Throngs of Cardinals fans packed downtown St. Louis Sunday to celebrate the team's World Series championship after beating the Texas Rangers in seven games on Friday.

An official crowd estimate hasn't been released yet, but according to various reports, city officials expected several hundred thousand. The crowd was so large that people parked more than two miles away, and highways were backed up.

Of course, slugger Albert Pujols got a lot of attention during the parade, fans cheering him and giving him a long standing ovation while watching the celebration inside of Busch stadium. When Pujols was asked if he would like to be back for another celebration next season, he smiled and said, Hey, why not?

Pujols, the best player in the upcoming free agent market, may not end up back with the Cardinals because the team might not want to offer the 32-year-old a long term-deal despite his Hall of Fame numbers over the past 11 seasons. That includes a .328 average, 455 homers, 1,329 RBIs and a .420 on-base percentage.

David Freese -- hero and MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series -- garnered some of the loudest cheers along with Pujols.

Manager Tony La Russa led the parade atop a beer wagon pulled by the Budweiser Clydesdales, followed by a truck carrying owner Bill DeWitt Jr. clinging to the World Series trophy.

La Russa also acknowledged his team's resiliency even when the Cardinals were 10½ games behind in the wild card standings on Aug. 25.

What these guys did so many times facing elimination, it's a lesson for all of us, La Russa said. They never quit.

The parade ended inside Busch Stadium, where a sold-out crowd watched the celebration.

The celebration was the culmination of a four-day party that began with the Cardinals' improbable Game 6 win, when they rallied from two runs down in both the ninth and tenth innings, and Freese won the game 10-9 with a leadoff homer in the 11th.

View the slideshow of photos from the parade.