One thing you need to know about me: I love baseball. I love watching baseball, playing baseball, and great stories about baseball. So, I wanted to share with you one of the best moments I’ve seen in baseball this year.
I saw an article on Yahoo! Sports (I’ll post the link at the end of this post) about Sean Smith. He plays baseball in the independent Atlantic League for the York Revolution. Because he plays in an independent league, this means his club has no affiliation at all with any Major League baseball entity. He doesn’t get paid much at all and likely has to work a day job in order to play. I don’t know how much Sean Smith makes, but many independent league players play for as little as $150 a week. They play for the love of the game and to chase their dreams.
This brings us to what happened last night. Smith’s team is playing in game 3 of the playoffs and trailing by one run. Smith steps up to the plate and smacks a game-tying home run over the left field fence. Then things went horribly wrong. As he rounded first base, he fell to the ground in obvious pain. The umpire checked on him and Smith told him his right knee was “gone.”
Let’s break a moment from the story to explain a bit about the home run rule. If a batter hits a ball over the outfield fence in fair territory, it is considered a home run. The player gets a free pass around the bases and scores a run, but there’s a catch. In order for that run to count, the batter must circle the bases completely without any assistance. If the batter is unable to do that, the run does not count.
Sean Smith knew this. So what did he do? He pulled himself up onto to one leg and hopped around the bases, scoring the tying run. He didn’t have any assistance, but he had plenty of support. First, the entire stadium of fans stood and cheered, loudly, to encourage him. He obviously got a boost of adrenaline from their support because he picked up speed and bumped his chest as he rounded the bases. When he crossed home plate, his entire team waited there to carry him off the field, cheer him on, and get him the medical attention he needed. He got the worst news possible, a torn ACL.
But he didn’t leave the park. He stayed to root for his teammates as they won their game. Through the course of this one at bat, he showed more guts, determination, and will power than many people show in a lifetime. And he did with the support of fans and teammates.
I’ll let you decide the lesson in that story, the details of Sean Smith’s emotional moment and the support he received as he rounded the bases. As for me, I hope I can be just as determined and accomplish my goals with my family, friends, and supporters cheering me the whole way.