Looking Back At The St. Louis Cardinals’ Improbable 2011 World Series Win

It has been seven years since the St. Louis Cardinals secured their last World Series – the franchise’s 11th and arguably the most exciting one yet.

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Image source: nytimes.com

Before the 2011 season even started, the odds were not in favor of the Cardinals. Contract talks with the team’s best slugger, Albert Pujols, stalled, causing unneeded distraction within the team. And a couple days after the start of training camp, their best pitcher, Adam Wainwright, suffered an injury.

130 games into the season, St. Louis had a mere 4.3 percent chance of entering the playoffs. Their only opportunity to make it into the postseason was through a wild-card entry, but they were 10-and-a-half games behind wild-card leading Atlanta Braves. In the last 32 games, the Cardinals made their comeback, winning all but nine of them to steal the last playoff spot from the Braves.

In every postseason series, St. Louis was always the underdog, yet the team kept on finding ways to get the victory. They eventually reached the World Series where they faced the Texas Rangers, who were considered as one of the best defensive teams in both the American League and National League.

After six matches, it seemed that the Rangers were going to walk away with the Commissioner’s Trophy. But the Cardinals would make another comeback. Twice, they were one strike away from elimination, but they dug deep and found another gear to survive. And in the seventh game, St. Louis played better to claim the title, becoming the first wild card team to win the World Series since 2004.

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Image source: manginphotography.net

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Football Legends: The Indomitable Paolo Maldini

While soccer has produced countless superstars over the years, only a precious few have had the strength of will to last three decades in the toughest leagues in the world, and even fewer have stayed loyal to one club. In Italy, one such man exists. No one in Italian, or world football for that matter has come close to achieving what the great Paolo Maldini has achieved.

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Image source: BBC.co.uk

Maldini is a second-generation football star who played in the left back and central defender positions. With the amount of time he has spent playing, he has earned the respect and admiration of generations of fans. Maldini has played and captained only two teams, A.C. Milan, and the Italian national football team.

Maldini has played for A.C. Milan in Serie A for 25 years and represented his country for 14 years. He has been a captain for the Azzur in 126 games. At the club level, his efforts have seen A.C. Milan win a staggering 26 trophies.

The only trophy Maldini has not won was the FIFA World Cup. But even without it, he stands tall as one of the greatest marvels the football world has ever seen. His skill as a defender is only matched by his endurance and stamina, and his force of will. Such is the indomitable Maldini, surely, one of football’s greatest.

Although the World Cup has always eluded him, it doesn’t tarnish his reputation as one of the greatest to ever defend. He has received many individual awards, as well as voted for a spot at the FIFA World Cup Dream Team, which had the best players in history.

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Image source: Wikipedia.com

Hey guys, John Eilermann here. I’m fascinated by the many aspects of World War II. I also love soccer and look forward to every World Cup. More of the stuff I love can be found here.

What The Bronze Star Means To a Soldier

Image source: Wikipedia.org

For heroic or meritorious achievements or service in combat, the United States Armed Forces awards the Bronze Star.

The Bronze Star medal, created in 1944, through Executive Order 9419, exists to honor soldiers who have fought for the country. The award itself was superseded in 1962, through Executive Order 11046, and amended in 2003, via Executive Order 13286.

The Bronze Star medal can be handed out by a number of officers through the recommendation of a military department, the Secretary of Homeland Security, military commanders, or any other uniformed officer appointed by the Secretary. Any personnel in the United States Armed Forces, from the United States Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, or Marine Corps is eligible for the medal if he or she meets the criteria.

Image source: Russia-insider.com

The Bronze Star medal can be awarded to uniformed personnel who as stated earlier, exhibit heroic and meritorious achievement or service – who are not part of the aerial flight, and can only be given to personnel who fight in battle zones, and are eligible for imminent danger pay.

Another important note when it comes to the Bronze Star is that it isn’t limited to soldiers who serve the United States. Foreigners who have served alongside U.S. servicemen in the United State Military can also be awarded the medal.

Hi! I’m John Eilermann. I love reading about World War II since I was young. Follow me on Twitter to learn more about me and the things I’m passionate about.

Soccer In The Rain: A Game For All Seasons

I’ve followed football for years, and with the World Cup just around the corner, I found it appropriate to write about the game I so love. For this blog, I want to talk about playing football in the rain. Watching the German Bundesliga, quite a number of games are played during a downpour.

Image source: unsplash.com

And the game changes dramatically.

