There ‘Is Crying’ In Baseball!

crying baseball

TheDiscipleMD

The Little League baseball team had just lost a tough one and the ballpark was emptying.   The fans and the other players of both teams were walking toward the parking lot and their cars.  They were going home. But back on the field, there sat a little boy, alone on the end of his bench, head down with tears rolling down his face. His team had lost and it hurt.  Up in the stands, the local high school baseball coach stood and watched. He made a mental note.

Almost a decade later that little boy was now a young man and playing for the local high school team when he was approached by his coach who recited to him the above story. “I knew then,” said the coach, “That any boy who would cry over losing a game, was the kind of boy I wanted on my team.”

In the movie, “A League of Their Own”, the manager of a women’s professional baseball team,  Jimmy Dugan, states, “There’s no crying in baseball!”, when one of his player breaks down in tears after a scolding.  It’s a classic line from one of my favorite movies. Yet, I have been playing baseball my whole life and I can tell you from experience that there is plenty of crying going on before, during and after the game. If you are a competitor and take the game seriously, the outcome matters to you. That high school baseball coach recognized that fact,  and wanted young men with that kind of intensity on his teams.  Having played for this highly succesful coach myself, it didn’t surprise me that he would remember the little boy crying on the end of the empty bench. That little boy happened to be my brother.

If you haven’t cried in this life, you haven’t lived it to the fullest.  We were sent here to this earth by a loving father to experience both success and failure. Both have the unique ability to build our characters.  Neither winning or losing should, however, define us. What defines us is our desire.

Many years ago I read this account:

“One warm evening during the past summer months…(my wife) and I enjoyed a professional baseball game. During the early part of the competition our attention was diverted from the action by a late arriver. As he walked by, he spotted me and asked, “Who’s losing?” I responded with, “Neither one.” Following my answer, I noticed that he glanced at the right-field scoreboard, saw the game wasn’t tied, and walked on, undoubtedly wondering about me.

Seconds after he made his way to a distant seat, (my wife) said, “He doesn’t know you very well, does he?” “What makes you say that?” I replied. She responded with, “If he did, he would know you don’t believe anyone is losing. Some are ahead and some are behind, but no one is losing. Isn’t that right?” I smiled in approval with a warm feeling inside.

All of us, young and old, will do well to realize that attitude is more important than the score. Desire is more important than the score. Momentum is more important than the score. The direction in which we are moving is more important than position or place. The truth “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 27:3) is as applicable today as any time in history.” (Who’s Losing?”, Marvin J. Ashton, Oct. 1974, GC)

If our desires are to become like our father, there will be days that we are found crying. It is part of the game of life we are in. Yet, let us not be discouraged when tough times fall upon us. Remember that “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalms 126:5-6)

 

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