I hope you are all doing well. It is amazing that it is already the beginning of May!
As many of you know, I am a huge baseball fan. Something happened last week which reminded me of what my grandfather used to tell me when I was a young child and he would take me for walks by his house in Queens, NY. We would stop at a bench in one of the parks, and he would say, “Harry, never give up.” If I would try to argue and explain, “Yes, Grandpa, but it is very hard,” he would immediately say, “Harry, THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT WORK!” I never forgot that, and, in fact, I use that phrase almost every day with students in my Kellogg classes and executives during board meetings. If someone says, “I am not sure that accomplishing that is possible,” I will calmly say, “That’s why we have YOU, and that’s why they call it work!”
So, what happened last week? Let me put this in context. Becoming a professional baseball player is extremely difficult. And even if you make it to the minor leagues, getting from there to the major leagues is another very difficult step. Most players that play in the minor league for three or four years give up and move on to another career. This was not the case for Drew Maggi. After playing in the minor league for 13 years (YES, I SAID THIRTEEN YEARS!!!), he played in his first major league game for the Pittsburgh Pirates last week and received a standing ovation when he stepped up to the plate!!! I will admit I got a little emotional reading the story below and watching the videos. What a great reminder of my four favorite words: discipline, focus, consistency, and credibility:
By the way, Drew Maggi made an out that first time at bat. I wasn’t sure what happened next. However, Jimmy Hansen, one of my Lawrence University buddies, sent me this tik-tok this morning (it is the first time I have watched a tik-tok, but definitely worth it!
#Incredible journey for #DrewMaggi 🙌 (via @pirates) #baseball #pirates #mlb
Since my other favorite hobby in addition to baseball is movies, a great example of “Never Give Up” is the speech Ed Harris gives to the engineers trying to bring the spacecraft back to earth in “Apollo 13”:
“FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!!!”
Okay, I cannot end without the best of all worlds — combining baseball and movies. Yes, things can be hard and sometimes disappointing. In fact, you may feel really sad. But as team manager Jimmy (played with great aplomb by Tom Hanks) makes very clear in the classic movie “A League of Their Own,” “There is no crying in baseball!”
Wishing you all a great week, and NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Photo credit AP
Very inspirational, Harry. Thank you. How fun!