Aside from the drop in temperature, games in the rain can become exciting and oh-so-challenging. That’s just from a spectator’s point of view. When you’re playing in the rain, it’s a different animal altogether.

Image source: telegraph.co.uk

I’ve had my share of football games in the rain and to be honest, I enjoy them as much as dry weather games. It is harder to run and keep your balance since the pitch becomes muddy and slippery. The ball doesn’t bounce as much so you have to anticipate that it doesn’t quite reach as far as it should. Also, the rain will always get in your eyes, as if you’re perpetually drenched in sweat, so there’s that. But overall, playing in the rain is just downright fun.

Just mind the weather though because if the winds get stronger or if there are lightning strikes near the area, it might be time to call it a day.

I’m John Eilermann, a huge football fan. The World Cup is nearing and I’ve decided to write more about the sport I love. Follow me Facebook for more updates like this.

A Few Unexpected Inventions From World War Ii

While the unspeakable occurs during wars, some positive things come out of it. The many non-destructive inventions that came out of World War II are prime examples of the good that comes out of conflict. Many of today’s technologies were birthed during that particular war. Some inventions though are quite unexpected. Either you may think that someone would’ve thought about it long before World War II, or they were simply too outrageous.

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Image source: Sportsmansguide.com

Take for example the water container known as the “Jerrycan.” We can see it everywhere today. They’re usually found on the backs of jeeps and off-road vehicles and in water refilling stations. Yes, these containers were created during World War II.

Jerrycans can be held in three places, and they’re much stronger than your average water container. They can amazingly expand when they need to. They also have a short spot and an air pocket so you can avoid messing things up while pouring.

On a more serious note, the war also gave birth to synthetic oil. With oil reserves running low, the Germans found the mixture of adipic acid ester and polyethylene oil to be potent enough as a replacement. The Americans took it a step further and created synthetic oil. The new synthetic compound didn’t freeze up as quickly as natural oil, which helped vehicles move smoothly during the winter.

In line with synthetic inventions, the Allies created Ameripol, which was a synthetic rubber compound. This more than made up for the shortage of rubber caused by the Axis cutting off the supply.

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Image source: Nationalww2museum.org

Hi! I’m John Eilermann. I love reading about World War II since I was young. Check out this Twitter page for more on the stuff I love.

A Look At The All-Important Infantryman

Image source: wikimedia.org

Over the years, technology has changed the way people have engaged in armed conflict. Today, it’s possible to launch a strike at a target, or multiple targets for that matter, from hundreds of miles away. However, with so many aspects of war evolving, some have stayed the same. Take for instance the need for infantrymen. Yes, ground troops still remain the most important part of an army.

Whether during war or peacetime, whether engaging the enemy or simply maneuvering to set up base at target locations, infantrymen have been essential to operations conducted by armed forces. Infantrymen face the most danger during wartime and endure the highest casualty rate.

Infantrymen are responsible for attacking and defending locations. They are always well-trained and are cohesive enough to work hand-in-hand with special groups if necessary. During peacetime, however, infantrymen are used mostly for patrol and guard duty. They also do a bit of recon and surveillance, with intelligence gathering operations.

Image source: quora.com

Infantrymen who join special ops teams such as the Navy SEALs and Delta undergo the toughest training on earth to complete missions that require extreme stealth.

Both World Wars of the previous century saw the significance of infantrymen in battle as they were used to capture and defend locations. These missions eventually had a direct impact on the outcome of the wars.

My name is John Eilermann, a World War II scholar. For more about me and the stuff I love, follow this Facebook page.

Ranking The Books Of Roald Dahl

Celebrated British writer Roald Dahl changed the face of children’s literature during his lifetime; his wide array of books has sold more than 250 million copies worldwide. In 2008, British daily The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945.”

But beyond the accolades afforded by his native country, Dahl’s fame was far-reaching. Most of his books for children are now considered modern classics and are being read, studied, and taught all over the world. Here are our favorite ones.

Image source: theodysseyonline.com

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Easily the most popular and enduring of Dahl’s works, this is a modern fairy tale revolving around chocolate and the rewards and punishment of indulgence. It gave rise to cultural bywords like the Golden Ticket and, of course, Willy Wonka.

James and the Giant Peach (1961)

Dahl’s first book is immediately a page-turner and fan favorite, following the adventure of an orphan who enters a giant peach and befriends magically-altered garden bugs. It’s hard to suspend our disbelief at the beginning, but you’d have a great and fun read once you do.

