Baseball has meant far more to me than just another game known as our nation’s pastime. 14 years, 28 seasons, dozens of teams, and a countless number of hours I have spent on a baseball diamond. From tee-ball to coach pitch to middle school to high school, it’s been quite the journey. I have established life long relationships, formed important core values to succeed in life, and been taught valuable life lessons. The baseball field has been my happy place for most of my life and will continue to be a large part of my life whether I am playing, coaching, or a spectator of the game.
The people I have met playing this wonderful game is something that I will cherish forever. From teammates to coaches to opponents to umpires to families that have made positive impacts on my life. My teammates are still some of my best friends to this day and these relationships will last a lifetime. Favorite memories are always topics of discussion when conversing with current or past teammates. Whenever a laugh is to be had it is likely a story from the baseball diamond. The coaches I have played for have been far more than just educators of the game. They have taught me life lessons, helped me mature into a man, and have always been advocates for me in anything and everything I do. My Teammate’s families are like one of my own, from the long nights spent at the hotel pool to carpooling, there was never a dull moment playing the game we all loved.
Core values are amongst the many benefits I have extracted from the game of baseball and personally the most important to me. The game of baseball has helped me instill and develop a wide range of core values. These values include hard work, teamwork, effort, responsibility, and preparation. Hard work to me is simple, you get out what you put in. If you struggle with a skill in baseball, practice it, practice it, and practice it again. The same applies to life, for example, if your job requires physical testing and you aren’t the most in shape spending time at the gym will improve your physical results. Teamwork is crucial, I have learned if each individual buys into the goal, greater trust is formed between teammates as they begin to hold each other accountable. In the real world when acquiring a job you will have co-workers, to achieve your goals you will need to work together efficiently and effectively to become successful. Preparation has been one of my weaknesses in the past but I have certainly improved upon this throughout my career. “Being unprepared is being prepared to fail”. As a catcher, I needed to study and understand signs before the game or failure could result. Not only has playing the game of baseball improved my knowledge and skills, but it has sharpened my core values and better prepared me to be successful in college and beyond.
The game of baseball has taught me many valuable life lessons. Many aspects of the game mirror aspects of life. The game of baseball is an ongoing battle, as soon as the batter steps into the batter’s box it’s a battle. A battle that few understand is equally mental as it is physical. The game of life is also a battle. You never know when life will throw you a curveball, it will constantly test your response to obstacles or challenges. Baseball is the only sport that you can fail more times than you succeed and be a Hall-of-Famer. When the game continues to beat you down, it requires the toughness to get back into the batter’s box. When things in life don’t go your way, you have to move on, learn from it, and never quit.
I’ve played baseball for a large portion of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As I have become a better ballplayer I have grown just as much as a person. The core values I have developed, the relationships I have created, and the life lessons I have learned will continue to help me achieve success in life.