and in the World Series.' And I was like, 'Oh, my gosh'. It was a nightmare."

Wainwright laughs about the vision now, though this idea of providing Beltran the opportunity to play in his first Fall Classic has been a source of motivation throughout October. Beltran had never advanced further than Game 7 of the NLCS in any of his previous 15 seasons.

"I thought about him last night for about an hour, the fact that he's here," David Freese said. "This is all about Carlos. This is why you play the game. It's about the guys who grind it out for so many years and deserve to be in the World Series, win or loss. It's about guys like Carlos."

As Beltran fielded questions about his arrival on the World Series stage, he talked of the opportunity as a blessing and of his wait as all a part of "God's master plan." He also expressed appreciation to his teammates for rallying around his personal aspiration.

"It really means a lot, and I really appreciate they're on a mission to get me to the World Series," Beltran said. "Now we're here and hopefully we can win this. If it happens, I will be very happy. If it doesn't happen, in my heart, this year and last year, I feel like a winner, because I made a good decision to sign with a good organization that gave me an opportunity to play in postseason games. This is what you dream of as a player."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.