I was thinking—from things like feet, arms, legs, skin, breathing, and a few other parts, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, mirroring all of us as human beings—comes now da harv’s most outstanding, but least remotely lucrative discovery of all time:
Baseball, a part of life, the greatest game we are permitted to play.
Let this game continue!
Dedicated to those who are encyclopedic with regard to having knowledge about the American game of baseball, and those who know absolutely nothing about the sport at all.
To what will finally be said
Free at last, free at last;
Children of the world
Today we can all be on the same page,
With what LIFE offers next
For what lies ahead
Outstanding they call it
If indeed they will listen
To what’s provided them
All the world’s children
Forever and ever
In every land
They’ll glean and glisten
Don’t take any pitch for granted
Swing at what’s thrown
At you, Every day
As hard as you can
Always swing, babies,
swing for the fences
Baseball lore for life
And for dem who played the game, way back when it was invented, nothing was worse than taking the last strike…
When I say taking it, the last strike, it means you just stood there.
Someone hits you in the face and you don’t hit back, it means you’re taking it. And in baseball, if you don’t swing you’re taking the pitch…
If you happen to take three pitches, and the umpire happens to decide they were all in the strike zone, as he sees it to be, then guess what…the umpire yells “you’re out!”, while shaking his fist, or giving you another unfavorable gesture:
And all because you didn’t swing the bat! It’s not because you didn’t hit the ball; you never gave yourself or your teammates a chance to win the game.
A long time ago, one of our coaches was heard saying to a teammate who had just been called out after taking (not swinging) a called third strike, “Have you always been such a wimp?” A very embarrassing moment, don’t you think?
And that’s enough about baseball, except for how it applies to life…yours, mine, and just about everyone else!
If you don’t take a chance, you never can win… unless somebody drops it on your doorstep; congratulations, you’re a winner without even trying. I don’t know anybody, or ever read about anyone who pulled that one off—maybe you’ll be the first.
Sure, there are those of you who are saying right now, “what about inheriting a great deal of money, or winning the lottery?” Now that’s truly a bunch of crap. If something like that ever happens for da harv, I’ll print a retraction for you to read. Or come to think about it, if I had a big score, the first thing I’ll have to do is make room in our garage for my Bentley. Then it would be off to Gucci, in order to take steps towards reactivating my wardrobe.
Picture of my mom and dad on a warm Sunday morning circa 1953, sent to me as I served in Korea.
The caption reads: To Harvey, swing at life every day.
They were both capable of doing anything at any time.
Life and baseball have so much in common. There are good folks around every town. All you have to do is look for them, and not be afraid to swing that bat. We all find we’re provided with different abilities.
In this life of ours, no two people swing the bat exactly the same way: different strokes for different folks. Where most people should lean is in a direction, not worrying about how to do it. If you keep swinging, one day, God-willing, you will hit that damn ball, no matter who’s pitching it!
And one more thing, just to prove my baseball point of view:
What follows is a drill I presented to a very special group of students while conducting a weekend seminar at the University of Southern California, circa June 1981, a mere forty years ago. I remember it as if it was yesterday.
MY DELIVERY TO THE STUDENTS:
Today, we’re going to begin with a self-generating seminar. What that means, simply stated: I’m going to give you the subject, and you’re going to prepare a sentence or two explaining your choice. The subject for you all to write about are: winners.
Write about what winners have in common, in your opinion.
YOU MUST BE FACTUAL—TELL THE TRUTH!
As an example, regardless of how people become, winners have the strength and mental fortitude to stay the course—they keep swinging the bat. They don’t stand still. Use as few words as possible. The fewer the number of words you write, the easier it will be for your listener to understand your meaning, regardless the subject. Make sure you only write and convey the truth. Try to write an example of a person who you might emulate within your own personal future.
A few of the submissions:
1. Winners never stop working out, striving to improve is their
most salient descriptive!
2. My mom and dad got it from their parents; they never complained to us kids about what life dished out.
3. Teachers like you. I love to laugh as I learn, it always feels like you’re talking to me.
My premise then is almost exactly the way it remains today. Creatively, or just blah blah blah, in an account of something few folks will care about anyway. History is an agent of success, yours forever to acquire and use for betterment!
I told my students then, and it bears repeating, to all those with success aspirations:
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