In hockey, successful franchises subscribe to the same axiom: If you've won the Stanley Cup recently, it's imperative to acquire a veteran of stature who hasn't. The idea is that his yearning for a title - and the respect he commands - will keep his teammates focused around a common cause.
If we apply the same concept to a different sport, Carlos Beltran is that player for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals have the most championships of any National League franchise, their latest coming only two seasons ago. But Beltran - 36 years old, now at the end of his 16th season - is looking for his first World Series ring.
In fact, he's searching for his first World Series appearance .
After Friday night, he's only three wins away from the Fall Classic. Mostly, he has himself to thank. Beltran drove in all of the Cardinals' runs in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series; the last came on his walk-off single in the 13th, an opp...