In honor of the long awaited opening day for Major League Baseball (pandemic version) it’s worth reflecting on some of baseball’s great lessons.
- Even the best hitters of all time fail more often than they succeed. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Manny Ramirez, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams … not a one of these world-class all time hitting greats, or anyone else for that matter, ever made it to first base more often than not. A rare and truly astounding batting average of .400 would mean getting at least a base hit only 2 out of every 5 times at bat. Yet it would have been beyond ridiculous if any of these all-time greats had given up baseball in shame and frustration convinced that they shouldn’t even keep trying because they failed so often.
- Never call yourself Out — let the umpire do it. When a base runner reaches a base, no matter what happened on the way there, they always act like they belong there. Never, ever head back to the dugout before the umpire says you’re Out.
- Different players need different talents and skills, and they’re all important. A team that put nine pitchers on the field wouldn’t fare well, even if they were all Hall of Fame pitchers.
- And the lesson learned by all who ever played sandlot baseball: Welcome and appreciate everyone who shows up to play. If you only ever want to play with your 2 or 3 best friends you’ll wind up just playing a lot of catch, which is okay sometimes, but it isn’t nearly as much fun as having a pitcher, a catcher, and batters and base runners and infielders and outfielders on both teams.
Christian little kids of all ages can learn much from baseball.