This past Summer I had the honor and pleasure of being an assistant coach for a Little League 9-10 year old All-Star team. The seven weeks that I spent with 12 young boys, coaches, and parents will be time cherished for a lifetime.
I believe that the game of baseball is like a puzzle. Each player comes to the field as an individual piece. Once at the field, they are put together to complete a picture.
There were 12 pieces to this puzzle: determination, artistry, emotion, respect, sacrifice, showmanship, voluteering, humor, humility, hard work, silence, and patience. Each piece needing the other. Without each piece interlocking with the next, it would not be a complete picture.
There were the assitant coaches that would be there to help keep the puzzle together. Making sure that the pieces did not come apart or fall on the floor to be lost.
When the puzzle was put away, it was the head coach that was the box that held the pieces till it was to be put together again. He made sure that the boys knew that they and their opponents were in this game together.
Finally there were the parents that liked the picture they saw when these puzzle pieces were put together. They “adopted” 11 boys into their family.
Just as in life we are all pieces of a puzzle. Without all of the pieces together we feel that there is a void. If all of the pieces are not there our puzzle will come apart.
All of these pieces were needed to complete this picture. They were needed for this team to succeed. And succeed they did. They were able to play for the district championship. Sadly, they lost. After the last out was made, there were no tears. There were smiles. They knew that this puzzle would forever stay together.
Hopefully, years from now, all that were part of this puzzle will look at the picture and say it was a masterpiece. It will be looked at and marveled. That each piece will forever be interlocked and without all the pieces it will never be viewed as complete.