Baseball: An Alternative View of Success

I really love baseball. I know other sports are good too and can be fun and exciting to watch, but to me, none of them can match baseball. There is no part of the game that I don’t like. I love reading about the history and lore of the game. Players of yesteryear like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and others fascinate me.

I know the high points of the game, like the 1951 National League pennant race. In mid-August of that year, the Brooklyn Dodgers held a commanding 13 ½ game lead over the second-place New York Giants. . Most people assumed the Dodgers were safe for the World Series. However, in the latter part of the season, they fell apart and the Giants came on fire winning 37 of their last 44 games, including the last seven games in a row. He forced a three-game playoff which the Giants won on Bobby Thompson’s famous three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, known as the “shot heard around the world.”

Then there were the low points like the Black Sox scandal surrounding the 1919 World Series in which eight Chicago White Sox players were permanently banned from baseball because they conspired with punters to fix the outcome of the series. series for the Cincinnati Reds to win.

Through all these ups and downs several things are constant. Base paths are always 90 feet long. The distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate is always 60 feet 6 inches. The home team always has the advantage of the last at-bats. The length of a game is always measured in innings rather than by a stopwatch like in football or basketball.

All of this gives “America’s pastime” a rich and unique place in the nation’s culture. However, even if you’ve never played the game, there is something you can learn from baseball that will carry over into every part of your life, whether in business or at home. It’s baseball’s alternate definition of success.

What is that definition? To answer that, let’s consider the numbers you see on the sports page or on ESPN after a hitter’s name. It’s called your batting average, and it’s a fraction written to the thousandth decimal place like this (.xxx). But where does this number come from? How is it calculated and what does it say about a hitter?

Before a new baseball season begins, all players start with a batting average of 1,000. (It’s a decimal, not a comma, after the 1, but in colloquial usage, this is known as “hitting a thousand.”) ) Now, fast forward to the first game of the season, and Mighty Casey is up. you win In the first inning he hits a ground ball to the third baseman who throws him out at first. Then, in his next at-bat in the fourth inning, he swings his mighty bat and hits a long fly ball, but it’s not long enough, and the center fielder catches it at the warning track in front of 404 feet. sign in the dead center field. The next time, in the seventh inning, Casey connects with the ball and hits a soft little Texas Leaguer over the second baseman’s head who drops for a single base hit. Now, it’s the bottom of the ninth inning. The score is 4-2 in favor of the visiting team, but Casey’s team has managed to load the bases with two outs. Casey steps up to the plate, and you know how the old poem ends, “Mighty Casey has struck out.”

After the game it will be reported that Casey’s batting average is .250. That means he batted four times during the game, hitting the ball safely once in a 1:4 ratio, or written as a decimal to the thousandths place, .250. These records are compiled for the length of the season and, but they always show the same ratio: the percentage of times a batter hits safely compared to the number of his at-bats.

It should be noted that no player in the history of the game has ever had a perfect 1,000 season average. In fact, no one has ever had a .500 season average. The best single-season batting average belonged to Hugh Duffy, whose average was .4397 in 1894. The best career batting average still belongs to Ty Cobb, whose .3664 career average has never been overcome.

So how does this relate to a definition of success? Look at it this way. The greatest hitter of all time, a Hall of Famer, Ty Cobb is held in awe and respect by baseball enthusiasts everywhere, even though he failed to hit the ball almost two-thirds of the time. times. Modern gamers would be happy with that record. The average player these days has a season average well below .300. This means that they can be considered not so bad if they fail three quarters of the time to hit the ball safely.

Perhaps then it would be better for us to reconsider our definition of success to be more along the lines of hitting a baseball. In business and in life, you may not always hit it out of the park. You may be wrong more often than right. The important thing is that you keep throwing it. Sometimes, you knock it out of the park, but more often than not, you end up back on the sidelines. However, you do not give up. Just keep swinging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *