116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A little boy goes outside on a beautiful summer day with his bat and ball. He pounds his bat on the ground and says to himself, "Here stands the greatest hitter ever in baseball." With that statement, he throws the ball up in the air and when it comes down, he takes a mighty swing, but misses.
He taps the bat on the ground with more determination and tosses the ball in the air again, takes a powerful swing at it again, and misses again. “Strike two,” he says. The third time the boy tosses the ball up again. For the third time he takes a mighty swing and for the third time … he misses. "Struck out by the world's greatest pitcher," he mutters to himself.
That little boy was me some 60 years ago, give or take a few. There are three great loves in my life: my God, my wife and family, and baseball. July 19 is baseball's annual All-Star Game, positioning the season at the midpoint of the baseball year. With that in mind, it's interesting that baseball and life run close together often.
·In baseball, the great ones wait for their pitch and then swing hard. Opportunities in life are like that and we must be ready to swing hard.
·But with two strikes, you may swing even if it's close. In life, that's called faith — faith in yourself and your abilities.
·Strike zones may differ between you and the umpire. In life, sometimes the breaks just don't go your way. Life, like strike zones, can be unfair. Get ready for the next pitch.
·In baseball, you're expected to run hard on every play. It’s the same in life. Give it your best shot. You just never know!
·Failure happens a lot. Batting .300 in baseball will get you in the Hall of Fame, but it still means you failed 7 out of 10 times. Failure in life only happens when you give up. Failing is a part of success.
·Bad hops are a part of baseball. You don't always get the easy bounce. Life can have its bad hops too, but you’ve got to shake it off and move on.
·In baseball as in life, your beginning could have no bearing on how things ends up. Baseball is 162 games long and who knows — you may just go on that winning streak. The same is true in life. Don't give up or quit.
·Finally, do you notice how the team celebrates great plays and great wins? Remember to celebrate, celebrate and celebrate great times with family and friends.
The baseball season is now half over. The World Series will be in late October and it's looking like the Yankees and the Dodgers might be playing in this fall classic. That would be a great match-up, but the prediction from this person is the Yankees in seven games. You read it here first.
John Sheda lives in Independence.