Source: Sherman Publications

Don't Rush Me
Rush had an epiphany: Life is like baseball
"The thing to remember is not to let it pass you by without swinging"

by Don Rush

July 13, 2011

Baseball.

For the past few months a thought has been bouncing around inside my noggin’ like a game of pepper before a game . . . baseball . . . . . baseball . . . hardball . . . curveball . . . it ain’t over . . . fat lady singing . . . life . . . baseball is like life . . . no, no, no and more NO!

And, finally last week it came to me . . . Life Is Like Baseball! So, I wrote my epiphany down and here it is.

“Life is like baseball. You’re the batter and life is the pitcher. As long as you keep swinging, you’re bound to get a hit sooner or later. You can’t hit a homerun every time, but you can keep it in play.

"Curveballs, spitballs, sliders and sinkers; brush-backs and chin music -- Life ain’t fair and will throw things at you you’re not expectin’.

"Sometimes the best you can do is to swing, get a piece of it and foul it off somewhere. At least you’re still in the batter’s box. The thing to remember is not to let it pass you by without swinging.”

What all that means I haven’t figured it out. But, I am staking a claim to it pronto like.

First thing I did was post it on-line (in a social networking way). Soon one of my oh-so-funny friends (Kevin Thomas) responded with his own post, “I just got hit by the pitch . . . what does that mean????”

To which I expanded my Life is Like Baseball analogy to include: When the pitcher gives you chin music (hits you with a pitch), don’t whine. Take your base and stop crying, because there is no crying in baseball.”

Unfortunately, I can’t lay claim to the “no crying in baseball” line, because someone else wrote it and Tom Hanks made it famous in the 1992 movie, A League of Their Own.

Hanks portrayed Jimmy Dugan -- a baseball man hired to coach a girls league during World War 2. During the movie, he crew out actress and Michigan native Madonna, which makes her cry.

Here’s the quote.

“Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying -- there’s no crying in baseball. Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pig--. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game.

And did I cry? NO. NO. And do you know why? Because there’s no crying in baseball.”

I love that quote.

* * *

Then I started to wonder what other folks have said about baseball . . . and found what Baseball Hall of Fame Broadcaster Ernie Harwell said: “Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”

Which started my mind thinking about one of the most quotable baseball guys ever, Yogi Berra. I looked and I found these Yogi Berra-isms:

“Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.”

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

“Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.”

“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”

“I never said most of the things I said.”

* * *

Which led my stream-of-conscious thought process to think of the last line of the Casey At Bat poem,

“Oh! somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright. The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light. And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has Struck Out.

* * *

And here we are in mid-July. The Detroit Tigers are in first place in their division, the All-Star game is this week and I still love baseball.