As a baseball player – we constantly hear: “baseball is a game of failure.”
What usually follows that statement is something similar to: “baseball is hard.”
If a person spends time around the game – they will hear those two statements used repeatedly.
I heard them my entire career – from my first private baseball lesson to my last season in professional baseball — it’s a mentality that is collectively accepted in the brotherhood of baseball.
With a decade passing since I have thrown my last pitch — I’ve taken time to think about these cliches in the game.
“What ACTUALLY is failure?”
“Why does the word “failure” get tossed around the game of baseball so much?”
When I was 16 years old and a junior in high school – I walked up to the “cut list” with a group of baseball buddies to see who made the varsity baseball team.
Written next to my name and circled were the two initials “JV.” Indicating I made the Junior Varsity team.
After reading that, I went home and cried.
At that moment – I thought I was a failure.
Unsure if I wanted to continue to play – I talked with my dad, my friends, and my old coaches.
All had mixed opinions – some saying “just quit” — others encouraging me to continue — my final decision:
Play ball. I loved the game.
By my senior year in high school in 2007 – I made the Varsity team.
At the conclusion of that season, I had zero scholarship offers, and one walk-on opportunity at a small D2 college.
I saw this as another failure moment, and I was determined my playing days were over.
A couple of months into the summer of 2007, an emotional dinner table conversation happened with my mom and dad which led to me calling the head coach at that small D2 college, and asking:
“Is there still a spot for me, coach?”
“Sure.” he said.
These two “failure” moments in my baseball career developed my grit, shaped my ability to strive in adverse situations, and honed my determination.
In a short period of time, I went from a 3 year JV player, to a professional baseball player that signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
So, what is my point?
Baseball is hard, but it also tends to reward those that keep going.
If you find yourself in a slump, or not performing how you want:
Give it time.
Allow things to develop.
Most importantly – in the highs and lows of baseball – be good to the game, and be good to the people that make up the game.
What you will eventually realize: Stats are only a limited perspective on the much larger picture.
It’s the lessons and the people within the game that live eternally.
It’s those things that truly matter.
About the Author:
About Randall Thompson, Founder of DugOut Mugs
About Randall Thompson, Founder of Dugout Mugs.
After being released from the Toronto Blue Jays, Randall POURed his creativity into something he was passionate about.
The result was three patents and his company Dugout Mugs®, where they create the baseball bat mug!
Whether it’s Father’s Day, a groomsmen gift, baseball coach gift or your grandparents who are so-hard-to-buy-for-because-
Dugout Mugs™ are baseball bat drinking mugs! Our bat mugs were created for one reason, and one reason ONLY… Give baseball fans, baseball players, and baseball parents a new & awesome way to enjoy the game they love so much!