It’s no real secret that I’m a baseball fan. I’m not shy about advocating for the game or talking about it. A couple of days ago I was talking with the esteemed gentleman from Massachusetts about it as he’s just started coaching his son’s little league team. I came to a conclusion that I hand’t reached before during that conversation. I finally figured out why I like baseball.
It’s a team sport. Twenty-Five man roster. Nine men on field at a time playing defense. One man in the batter’s box offense centers on him though baserunners play a part.
One man has the ball and in that moment only individual skills matter. When that moment is over and the ball is in flight either between fielders or off the bat the game is back to being about team.
Ted Williams, the best right handed hitter ever, said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” He was totally correct. Doesn’t matter at all how impressive an individuals stats are, there is far more failure than success in the game of baseball, and the team can’t be successful without a full team effort.
That’s why I like the game so much, a player can be all about individual achievement but cannot neglect his role in the team no matter how he triumphs or falters. That lesson carries over to relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Striving for individual success cannot overshadow the contributions made for the team as those individual successes only serve to improve the whole.
The game teaches mindset too, but that can be for another post.
Now there’s three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain. -Casey Stengel-