This I Believe
I have been playing baseball for many years now and I come to realize that it may be the most frustrating sport ever. With its abundance of rules and an almost uncanny way of disappointing both players and millions of fans almost every season, it also manages to be very fun (but only if you’re winning). It reminds me of something else, something called life. I believe that baseball is the ultimate metaphor for life.
In baseball, a player gets on base and has the option to steal the next base. Whether or not he gets caught is another problem but he still has the choice and if he makes it safely than he is better off. In life, sometimes it is advantageous to cheat, lie and steal. If you get caught then you have to pay, but many times you get away with it and there are no repercussions. Another thing that life and baseball have in common is the fact that sometimes no matter how hard you try and prepare there is always the chance that there will be someone to thwart your progress. The ball can be hit perfectly, perfect form, perfect hands, perfect pitch. Nope, somebody reached up and grabbed it. Sorry you’re out. Better luck next time.
But enough of the pessimistic, depressing side of baseball, it also has the power to make you one of the happiest people on earth, I kid you not. After winning a big, close game there is no way to describe your feelings. At the end of our last season we were down four in the last inning and during our final at bats we mounted a five run comeback. In the course of the entire game we must have made at least five errors, and we definitely did not deserve to win. But, as in life, anything can happen in this rollercoaster ride of a sport. In this sport there is one area that doesn’t have a direct tie to life, the fact that a pro player can get a hit every three at bats and be considered a superstar. In real life thirty three percent is called a very low F. Not so good. I prefer the alternate baseball reality to real life myself.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.