10/27/2004 7:49 PM ET
Cards fan wins World Series tickets
Surfing club's Web site lands professor at Game 4
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
|Contest winners Marya Bland, right, and Laura Gohdes cheer as the players take the field prior to Game 4 of the World Series in St. Louis. (L.G. Patterson/MLB.com)
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
"When I was a kid," she said, "he was the poster on the wall."
Bland, a 29-year-old education professor at nearby Gateway College in
Florissant, Mo., was on that
page at stlcardinals.com, 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.
That was the final day for thousands of entries in the contest
that was promoted throughout the playoffs on MLB.com 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
The only thing that could have been better would have been a seat next to
"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
"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."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.