Leo Durocher once said, “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” If you had played the amazing game of baseball before in your life, you will understand the love of the game. Not only because it was something you enjoyed playing as a child, but because you can play it later and pass down your knowledge and skills to your own children. Here are six lessons baseball players learn.
1. They are taught to stick together.
If you have not lived it, you have probably seen it happen at least once in your life. I’m sure most of you remember a bench clearing brawl in 1993 when the Texas Rangers played the Chicago White Socks. If not, let me refresh your memory (or create a new one by sharing) : it is the top of the 3rd inning, and Nolan Ryan throws a pitch and hits Robin Ventura. No longer than a couple seconds later, Ventura rips off his helmet, throws his bat and charges the mound. Soon after, Ryan has Ventura in a headlock and his slamming his fist into his face but the fight isn’t just between the two men. Both teams are now in a gaggle at the mound.
Baseball teaches us not only the importance of team work but to be loyal to those we call our friends and team mates. There is something special about friendships forged from the daily practices, the long bus rides, the wins and the losses. It teaches you to stick together and stand up for someone you care for.
2. They know that“practice makes perfect”and are too familiar with Fungo.
Fungo is a long light weight bat that coach brings out during practice to help those who need to work on their fielding, which is everyone to him. Every expert starts off as an amateur, not just in baseball but in life. As a kid starting out in little league, we all have that expectation that we are going to hit a home run like the guys we see on TV. As soon as we step up to the plate and take a swing at the pitch given to us, our dreams are crushed. That doesn’t mean giving up, it means to work harder to get that home run. It means to practice your form to be ready for the pitch that you will be given next time. Baseball players are prepared to try harder if a goal is not reached the first time, on and off the field.
3. They know that if you’re in a “pickle”, hurry up and get out of it!
Every baseball player has found themselves in a pickle at least once in their life. If you do not think on your feet, you will never get out of it. You need to quickly form a strategy and find your way to safety. In life, you will more than likely find yourself in a pickle than not. You cannot just sit there and expect things to turn out okay, you will need to solve the problem yourself.
4. They say “Good Game” because they were taught to be a good sport.
The dreaded “Good Game” phrase you must say to each opponent at the end of the game will teach you forever to be a good sport, even if you don’t want to be. It teaches you to be a good sport about losing a game and losing sometimes at life. It will force you to look that person in the eye at work that got promoted instead of you and shake their hand. It is important to be a good sport about the situations that get you down in life because it will always get better. There will always be another game as there will always be another day.
5. They know bus rides make friends.. or viral videos.
Very rarely you will be able to sit on a bus for hours and not say a word to the person next to you and bus rides to and from games can be long. If your team is great, then there will be some plane rides added to your team’s agenda as well. As children, we are encouraged to be social, venture out and make friends. Playing baseball makes that easy. It is quite a task not to be friends with someone that has ran through the same drills, cried the same tears during a loss, and shared a pizza after a great win.
6. They are taught the method to the madness.
If you ask any baseball player, they will tell you that superstitions are to blame for every single bad thing that has happened in baseball. It can be as well known as not speaking to the pitcher or uttering the phrase “perfect game” during the actual game. It can also be as exclusive as a family superstition such as never washing your baseball cap or your mojo will disappear. Superstitions are more than just silly rules that were made up. It is a tradition, a piece of knowledge passed down from someone. They are there to help families bond, brothers laugh and friends make memories.
Though you may not agree that baseball is the greatest sport on Earth, you can agree that the lessons baseball players learn when growing up aren’t too shabby when applied to life.
Featured photo credit: Youth Baseball game via shutterstock.com