Once again, the time between posts has been quite lengthy for me. We had a ton of rain in the middle of our season so we have been backed up with games and it’s made it tough to write as much as I’d like to. At one point we played 6 games in 6 days, 5 of which were conference games so it’s been hectic.
On top of that, for this week I’ve been battling the stomach flu. It’s left me behind in classes and left me a little weaker than usual. We played yesterday and for the majority of the game I had an ice towel over my head and was constantly being given gatorade by our trainers so that was an interesting experience. We were playing against our rivals, and a team that is undefeated right now in conference play and someone asked me after the game why I put myself through that just to play a game that we would eventually lose.
I explained to them that I did it for my teammates. I think a lot of people on the outside don’t really understand a team or how it works. I had the same discussion with one of my professors here on campus after she thought I was putting too much time into baseball and had to explain to her as well. This team spends at least four hours a day together every single day. We take on bus rides, we fight with each other, we love each other, and when we step between the white lines, we go to war with each other. I never want to cheat those guys. Whether it’s playing through sickness or investing my time in that more than my professor would like, this team is what is important to me. I’m going to do whatever it takes to be there with them.
And when it comes down to it, I think a lot of life’s meaning comes from the relationships we form. That’s what I’m doing now, forming relationships with teammates that will last a lifetime. Any one who is part of a team can agree on how valuable that can be. Education is important. A degree is important. A job is important. But none of them really add the same value as these friendships I’m forming and the bonds I’m forming now.
They don’t see all the things that baseball adds to life, or sports in general. So while outsiders might see baseball as just a game I’m playing and something that will ultimately end, they don’t see all that the game is giving me. They don’t see the lessons that baseball teaches me or the discipline it forces me to have. They don’t see the numerous friendships I’ve formed through the years. So when I lose that job that seems so important or my family is struggling to get by, I’ll be able to take it because my coaches instilled me in along the way that there’s never an option to just give up. That’s far more valuable than anything I can learn in a textbook or a classroom.
When I graduate from EMU, I will be far better equipped for life from the things I learned on a diamond than the things I read on a screen.