Image source: wordpress.com

Matilda (1988)

Notably the most believable and inventive of Dahl’s works, this is about a girl who has telekinesis. Wait until you meet the unforgettable character Bruce Bogtrotter.

The BFG (1982)

Also made into an animated film recently, this book gets readers face-to-face with a giant who blows good dreams into children’s windows. Our main character Sophie gets into a ton of (mis)adventures, travels by riding on her “big friendly giant’s” ear and even meets the queen of England.

Hi there! I’m John Eilermann from St. Louis, Missouri, and I’m currently in college pursuing a degree in comparative literature. Some of my favorite writers are Roald Dahl, C.S Lewis, Ned Vizzini, and Jonathan Franzen. For similar reads, visit this blog.

Five Of The Most Valuable Pieces Of Wwii Memorabilia

World War II is as interesting to study as it is moving. Many pieces of memorabilia have been left by millions who participated in the most gruesome war the world had ever experienced.

Below are some of the most important pieces of WWII memorabilia:

1. Enigma Cipher Machine

Valued at $208,137, the German Enigma Cipher Machine that time was the most complex encoding device ever created.

                                    Image source: abc.net.au

2. Hitler’s Desk

The brass desk which Adolf Hitler used to sign the Munich pact was sold for $423,000 by Alexander Autographs in December 2011.

3. Alan Turing’s Notebook

Alan Turing and his team cracked the code used by the German’s Enigma machines. Their efforts shortened the war by two years. This 56-page note has been auctioned off for $1 million.

                             Image source : foxnews.com

4. Victoria Cross medal

An Australian WWII Victoria Cross medal, which was awarded to only 22 Australians, was sold for $1.1 million at Noble Numismatics on July 28th 2011.

5. Hitler’s Mercedez-Benz

Produced between 1930 and 1943, this bullet-proof luxury Mercedez-Benz 770k was sold for around $8 million to a Russian Billionaire in November 2009. Hitler could not drive it himself and was chauffeured around the car.

My name’s John Eilermann. I live in Chicago but my mother was originally from St. Louis. Visit my blog for more reads like this.

G.O.A.T Talk: Top Soccer Players

Soccer has been one of the most popular sports in the world since its inception. The game has been blessed with some phenomenal talents that make the sport loved by millions of fans. For what it’s worth, here are my top picks for the greatest soccer players of all-time.

Image source: mirror.co.uk

3. Diego Maradona: Maradona is probably the best dribbler soccer has ever seen. Maradona led an average Argentinian team to a 1986 world cup glory and scored two of the best goals in the history of soccer.

2. Lionel Messi: Most football fans (the young ones at least) now consider Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer to have ever played the sport, and more fans will join the claim by the time Messi hangs up his jersey. At the age of 29, he has several more years left in his tank. Messi is Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer.

1. Pele: Many of the young fans might not have seen him play, but Pele still sits as the greatest soccer player of all-time. Three-time World Cup winner with Brazil in 1958, 1962, and 1970, Pele is recognized as the greatest footballer of the century. He was awarded by FIFA as the best footballer of the 20th century.

Image source: pinimg.com

Hi, my name’s John Eilermann. I live in Chicago, mostly fixated on baseball and soccer. Visit this link for similar reads.

Three ways to give back to veterans

Most Americans will never serve in the military or fight for the country, and that’s because we’re safe enough in the service of those who choose to protect us. Though most of us aren’t going to don the military uniform, there are countless ways we can help veterans, who often return from war to face yet another battle.

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                     Image source: healingcircleshouston.org

Here are three ways to give back to veterans:

.1 Give a veteran a ride

Veterans give their lives for the sake of the country, and some of them return home disabled. Give veterans a free ride whenever the situation arises. Disabled American Veterans provides such transportation; you can volunteer to drive a van.

2. Sponsor a companion dog for veterans with PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is the number one enemy of veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. And veterans of past wars are still dealing with the ghosts of their previous experience. You can sponsor a companion dog that can help veterans cope with their experiences.

3. Share their stories

These people experience heroic stories every day on the battlefield, but a lot of these experiences have been left untold. The Library of Congress is collecting the tales of veterans of every war. If you are related to a veteran, share their stories to the Library of Congress, they’d want to hear it.

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                       Image source: burnettwilliams.com

My name is John Eilermann, a son of a WWII veteran. I’m mostly fixated on baseball and soccer. Visit my blog for more updates.