Swing for the Fences

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I Love Baseball

American, Apple Pie, and all that jazz.  I grew up going to Dodger games with my family and attending my brother’s little league games.  One brother played all through high school and his senior year, his team won the Indiana State High School Baseball Championship. Baseball is part of my fabric – my make-up.  And to that end, I love to use baseball analogies in work and life. You know – run through first, always round third, hit it out of the park, three strikes & you’re out, on deck, in the batter’s box, and sliding into home… All of these I have used in life lessons or work presentations.  Baseball just sometimes fits well with a work lesson or a life struggle.

The house that Ruth Built

Babe Ruth played professional baseball for 22 years.  22 YEARS.  Incredible, right?  714 home runs during his long career.  The 700 Club by the time he was 39 years of age.  He was a slugger, to be sure.  But he struck out nearly twice as many times as he hit a home run – with 1,330 strikeouts at bat. Did he give up?  Did it make him less of a player?  He swung harder than most hitters – it was his style, which became his nature.

Every time we approach the plate as a hitter, it is an opportunity to redeem a loss or a failure.  But in that moment – when you are waiting for your pitch, when it comes – when the front foot lifts just enough to lean into that back leg and power the bat around?  The decision should already have been made to give it all, to pull in, and release with all you’ve got.

“How to hit home runs: I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball…The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big.
I like to live as big as I can.” – Babe Ruth 

Babe Ruth knew the secret.  Yes, he struck out a lot – but he also hit it out of the park – often.  No player has ever hit over 800 home runs in their professional career and the 700 Club is a small group with just 3 members: George Herman “Babe” Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762).  And only 5 players have made it to the 600 club.   That many home runs, that much consistency is clearly an arduous task with few elite members.

I strike out

We all do.  I haven’t struck out anywhere near as many times as The Babe, but enough to have perfected my swing and to know that the only way to hit a home run is to swing with all my might. To give it my all.   Always swing for the fences – so that “giving your all” is never in question.  You have – it has become your nature.

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” but he follows up with, “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” – BR
It’s a new day – bring your A-game.

by Rayanne Thorn



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