Archive for October 18th, 2009

Walk-Off WinI’m up surprisingly early this morning, after watching about a 5 1/2 hour Yankees/Angels playoff game last night, one that ended well after 1 AM.

It was a classic with everything that a fan could want.  Great performances.  Drama.  Heroics.  Sheer elation.

And humility.

Yeah, that’s right.  Humility.  I’m not talking about the “Aw, shucks, it weren’t nothing, Ma’am …”  kind of humility.  I’m talking about the built in humility of the game.  This a game where you will fail nearly every game in a game that is played nearly every day, often in crucial moments.  If you only fail as a hitter 70% of the time you could very well end up in Cooperstown, in the Hall of Fame.  As a fielder, there will inevitably be moments where, even if you are the best,  you will fail, making an error.  As a pitcher,  you are an ace if you only give up 3 or 4 runs a game.

Yet with all this failure, there is still the possibility of victory.  Take for instance, the night Derek Jeter had last night.  The Yankee captain started the scoring early with a home run.

Top of the world, ma, to quote Jimmy Cagney.

But as the game progressed he struck out a couple of times, hit into a costly double-play  and made an error in the field that could have been disastrous.  Yet, through all of this failure, his team emerged victorious.  That’s what I like about baseball.  It’s not about physical dominance but is most often about consistency and persistence, slogging forward despite the failures.  Shrugging them off and looking forward to the next at-bat, not as a chance to again fail, but as an opportunity to succeed.

There’s a life lesson for us all in there somewhere.  The most successful players in baseball have the ability to sweep away the memory of the last failure and move on to the next opportunity.  They try to learn from their failures.  Adjust.  And dare to fail again.  Something we should all remember.

That’s the humility in baseball.

Go, Yanks…

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