Take Your Swings

It’s not about how many times you strike out. It’s about how many times you step up to the plate.

March 21, 2013

On April 13, 1954, two rookie baseball players made their first major-league appearances. One played for the Milwaukee Braves, while the other one was on the Cincinnati Reds’ roster. Incidentally, these two teams were facing each other that day.

In his debut, the Reds’ player achieved a record, hitting a remarkable five doubles to help his team beat the Braves 9-8. The rookie for Milwaukee made five separate appearances to bat during the game and never did reach base. Going 0-for-5 was not an auspicious way for the Braves rookie to start his career in Major League Baseball.

So who are these two players? The rookie for the Reds who had the five doubles and helped his team win the game was Jim Greengrass. Have you ever heard of him? Probably not. Although he started off with a bang during his first two seasons, Greengrass had to leave baseball due to the onset of an illness that produced internal blood clots.

The other ballplayer who had a disappointing first day? Well, he went on to do amazing things — including setting the career home run record. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you may have heard of him: Henry “Hank” Aaron.

But let’s say Aaron’s manager had taken him aside after that game and told him he wasn’t cut out to be a professional baseball player? If he’d had his ability judged on that single performance, someone else would hold the home run record today.

Judging yourself on one certain event — or even a string of events — is never wise. Just like that ball game in 1954, it cannot and should not be an indicator of our future. Learn from your mistakes and analyze what you should do next time to avoid such problems. Always remind yourself to never quit or base your future abilities and opportunities on what has happened today.

The next time you have a bad day, tell yourself 0-for-5 is not that bad. In the long haul, it might just be a record-setting career for you!

“I don't want people to forget Babe Ruth. I just want them to remember Henry Aaron.” - Henry (Hank) Aaron

John D. Mayfield, ABR, CRB, e-PRO, GRI, is a sales coach, author, and broker/owner of Mayfield Real Estate in Farmington, Mo. You can contact Mayfield through his Web site, www.BusinessTechGuy.com.