1. Throw like you mean it. Every time. Point your opposite shoulder where it’s going, focus on the other guy’s glove, and throw hard. Throwing a ball is the glory of man.
2. If the ball is hit near you, go for it, get under it, scramble for it, like your pants are on fire. Don’t just watch it roll by.
3. When you are in the outfield and you get the ball and are unsure what to do, throw it to the nearest infielder who is yelling at you. Let that bigmouth figure it out.
4. Don’t step out of the batter’s box. Yeah, you’ll get hit. You’ll get over it.
5. When at bat, don’t think in terms of “strike” and “ball.” Think in terms of “Can I hit that?”, even if it’s high and outside. If you can hit it, swing away, like you mean to hit it, every time. Watching a hittable pitch whiz by is a misfortune.
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Awesome. The first point is perhaps the most important, because it holds in all sports and perhaps even generally in life (every time you have to do X, do it like you mean it).
Perhaps this is not one you want on your list, but:
If you are standing around in the field with little to do, spitting or adjusting your crotch are always options. Moms don’t like this much, but a man should know how to spit effectively and with some authority. I actually remember my Dad teaching me the proper snot rocket technique (an important life skill for runners, cyclists, etc) on a bike ride as a kid. Yet another thing that needs to be done every time like you mean it, on pain of having a slimy chin or shirt.
On a bit grander scale, what baseball has taught me the most is a certain pace of life. It is like a secular liturgical year. Former commissioner of the game Bart Giamatti put it best:
“It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again. And it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings. And then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it. Rely on it to bumper the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive. And just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. And summer is gone.”
beautiful words to live by …. thanks for sharing.
This is very timely advice! I am almost crying hahaha I am serious. This has been one hell of a year…been hit…got over it…back in the game and throwing the ball like I mean it 😛