Hello-hello, all. The Consort here stepping into the batter’s box while The (lovely and very talented) Princess takes a spa day. We’re going to talk about a topic near and dear to both The Princess and I: Baseball. We both have life-long passions for the game. She stole my heart when she recited the starting lineup for the 1968 Detroit Tigers when we first started dating. One of my earliest memories is being at a Tiger game on August 3, 1962 when Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew became the first player to hit a ball over the left field roof and out of the old stadium. Later in life I quit a well-paying job in television to be an usher for the Colorado Rockies. Playing baseball has taught me quite a few life lessons and I thought this might be a good time to share them.
1. You will fail more than you succeed. As a batter if you hit safely three out of ten times you may well be considered an All-Star. That high percentage of failure can be an inspiration. What happened in your last at-bat is a learning experience. The most important attempt you’re going to make is the next time you step up to the plate. Make it count.
2. Someone’s going to be throwing you curveballs. It might be on the field or it might be in an office meeting. That pitch is going to look like something you’ve never seen before. Hang in there, relax and take your best cut. If you’ve done your preparation you can handle any curveballs you see. And if you haven’t done your prep work than you deserve what you get. Which leads to my next point.
3. You have to work. Baseball (and the workplace) are full of stories of “the newest, greatest” star. Sometimes those stars burn brightly but flame out quickly. Perhaps they relied on their natural gifts but those gifts could only take them so far. We want long careers. That requires hours of hard work. It’s not glamorous but it pays off more times than not.
4. Pay attention to the signals around you. During a baseball game you’ve all seen that third base coach who looks like he has fleas. His arms are moving around and he’s making all kinds of gyrations. He’s sending signals to the batter. The coach might be telling the batter to swing at the next pitch, let it go by, bunt or if there is a special play for a runner on base. It sounds complicated but it really is just based on the game situation. People are sending you signals every day. You have to pay attention to the situation in which you find yourself. Watch for the signals and act accordingly.
5. Overcome your fear. In baseball you’ll be hit by pitches or balls taking bad bounces. You’ll get knocked down by opposing players. And you get back up. Same for life. Getting knocked down is no big deal; getting back up is what will make you stronger.
6. Enjoy the wins. Savor the moment. But today’s game is over. Tomorrow is bringing you more challenges and what you did today will prepare you for them. Keep looking forward.
That’s enough for now. I’m keeping away from topics like chewing tobacco and spitting in public. I’m not sure there are any lessons to be learned there beyond “Don’t do it”. As always I thank you for your time. Don’t forget to take good care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today. Good night, everyone!