Baseball: where failure is success

JosΓ© Bautista - Dunedin 2011

One of the things I love most about baseball is what it teaches about the dangers of perfectionism.

To be considered a very good hitter in baseball, a player carries a batting average of .300 or higher. One out of every three times he goes to bat, he gets a hit. And two out of every three times, he fails.

Ty Cobb holds the record for the highest all-time batting average at .366. The best hitter in the history of baseball failed at the plate almost two-thirds of the time.

How do you feel when two-thirds of your endeavours fail? Do you label yourself a loser and give up? Baseball teaches perseverance and big-picture thinking that dilute the poison of perfectionism. Baseball teaches that occasional miscalculated swings, short strides, or lapses in good judgement do not define a person: a body of work does.

If the professional baseball players of today had bought into the myth of perfectionism when they grounded out to first base as Little Leaguers, then we wouldn’t be able to watch people like the 2011 American League Home Run Leader, JosΓ© Bautista, blast another homer out of the park. (Career average .254. He has failed at the plate three-quarters of the time.) Or see how the 2011 American League Batting Champion, Miguel Cabrera, magically gets himself on base again. (Career average .317. He has failed at the plate two-thirds of the time.)

Lessons for everyday people live in this beautiful aspect of baseball. If we carry a .300 average for our parental decisions, encounters with a person in need, or negotiations with neighbours , we are probably doing all right.

After all, there’s nothing to be gained from hanging up the cleats and never stepping up to the plate again.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on October 18, 2011, in Inspiration and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Insightful and inspiring post! I absolutely love baseball and its life lessons. In the words of Annie Savoy (from the movie, Bull Durham), “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.”

    • I love that movie, too. They use the phrase, “the church of baseball” in that movie, and some days it feels that way to me. I’m a Canadian who loves the American game, but it’s just not the same here for us as hockey. We’re working on it . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

spirit sage

through the eyes of a profound beholder

The Millennial Pastor

An iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church

Invest In YourSelf First!!

Only We Can Change our Life, No one Else Do it For Us


awakening to the sacred feminine presence in our lives

Dr. Jen Gunter

Wielding the lasso of truth

and the words that echo..

a lot of words...

Hurry Up & Wait

Random thoughts and a collection of ideas, stories and photos

Alex on Faith

Growing in faith together!

A Spark πŸ”₯

Journey from severe depression - Self healing - Acceptance - Learning - Growth - Connecting - Understanding - Being Unique


Β« me arrodillo por las noches ante tigres que no me dejarΓ‘n ser - lo que fuiste no serΓ‘ otra vez - los tigres me han encontrado pero no me importa. Β»

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es SΓ³lo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Moral Fibre

Musings of She who Knits in Churches


comida italiana



The Godly Chic Diaries

Smiling β€’ Writing β€’ Dreaming

Writing is all about finding the courage to write. And courage is all about realizing that some things are more important than fear..

Yellingrosa's Weblog

Poetry, Visual Arts, Music and IT Tech



%d bloggers like this: