Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.  Leo Durocher (1906-1991), Hall of Fame baseball manager

Spring training starts this week. For families with baseball fans, this is a huge event. A huge family event, and the start of 6 months of unique parenting moments. We are a baseball family, and this is a huge week for us. Spring training, like spring itself, represents the emergence of new life, new hope. Legendary players, legendary games, and legendary moments are all in the making during spring training.

By now you know that No Regrets Parenting is all about moments with your kids. Baseball has its special moments, too. Many of them.  Baseball’s moments are officially recorded in the scorebook, where each event on the field has its own special symbol or code.  Beginning this week, a whole new season of scorebook statistics begins. Spring statistics will determine which players make it to the “show” (the major leagues), which are sent to the “minors” for more grooming, and which poor souls will be sent home to earn an honest living.

At the end of each game and at the end of each season, the statistics in the scorebook  allow the accomplishments and performances of each player to be counted, averaged, summarized and analyzed. The exact number and types of hits and outs.  How many pitches a pitcher threw, and how many for strikes. Whether the ground ball out was hit to the 3rd baseman or to the shortstop.

Much more important, though, are the moments that are not recorded in the scorebook – the spirit and soul of the at-bat, the guts and gumption of the pitcher, the hustle and heroics of the fielders. Legendary performances are recorded in the hearts and minds of the players, coaches, and fans. A caught fly ball is scored the same way in the book, whether it was a routine pop-up or a running, diving, acrobatic catch at the fence. But brilliant plays and dazzling efforts are scored and stored in the memories of everyone at the game long after the numbers and statistics are crunched and the scorebook is closed.

Teach your kids that they are much more than just a list of their accomplishments. Teach them that it’s not only what you do, but how you do it that counts in the real scorebook of one’s life. Making the spectacular diving catch says more about you than the “out” that is recorded in the scorebook. It says you have game. It says you give 110%. Every performance in your life becomes a choice you have to make. Will you do just enough to get by, letting the ball drop in front of you for a base hit? Or will you push yourself to perform like an all-star, the legendary player you know you can be, and dive for the ball? Your special effort will be recorded in the minds and memories of others. More importantly you will have the peace of mind and self-respect that come from knowing that you gave your very best – even if you don’t end up making the catch. That’s the stuff of legends.

Batter up!

Are you a baseball family? What special sports or other entertainments create special moments in  your family? Share your thoughts in the space below. If the comments box isn’t there, click on the title of this post and it will magically appear.


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