Time for “The HA!!” – This is my mini-series on life lessons I’ve gained through my humbling sports endeavors… I LOVE sports but genuinely suck at most of them, and, therefore, I’m a “HA = Humbled Athlete.” Please check out the posts in this series by clicking this link.
Baseball, like many sports, is a world of statistics. They keep track of lots of numbers – runs, hits, errors, earned run average, runs batted in, and batting average, just to name a few. One number they don’t keep track of: What are the odds of any given batter making it around the bases and scoring? I guess this stat, like a cumulative of the rest, goes into the most important one of all, the won – lost column.
Growing up in Vero Beach, we had a professional baseball team for spring training. The Brooklyn Dodgers, later moving to L.A., trained in Vero from 1948 to 2008. They had a decent team at the time I was growing up and watching them play. It was fun to brush shoulders with legends.
I started following the Yankees later on. I guess if there was a baseball team that seemed to attract lots of drama it would be the Yankees. Why? I guess it’s the personalities, and the money that feeds them. Is there any humility there? Not sure. Feeding the big dogs as they round the bases…
And so we’ve reached the end of The HA!! – Baseball being the last sport that I played competitively.
I recall actually feeling superhuman and connecting the bat with the baseball. Once. It was awesome to really tag it, the sound of the wooden bat making contact with the ball. Wow! I was fortunate to score a few times, getting on base and then having teammates help me advance to second, third and back to home plate. High fives in the dugout. What were the odds? Well, for me, not all that great since I sucked at this one too! I couldn’t bat, being totally afraid of the ball. My first thought was always that I was going to get hit. In fact, I did get beaned by the ball a couple of times. I guess everyone did that played little league. That wasn’t a big deal, in little league. It was when I got to the next level that I faced a huge pitcher with a reputation for throwing wild, and really hard. It was all true, he will tell you himself to this day. I think this must have worked to his advantage as I’m guessing that I wasn’t the only one who feared the pitcher as a young athlete.
I could probably count the number of times that I made it all the way around the bases on two hands. Yet, I continued to play… and the coaches continued to draft me every year that I tried out. Why? I’m not sure… lol… I guess I was a decent fielder as I played second base and shortstop. Plus, the real issue with batting didn’t well up until I was in Pony League. It was always there, but got really bad after being schnockered by “throwing smoke wild pitcher giant.” Yea, that guy!
Dugout chatter. Yep, heckling was allowed. I don’t know if this is still the norm. It was bunk most of the time. Idle chatter… until the pressure cooker was steamed up to full, then the trash talk seemed to make a difference. I guess there were some rules to this, no talking about someone’s momma, there wasn’t any cussing or swearing, it was mostly heyyyyyyy batteeeeerrrrrrr SWING !!!!!
OK, so how to wrap this one up?
Maybe think of baseball this way: Every time we step up into the batters box we have a new opportunity. At that point, it’s just me and my bat. IF I choose to swing at the right pitch, I may get on base. Then, I’m often relying on my teammates to help me move forward, or the third base coach to wave me home.
In baseball every kid was the same. We all wanted to get on base, and score a run. To say we were eager would be an understatement. Our trip to the batters box was all about offense and our opportunity to shine. Well, we can think of our life here on earth the same way. You can be sure that your momma is watching, just like when you stepped up to bat. Lots of other people are watching too, and rooting you on.
The disrespectful devil in the dugout, always wanting us to fail. His voice is bunk. Idle chatter…
Remember the Beatles song, “Can’t Buy Me Love” – they were referring to money. I wonder how Derek Jeter feels about that one? Dunno, it does sound kind of fishy to think it would when we consider what love really is, right? btw, Jeter is a personal fav of mine. Like Jesus. He spoke of love, money and heaven, right?
Will we reach home plate? I think it depends on how we play the game. God could probably lay out some statistics.
I wonder, what are the odds?
Surely He has a won – lost column, don’t you think?
Speaking of brushing shoulders with legends…
Now there’s a humbling thought…
Hope you’ve enjoyed The HA!!