You Too Can #TakeTheCrown
Baseball is quite a metaphor for life.
Oh sure, baseball lacks the back-and-forth flash of pro basketball and the smashmouth pounding of pro football. Some say baseball is boring because It. Moves. So. Slow.
True, true and true. For a fan of pro baseball, though, the game is like a long, teasing novel that draws you in, hooks you with beautiful scenery, surprises you with gutsy, didn’t-see-that-coming character maneuvers and exhausts you with nail-biting drama.
That’s my life in the post-season playoffs watching the scrapping team of my youth, the Kansas City Royals.
Long time since 1985
It’s been 29 years since the infamous I-70 World Series between the two Missouri teams, the Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. I was a 24-year-old, newly minted professional, full of life and promise, just like the American League winning Royals.
Game Six found me high in the stands of Kaufman Stadium, swilling beers and screaming my voice raw. That young Royals team–led by 21-year-old pitching ace Bret Saberhagen, whipped its fans into a frenzy with its raw determination and gritty belief in themselves and winning the title crown.
The 2014 Royals team, along with pitcher Greg Holland (who played college ball with Bret Saberhagen’s son) is eerily similar. Their sense of hope and belief is poetry in motion; these young men exude determination and confidence that is the purest epitome of success. Aren’t those the characteristics of any successful path in life?
The opening game of the American League Championship Series in Baltimore last Friday night ended in a fourth-straight, extra innings win for the Royals. The game could have gone either way, in large part due to potentially game-giveaway Royals mistakes in the late innings.
Lesser teams might have folded, certain their chances were blown.
But not this team. Their faces reflected some confusion as they paced the dugout during a blown bases-loaded, no outs, top of the 9th. There was something else, though. There seemed to be a collective whirling of thoughts digging deep in to the team psyche, searching for solutions to a temporary set-back.
How often do we screw up, and in an infinitesimal moment, choose between sliding into defeat or rising with renewed energy?
It matters what we choose
The boys chose well Friday night. Next inning, top of the 10th, one solo home run to break the tie, then a two-run blast for insurance.
That’s what I’m talking about! Never say die, never give up on your goal or your dream. Find a new tool, answer or solution that thrusts you far past the point of error and into the place where you’ve believed you can fly.
There’s one more ingredient to add to the stew pot of success and that is the element of fun. Don’t forget to have fun!
Major league baseball is a multi-gazillion dollar business but that doesn’t stop this 2014 Royals team (Or the 1985 team, for that matter!) from having fun. This group of Royal men bring the fun of boyhood baseball to the field each night.
They bring the stuff of childhood dreams when they show up to play. The Royals believe they can #TakeTheCrown. And so can you.
Photo courtesy of farmer64