Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Forgotten Man

On Sunday, Kay and I watched on TV as Adrian Beltre collected his 3000th hit. It was a great moment, and despite the loss by the Texas Rangers, it made the headlines, both in the sportscasts and the local news. I noticed that in addition to the players on the Texas team pouring out of their dugout to congratulate Adrian on his accomplishments, there were several congratulatory remarks aimed at him by the visiting team. It must be a thrill to be part of history, even when you're wearing the uniform of the opposition. My congratulations to Adrian, who has been a model player for all the years I've been watching him.

But what about the people not in the spotlight? The pitcher for the other team didn't want to be the one who gave up that historic hit. Believe me, I know, because I've been on the mound in that situation. His name will forever be part of a trivia question. I doubt that his fateful pitch will have the same staying power as Bill Buckner's error in the World Series, but it will nevertheless link him to the record-setting hit.

And what about Jonathan Lucroy? He didn't play in the game, but he'd been a part of the Rangers for a year. I don't know when he found out that he'd been traded, but he had to know his name was floating around as part of trade talks. Was his joy for his teammate diluted by the fact that he was about to leave for another team, another league, and another part of the US?

I can't help thinking that, although there are lots of people happy about their part in a record-setting athletic accomplishment, there are others whose joy is affected by the way in which they're associated with the event. What about you? Have you given any thought to those who come in second or third, or who don't even place, in a contest? Can you be as gracious in defeat as you are in victory?

These are my random thoughts. How about yours?

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Patricia Bradley said...

Good post to chew on. I followed the link to watch Buckner's error and ended up watching the interview that ran next. Buckner's take on what happened showed what a class act he is. When I finaled in the Genesis and another person won, I truly was happy for her. Winning was God's plan for me. It was His plan for her.

By the way, I watched the 1986 game way back when.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, thanks for your comments. It's amazing how baseball coincides in so many ways with life (although I might have a somewhat skewed viewpoint).

Patricia Bradley said...

I meant to say winning the Genesis wasn't God's plan for me. :-) and your viewpoint isn't skewed!