I believe in baseball. I was born the day that Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s home run record, so, in a way, you could say I was born under a baseball sign.
I think, more than other sports, the way you play baseball embodies the way you should approach life. For a half an inning, a player is up there batting alone at the plate, just him against nine defensive players; everything in the game relies on him and his luck, confidence, and ability. The rest of the time, that player is in the field with his team, working as a unit, having both to perform at his personal best and successfully interact with his teammates to win. I believe both kinds of qualities are important for success and happiness in life.
I believe in the power of small ball. Good baseball teams don’t need home runs to win. They cluster their hits, get walks, steal bases, lay down sacrifice bunts. There are many different ways to be successful, and biggest and flashiest isn’t always the way to go.
I believe in the underdog. I’ve lived in Colorado for the last five years, and am slowly becoming a Rockies fan. Now, usually, the Rockies don’t register on anybody’s radar; they’re a small-market team with players nobody has heard of. This year, however, they’re playing the best baseball in the club’s history. As I write this, I’m watching the final game of the season, and they’re actually in contention to make it to the playoffs. Their left fielder, Matt Holliday, is a viable candidate for Most Valuable Player, and their shortshop, Troy Tulowitzki, is in the running for Rookie of the Year. They did all this by being a scrappy team, full of young players who didn’t know what they couldn’t do. This led to a series of seeming-miracles: leading the National League in batting average and fielding; sweeping the Yankees; Holliday winning multiple National League batting categories; Tulowitzki performing an unassisted triple play (only the thirteenth in Major League history); and ending the season with the longest winning streak in the majors.
This year, the Rockies have played the best kind of baseball. It transcended being just a game, and by the end of the season, had become a sort of magic. I believe in living life the way the Rockies played this year: always pushing your limits, and not knowing what you can’t do. Who knows? Maybe they will make the playoffs. It could happen. This I believe.
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