The Burden of the Player …

“Baseball doesn’t have any intrinsic power.  It only has what people give to it.  For some, the man who plays is a superhero, and he can do great things.  For some, the man who plays is an obstacle who must get out of the way.  Is baseball as important as food, knowledge, care, or a dry pair of boots?  Is it as important as some of the things that pass us by in everyday life?  I don’t think so.  Can it inspire, motivate, and call us to do something greater than ourselves?  Absolutely.  The burden of the player isn’t to achieve greatness, but to give the feeling of it to everyone he encounters.  It was wrong of me even to try to separate life and the game.  They were intertwined, meant to be, one affecting the other, one teaching the other, even when the mixture occasionally blows up.  It takes a real person, one who understands himself, to use the tool of baseball for something good.  For that person, as long as he has a jersey on his back, he has a chance.”

Dirk Hayhurst in The Bullpen Gospels, a reflection on a year pitching in the minor leagues.  Really, really good book.  Really.

Here … you can go get … now …


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