Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Baseball is Life

Rev. Gini Gerbasi
I was doing laundry the other day and folded a shirt I hadn't seen in a while. "Baseball is Life," it asserts. In my house it's true. We spend most of our time driving to, watching, talking about, or cleaning up from baseball. I didn't grow up with baseball, so this has been an evolution for me. When the boys were young, I didn't have to know anything about actual baseball. I handed out orange slices, walked boys to fields, wiped noses and tears, cheered when someone got a hit, and laughed when every boy left his position to run after it. As the boys grew, the snacks were more substantial, the fields farther away, and the uniforms dirtier. I couldn't wipe away the disappointment of dropping a fly ball, and I had to learn about things like mercy rules and not blocking home plate and dropped third strikes.

As I grew into my role as Baseball Mom, I began to see in it some important life lessons.

1. You need your team. Even if you're a superstar, you can't do it all: You can't pitch and play first base and catch a fly ball to left field. You need a team to be your best self.

2. Just do your best. Many times the boys have lost a game but come home feeling good because they improved their hitting, fielded well, or pitched more strikes than ever before. 

3. One pitch can change everything. You may be down by 3 runs with 2 outs and 2 strikes, but the next pitch could change everything. So stay in it! You might hit the next pitch out of the park. (Or the catcher might drop it, which could get you to first in a way you never anticipated!)

4. A game well played can look boring, but it's still magic. Inning after inning of baseball can sometimes look like: Hit, catch. Repeat. Switch sides. Repeat until the game is over. But look carefully and you can see that a game well played is beautiful – a first baseman's stretch to make the out, a long fly ball to the fence, the speed of a line drive, a running catch. A game (like life) can feature long stretches of game well played, interjected with moments of glory and heartbreak. It's the long stretches of game well played that prepare you for those big moments. There is real beauty in everyday things done well. Those everyday things are, quite simply, life.

Rev. Gini Gerbasi is the assistant rector at St. John's, Lafayette Square. Share your thoughts and comments on Facebook.