Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Seven Surprising Facts about the St. Louis Cardinals

I'm a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan, and I enjoy reading about them when I have spare time. Over the years, I've come to know a lot about them. The following are some fun facts about the Cardinals that you might not be familiar with if you're not a long-time fan.
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1. The Cardinals played their first game in Robison Field. Robison Field was the Cardinals' home from 1893 to 1918. The Cardinals moved to Sportsman Park in 1920. Robison Park was sold to developers soon after. The developers completed construction of Beaumont High School on the site in 1926.

2. They've had two team name changes. In 1883, the Cardinals were an American Association Team called the St. Louis Brown Stockings. Nine years later, they became a National League team and soon after adopted the name the St. Louis Perfectos. They became the St. Louis Cardinal was chosen in 1900. In the 1930s, the Cardinals team was unofficially nicknamed the “Gashouse Gang” due to its members' untidy appearance.

3. Mike Laga was the only player to have ever hit a ball out of Busch Stadium. It happened on September 15, 1986. Although it was a foul ball, the audience gave Laga a standing ovation.

4. Mark McGwire was the first Cardinal to hit 50 home runs in one season. He beat his own record in 1998, hitting 70 home runs in a single season, four more than Sammy Sosa.

5. Jose Oquendo has played every position on the diamond. Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog named him “The Secret Weapon” for this reason. Oquendo retired in 1996.

6. Stan “The Man” Musial's first sport was gymnastics. Musial was a competitive gymnast a child. He also played basketball and was once offered a scholarship by the University of Pittsburgh.
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7. They're one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams in history. The Cardinals have won more than 9,600 games, 13 division titles, 19 National League pennants, and 11 World Series Championships. Their last World Series win was in 2011.

In 2001, the Cardinals and the Houston Astros had identical season records, resulting in the first division co-championship in MLB history. I'm John Eilermann. The St. Louis Cardinals and history are two of my greatest passions. Please like my Facebook page for more discussions on my favorite team.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reliving The Memory: World War Ii Items Worth Collecting

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In memory of my father and the hundred thousand troops who fought for America, World War II items and memorabilia enable people to keep their memories alive—to relive the honor and pride our soldiers have brought to our country.

My father joined the U.S. Army when he migrated from Hannover at the start of World War II. After his death, I continued collecting items from different parts of the country. For those who want to start a collection, here are some items to consider:

Vintage photos. If you are a visual collector, vintage photos taken during World War II can be a great starting point. You can find a lot of them online with replicas starting from $5. If you are looking for something more authentic, however, get ready to spare hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Autographed photos of famed generals like General Eisenhower, General Patton, and General MacArthur can be worth thousands of dollars apiece.

Uniforms. American and German uniforms are widely available for purchase at online stores like eBay. They come in many styles from a variety of countries. Some of the most popular uniforms include jacket, shirt, and trousers. Other items like helmets and cuffs are also available but are more expensive ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 or more.

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Medals. Considered among the most versatile types of World War II memorabilia, medals can serve as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our soldiers. They come in very small sizes, which make an ideal collector’s item for those who want to save space.

World War II items bring back lot memories about our past as well as lessons about honor and pride. These items serve as a reminder of our history that helped shape what our country is today.

Hello everyone, I am John Eilermann, and I am deeply interested in World War II. Follow me on Twitter for more discussions on World War II items and memorabilia.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Look Back in History: World War II Sites to Visit in France

For casual travellers, France is a country made for romance, woven around unfalteringly culture-filled cafe terraces, vintage villages, and lace-curtained bistros. But what many fail to appreciate is its rich history, and to this day, reminders of World War II dot the hexagon.

In 1940, the world saw the battle of France and the fall of its third republic. Paris, touted as the city of love, was ablaze with millions of prisoners facing military wrath.

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 So the next time you visit this great country, here are some historic World War II sites you may want to consider making part of your itinerary:

Pointe Du Hoc. Occupied by English forces during the Hundred Years' War, Normandy is one of the most haunting places to visit in France. In this region lies Pointe Du Hoc, a 100-meter-high cliff on the coast of Normandy in northern France. The site features prominent bomb craters and a memorial and museum dedicated to the battle.

Sainte-Mère-Église. Also found in Normandy, the flat area, also known as “le Plain,” has become one of Europe’s tourist hubs. Due to its role during the D-Day invasion—the first day Western Europe was critically invaded—the site features small museums commemorating the story of the Great War.

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Camp de Rivesaltes. The camp, which is situated on a rail route 40 km from the Spanish border, was considered a strategic position for the French army during the Second World War. At the time, the site was used as a detainment camp, where thousands of Jews and over hundreds of children were murdered.

Indeed, France is more than just a place of love. It is a well-preserved republic that encapsulates one of the darkest ages in world history.

Learn more historical facts about World War II from this John Eilermann blog.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Training and Conditioning: Fitness Areas Soccer Players Should Focus On

Soccer (or football, if you prefer) is one of the most popular sports today, if not the most popular. For those who would want to train to become soccer players, here are the different components of fitness involved in this sport:
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The soccer field is a wide area, and playing can be extremely exhausting. For this reason, soccer players must have a reliable cardiovascular system and muscular endurance. Stamina training like running for at least an hour at a time can help in building an athlete’s endurance. 

