Sometimes it happens and then it needs to marinate in my soul a bit before I can write it down. Not always, but sometimes.
It was just a few nights ago, standing there in a Party Suite at Oriole Park @ Camden Yards, co-hosting a client and friend appreciation event, I watched it happen… again. The final out failed to materialize, sending 46,000 people into a frenzy of celebration and exhilaration. Once again, twenty-six was not enough.
They came up with this game called baseball and though I’ve touched on it before, it’s worth repeating, it’s just like life. In baseball it’s all about the numbers, but nothing about the clock. 60 feet, 6 inches from the pitcher’s mound to the plate, 90 feet between the bases, and oh yes, you have to get twenty-seven outs to complete the game. But you can take just as long as you need to do it, or at least just as long as your skill, some force, the universe, or some higher power decides it should take.
Just like life. There is no clock. You get to play to the final out. The challenge is, just like baseball, we don’t know when the final out will come. So there’s the rub, if you don’t know, then you need to make every hit count. You need to step up to the plate and swing, with a purpose, with a goal in mind. Maybe we can’t think of life as a game, but then again, a baseball game… well maybe they’re a lot closer than you think.
In baseball it’s the smallest of accomplishments that rise to the top, amidst a sea of failure. Baseball and life are on the same page. It takes effort, practice and purpose to take it to a higher level. The discipline and focus on always getting better, on continual learning, keeping your skills sharp, because when it’s your turn at the plate, you need to be ready. Because every hit counts. There’s no clock, no timetable, but you don’t know when the game will end. So you do your best, work hard, play hard, lend a hand, give a hug, help show someone else how it’s done. Maybe you hit a grand slam and “lead” your team to victory, but with the humility of “following” them home. I love that one. Hit a slam with the sacks loaded and it’s your teammates that get home first, waiting to congratulate you for putting them on your back and leading them there. Give back in life, be the big hitter and others will appreciate you for it… many, many times over. Besides, there’s no place like home. 🙂
Just remember, you have to play full out. The game must be played until the final out. Because if you don’t, if you fail, the unexpected can rock your world.
A few nights ago, the Detroit Tigers learned that lesson. They thought they had the game wrapped up. It was the bottom of the ninth inning. The Tigers were protecting a one-run lead with two men on base, but now with two outs in the inning. Twenty-six outs complete, just one away. Then Orioles designated hitter, Chris Dickerson made them pay, by hammering a shot to right center-field. A three-run homer. Game over.
Twenty-six outs. The rules in baseball say you need twenty-seven. The clock won’t run out, but time does!! How’s that for irony? For the Tigers, heartbreak and a lesson learned. For Chris Dickerson and the Orioles, class in session. Never give up, even when there’s only one more out to go.
You can’t beat the clock, but sometimes you can beat the odds. If you play all out.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
(Notice I never said Walk-Off. Been there, done that. Read: http://markbrodinsky.com/2013/05/22/walk-off-its-just-about-life/ )