The World Series ring sits just a couple of miles away, in a bank security deposit box, but David Freese hasn’t even seen it, let alone worn it, in five years.

The World Series MVP trophy is somewhere in his parents’ basement at their suburban St Louis home, still wrapped in a box, but he hasn’t bothered to look inside.

The shiny black Corvette, presented to him for his heroic performance in that 2011 Fall Classic, sits dusty with a dead battery in an Austin, Texas storage facility, with less than 1,000 miles on the odometer.

Freese, 33, now the Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman, simply shrugs, almost embarrassed he still is considered a hero in his hometown of St. Louis.

If only they knew.

Freese walks into an empty office in the visiting clubhouse at Busch Stadium, where he became a baseball legend the night of Oct. 27, 2011, pulls out a chair, plops down, and looks into your eyes.

This may be the happiest time of his life, a newlywed of seven months, but to fully understand his bliss, he needs to lead you into the depths of his soul.

He may forever be a hero in these parts, but during a time he should have been basking in glory, he instead was a tormented man who battled just to get out of bed.

He would wake up mornings, slam his eye lids shut, wishing he were dead.

“I was depressed. I was always depressed,’’ Freese tells USA TODAY Sports. “I never tried to do anything to myself, but I didn’t care about my life. I didn’t care what would happen to me. It was almost to a point that if this is my time, so be it?

“And there was definitely a lack of care about my well-being at certain times, for sure.’’

Freese says he has battled depression his entire life, a factor in his decision to relinquish a college scholarship after high school to Missouri. He instead just wanted to be like any other student, giving him plenty of time for partying and alcohol. There were three public drunken-driving incidents, including a December 2009 arrest in which his blood alcohol content was measured at .23, nearly three times the legal limit.