I thought I’d take a few minutes to draw a few parallels between baseball and life (and the outside world). As baseball is America’s pastime, there were surprisingly many. Here are some I came up with. Add yours in the comments, and, as always, follow me on Twitter at @calltothepen.
- In life, you generally lose more battles than you win. In baseball, a batter who gets a hit one of three at-bats is a superstar.
- In baseball, as in life, the season starts with training. Then, you finally get into the game. Unfortunately, most people are out of the game by the time the season is two-thirds over. Then they coast to the finish.
- That even the best strike out more often than they hit home runs.
- Every journey starts and ends at home.
- There are 365 days in a year and you probably encounter a million or more people a year, yet you see relatively few people with regularity. In this era of the unbalanced schedule, teams see all thirty teams, but really only spend a significant amount of time with the three to five other teams in their division.
- As George Will put it: “In life, as in baseball, we must leave the dugout of complacency, step up to the home plate of opportuniy, adjust the protective groin cup of caution and swing the bat of hope at the curve ball of fate, hoping that we can hit a line drive of success past the shortstop of misfortune, then sprint around the base path of chance, knowing that at any moment we may pull the hamstring muscle of inadequacy and fall face-first onto the field of failure, where the chinch bugs of broken dreams will crawl into our noses.” (actually, I doubt George Will ever said this)
- In life, there are work supervisors and the justice system to tell you when you’ve messed up. In baseball, there’re four guys wearing blue shirts.
- In life, the person who doesn’t drink is a designated driver. In baseball, the player who doesn’t field is the designated hitter.
- Focus on what you have control over. In life, you can’t control how other people will act. In baseball, pitchers can’t control what happens once the pitch leaves their hand.
- As Yogi Berra famously stated (or may not have stated, depending on who you believe), it’s not over til it’s over.
- In life, we use baseball terms to describe how our dates went (i.e. “I struck out”)
- In real life, oftentimes you just can’t communicate with other people, especially if you don’t know the jargon. In baseball, your fate is determined by a man who communicates only with ambiguous hand gestures and shouts of something that sounds like “HROOOT,” which he fails to explain. (H/T Dave Barry)
- In baseball, there is the infield fly rule, which states that when there are two or more baserunners with less than two outs, a fly ball determined to be catchable within the infield is immediately designated as an out, with the runners allowed to advance at their own discretion. In life, we have the United States tax code.
Pitchers and catchers have reported! Play Ball!