• 48°

Baseball has been good to me

I’ve loved baseball ever since I was a kid. It’s in my blood.

It’s in my family blood. My dad was a crazy fast pitcher – Southpaw, as we used to say, meaning left handed pitcher – and he would hit the ball out of the park on a very regular basis. He’s been gone since 1977, but I can still see his swing – and subsequent launch of the ball into the stratosphere – in my mind.

It’s an easy memory to recall. It was magic. It makes me smile just to think of it.

My love of him and of “ball” runs deep. To this day the only two movies that can consistently make me cry like a little baby are “The Natural” and “Field of Dreams.”

Baseball taught me many things: Individualism. Hard work. Teamwork. Courage. Cleverness. Sportsmanship. Strategy. Grit.

I actually see “being American” much like I see the game of baseball. There is no game unless you stand at bat, all by yourself, with no one to help. You gotta do your part.

Hit the ball. Run the bases. Score runs as often as possible.

But the “rugged individualism” of being “the batter” is only half the game. The other half is being in the field, working together with teammates. It’s teamwork.

No one person can win a baseball game alone. It’s impossible!

Can you imagine one person trying to pitch, then catch, then field, then chase the runner around the bases to get them out? No – of course not. It’s a silly thought.

It’s silly because half the game is working with the team.

In baseball you have to think, work together, anticipate the needs of other players. You have to be a team and work together or you cannot win.

This sometimes takes sacrifice. You can’t selfishly “showboat” and expect to win. It just won’t work.

Winning takes both halves.

Baseball is THE American game because it’s how America wins. Sometimes we are individuals at bat. Other times we are working with the team.

Sometimes we are cooperating. Other times we think of nothing but ourselves.

Sometimes we put our ego aside to win. Other times we are totally selfishly focused on what we want to do.

It takes both to win the game.

Baseball’s popularity has been surpassed in recent years by football and basketball, but it’s still the American game because the game of baseball is how the “game of life” is played in America.

The game is the game, and to win you have to do both – stand alone and work as a team.

Sometimes we Americans forget this.

Sometimes we forget half the game is played in the field, working together with our teammates.

Maybe this is because the “at bat” is so lonely and scary. There seems to be no one to help us.  There is no safety net. No one helps.

We become so self-involved that we forget what is actually making the game possible. It’s the team.

Right now, we are Team America, and we have to work together. We have to work as a team to get through this thing.

Think of others. Reduce the risk of infecting others. Stop arguing with your teammates. Help others when you can. Try to anticipate the needs of your teammates. Focus on winning.

Focus on the team.

Also – try to stay well yourself. We are in this game to win. We are in this game together.

Team America… we got this.

Rockin’ Eco Hero Steve Trash tours the planet teaching children about their connection to nature through magic, music and comedy. He has his own PBS children’s science show called STEVE TRASH SCIENCE. He lives with his wife and dogs in beautiful downtown Frog Pond.