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Cards fan wins World Series tickets
10/27/2004 7:49 PM ET
ST. LOUIS -- One week ago, Marya Bland was searching around the St. Louis Cardinals' Web site for information about Jack Clark. She had heard that he might be at Busch Stadium sometime during this postseason, and she was in a tizzy.

"When I was a kid," she said, "he was the poster on the wall."

While Bland, a 29-year-old education professor at nearby Gateway College in Florissant, Mo., was on that page at, she clicked on a headline that was too good to pass up. It tempted her to enter the Staples World Series Easy Sweepstakes contest, with a chance to win a pair of tickets to Game 4 of this Fall Classic -- and maybe to see her Cards.

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That was the final day for thousands of entries in the contest that was promoted throughout the playoffs on and all 30 club sites. The next day, Bland received the call that she had won, and there she was on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, watching the Cardinals play the Red Sox.

The only thing that could have been better would have been a seat next to Clark.

"I'm probably more nervous than I should be," Bland said. "This is wonderful. I was at a Wal-Mart the next day after I entered, and when I got the call, I thought it was a joke. I'm telling people, and they said, 'You won tickets at Wal-Mart?' I was telling my students and they were pretty excited about it. I thought it was just a St. Louis thing -- I didn't even realize until just now that fans everywhere were entering this thing."

Bland knew when she showed up at Busch Stadium to pick up her winnings and join the crowd that it could be the final chance of the year to see her favorite team.

"It's a horrible thing when any season ends," she said. "Hopefully this is a better game. The crowd has to be into it -- lively and loud. And the Cards have to show up. I don't know who that was in the last games, but that wasn't our boys. If they don't, then I guess I can say I saw the Curse of the Bambino broken."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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