Speed and agility

In soccer, the faster players have an obvious competitive edge. But running fast is not enough; good soccer players can create intense, short bursts of speed and are also able to change direction quickly. Practicing power movements like jump squats, high pulls, and push presses is an effective way to improve speed and explosiveness.  


While some may argue that strength isn’t needed for soccer, the truth is actually the opposite. As stated earlier, strength is the foundation of speed and power. Players also need strength to fend off tackles from opponents. Furthermore, strength training provides players more energy that they can use in the games.
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Soccer players move in a wide array of motions. But if the athletes aren’t careful, these movements may cause them injuries. By improving flexibility via stretch exercises and mobility drills, players can minimize injury incidences.

My name is John Eilermann. I am a huge sports fan from Chicago. Follow me on Twitter for more updates on soccer and baseball.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Farewell Ghost Goals: Bundesliga is All Set for Hawk-Eye

The upcoming Bundesliga season will welcome a new addition to the field. Hawk-Eye will provide goal line technology systems for the 18 Bundesliga clubs and across 306 Bundesliga matches per season.

Last December, at a general meeting of the League Association, the Bundesliga clubs voted in favor of implementing the ball-tracking technology from the start of the 2015/16 season and onwards. The Hawk-Eye system is predominantly known for being used at tennis Grand Slams, cricket matches, and at the Olympics. The English Premier League meanwhile has adopted the technology at the start of its 2013/14 campaign.

The decision behind implementing such technology was to avoid future ghost or phantom goals. In football, a ghost goal is a contentious goal usually involving whether or not a ball crossed the goal line. Such goal can be awarded without the ball ever crossing the goal line. It can also be applied when the ball crosses the goal line unseen by the referee. The talk of such technology become more prevalent as questionable decisions haunt the German football league. For example, in 2013, there was Stefan Kiessling's controversial goal in the win over Hoffenheim and in 2014 during the DFB-Pokal final when the referee failed to spot that Mats Hummels' header crossed the line.


Hawk-Eye uses six precision cameras and one high-speed camera for each goal, all of which are fitted to the stadium’s roof. If the ball comes within the vicinity of the goal, each camera will capture its movement and a software will calculate its exact position in real time from the various angles even if only a small part of the ball is visible. Moreover, as soon as the ball crosses the line, the system will alert the referee via a wrist watch. Bundesliga stadiums are now being fitted with the technology in preparation for the new season.

Hello there! John Eilermann here. It will be interesting to see the Hawk-Eye in action once the Bundesliga season begins. But I’m more interested in how the Reds will perform this season. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Behind the Name: The Origin of The Word Soccer

Have you ever wondered why football is called soccer?  Apparently, since Americans have their own game called football, soccer was used to distinguish between the two.  Many hard-core fans of football have always blamed the Americans for using such an obscure term for their beloved sport, but it wasn’t the Americans who coined the term.  A recent study of the etymology of the word soccer was conducted by Stefan Szymanski, a professor at the University of Michigan and what he found out was quite interesting.

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A lot of our British brothers had always argued about calling football soccer when according to Szymanski’s study, the word actually originated in England.  About 200 years ago, soccer was used to shorten the proper name of the sport, association football.  At the time, there were two kinds of football: Rugby and Association football.  Both were derived from an ancient game of the same name but to promote order, a couple of people came together to consolidate an organized rulebook where the differences of each type were established.  Although at first, rugby and soccer were almost similar, the passage of time has helped rugby evolve into its own sport.

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 Kids started calling rugby football while soccer was used to contract association football to shorten the long names.  When the sport began to gain fame in other countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia, they already had sports called football, so the name soccer was preferred.  Eventually though, England began to revert to calling soccer football again until the word soccer came to be believed as an American word.

Find out more interesting facts and trivia about football by following this John Eilermann Google+ page.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Eyes on the prize: Euro 2016

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It was difficult to watch the current world number one-ranked team in its friendly match against Australia just recently. For long-time fans and supporters, it’s worrisome to compare the highly efficient German machine that it was in the World Cup to the recent sloppy performance that made for an ‘exciting’ exhibition match.

While coach Joachim Löw admitted that much of what the team showed that night wasn’t to his liking, he also expressed that he isn’t overly worried about the outcome. As he answered post-match interviews, it was apparent that he and the team were trying out new things. This sort of experimentation, I might add, could eventually lead to some great results despite many of them not initially working out as well as expected.

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Notably, Germany will be traveling to Georgia for a Euro qualifier. Löw has plans to delay the addition of new talent into the squad until the next season as the team eyed its next big international title. Several candidates for the senior team, he said, first needed to prove themselves at the end of the season at the European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic. As he promised, however, the reshuffling will happen in the summer and the players who do well with the Under-21s will join the senior team. Löw’s plan seems centered on allowing the team to improve and have more flexibility as it prepares for Euro 2016.

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