I’ve been hitting baseballs perfectly for over half a century…in my mind.
One of the great adventures in sports is to strike a fastball with the fat of the bat while your torso turns in sync with fully extended arms at top speed. The arm speed is important—there is no hesitation, no adjustment, just the art of meeting the ball and, in my case, sending it over the left fielder’s head. The ball is weightless on the bat and it flies over the third baseman’s head before the swing is finished. Gone.
I haven’t done the above much. The first time was in Little League at age 12 against a real flame thrower. I broke up his no-hitter in the fifth inning. This first experience with the weightlessness of a perfect swing was so shocking I forgot to run. A few years later I had two “shots” in one season. Then there was no time for baseball until some 50 years passed and I joined an over the hill hardball league, in search of another moment of perfection. I got one near the end of the season. Again, the ball rocketed off the bat into the proverbial power alley in left-center. I barely made it to second: old legs, young mind.
Ok, like the best seller The Art of Fielding, my point goes beyond baseball. I write and dream about the unobtainable. Life has so many variables above and beyond confronting the spin of a curve ball or the heaviness of a slider. Success depends so much on fortitude, focus and timing. Failure is frequent—2/3 of the time for a good hitter—but not fatal if there is a next pitch, another chance, a possibility to be perfect.
Get in the game. Keep your eye on the ball. And the baseball metaphors keep rolling with the opening of the 2013 MLB season upon us. Go Giants!