The week leading to my third start was rainy and filled with more evening responsibilities that interrupted my throwing program, but, like in previous weeks, I was able to have a very special catch with a very special person.
Who cares about numbers?
Why do we have to reduce baseball to numbers? The numbers tell a story, but they don’t tell the whole story. Not nearly. Not at all.
I could give you the numbers, my stats, for the game I pitched, my first game pitched in thirty-four years, but they wouldn’t tell the whole story.
In fact, the numbers will obstruct; they will take away from all of it.
This is the story of my attempt, at fifty years old, and after not playing any organized baseball since I was sixteen, to have a comeback, of sorts, and return to the game in a men’s 35+ baseball league – as a pitcher.
This is the fourth installment of the series. The previous installments are listed here:
Yesterday, April 3, brought with it a great deal of optimism and hope.
After work, in the early evening, I met my friend Michael Saffer to have catch. At the start of my career, almost thirty years ago, Michael was a student in my class. I had been his school teacher, now I’d be his student.
Those of you who have known me long enough have read stories of my hopes to be a published author and all of the trials, travails, failures, and bumps along the way I have faced as I pursue this dream.
Along the way, there have also, of course been some successes, but these only came after much failure, many rejections, and more than a few (sometimes harsh) criticisms from those in the business of publishing.
I just finished reading, Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography (by David Michaelis) an excellent book that provided an in-depth look at Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip and franchise. Schulz’s life was fascinating. He was successful beyond his wildest dreams. His characters became household names. His sayings have been quotes by millions. In many ways, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder, Linus, Sally, and Snoopy defined America in the second half of the 20th Century.
I think, in a way, we are very spoiled. The world is at our fingertips. We can see amazing things whenever we want. Some of the amazing things we see are real, some of them might even be staged (“reality TV”), but, nonetheless, in the moment at least, what we are watching seems real, amazing, other worldly, and significant.
I truly believe we can all be almost anything we want to be. I think it just takes hard work, perseverance, some creativity, and, maybe, a little luck. Sometimes, I think, we also have to modify our dreams a little. Last week, I got to live out, in a sense, one of my childhood dreams.
The first published collection of my motivational writings is titled “Impossible is an Illusion.” This work contains more than 40 of my best essays and has been published by Ravenswood Publishing. This book is now available!
Link to Purchase – Impossible is an Illusion
The title for the book comes from the following essay which is featured in the text. Enjoy this FREE preview of Impossible is an Illusion!
Impossible is an Illusion
I’m an optimist. I always believe that good will prevail. I look to the bright side. The glass is half full – even when it is half-empty. I believe in miracles. Hope springs eternal.
I believe I can do anything. I believe we all can.
These might be old stories, but they are all worth repeating because they speak to a common theme.
(For added enjoyment, follow the hyperlinks embedded in this post.)
The year was 1954. In athletics there was a sense that a human could not physically run faster than a four minute mile. “It’s impossible,” many said. Athlete after athlete trained and tried – and all fell short. The four minute mile seemed to be an impassible barrier.
And then, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister did it. Bannister ran a sub-four minute mile! He did something no human being had ever done before. The impossible had occurred – like catching lightning in a bottle. Many thought that Bannister’s feat was fluke, a one-in-a-million occurrence.
Six weeks later, an Australian, John Landy, bested Roger Bannister’s time.