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Matheny was the Cardinals’ catcher that year, backed up by rookie Yadier Molina. Now Molina is considered the best defensive catcher in baseball, charged with trying to stop Ellsbury and a Red Sox team that’s run a lot in the postseason.

“It’s fun to be part of this history, to be here in Fenway Park, to be part of this Series against Boston,” Molina said.

“It’s different to play here overall. Playing defense, offense, pitching. It’s different, but at the same time it’s fun,” he said.

David Freese grew up in St. Louis and became MVP of the 2011 Series. He heard about Stan Musial vs. Ted Williams in 1946, knew about Bob Gibson facing Carl Yastrzemski in ‘67 and recalled watching on TV when Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke fielded Edgar Renteria’s tapper to finish off 2004.

“I remember the comebacker that ended it. The sweep. You don’t expect a World Series to end in four games,” the 30-year-old third baseman said.

Freese said he’d always hoped to get a chance to play at Fenway, and he got his first look Tuesday.

After Matheny stood near the mound and pointed out the particulars of the dirt triangle in center field, Freese stepped in for batting practice. He launched a long drive that hit high off the Green Monster in left-center, the loud thwack echoing all around the ballpark.

“That’s my Wall ball,” he hooted to teammate Matt Holliday.

Good for a hitter, maybe not so great for a pitcher.

“A ballgame can change with one swing of the bat in this ballpark,” Wacha said. “It’s pretty crazy. Crazy dimensions, that’s for sure.”