Author Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
As we go through our lives, we undoubtedly forget what brought us to the point we are now. In the case of a ballplayer, we often forget how we have gotten to a certain place in our career. We focus on the present situation, present game or at bat.
But if we start to uncover the layers of a ballplayer, we will realize that so much of makes up a successful ballplayer is enveloped in the step by step progression up the baseball ladder.
My mother always told me that each step in your life is crucial and it is important not to skip any of the steps. You might not remember the steps but it seems that the steps remember you.
If you asked Derek Jeter how many groundballs he has taken in his career – he would have no idea.
If you asked how many soft toss swings that Freddie Freeman has taken – he would have no idea.
If you asked how many times Randy Johnson has played a simple game of catch in his life – he would have no idea.
But guess what? Each swing, ground ball and throw was an important building block in their career.
If you asked any major league ballplayer how many times they have talked to a coach about baseball strategy, the numbers would involve commas.
If you asked how many signs a hitter has received from a third base coach in his career –he would have no idea.
If you asked how times a relief pitcher has warmed up in a game – he would have no idea.
But guess what? Each conversation, sign, or warmup was an important building block to their career.
The more you are around the game, the more you learn.
The more you talk the game, watch the game, the more you learn.
The measurement is invaluable.
Be around the game as much as you can. Watch it, study it, and talk about it.
As Emerson hinted at, you might not remember them, but they will have made you.