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The Come Back Cards, Lessons from the Field

Game six was not solely a game of baseball; it was a game of life lessons.

It has been said that the Cardinals are a team that never gives up. Game six of the 2011 World Series was testament to that. Inning after inning when they fell behind in scores and it looked as though the coveted World Series title was in jeopardy, the Redbirds came back tougher and more determined. Through all of their errors and missed opportunities, the Cards prevailed and went on to win game six of the World Series.

I watched every single minute of the game, surprisingly, without biting my nails to nubs.

At times I found it hard to conceive how athletes of their caliber could make such ridiculous errors such as the one that left Matt Holiday and Rafael Furcal looking like the Bad News Bears. And how about David Freese dropping that pop fly, yes the one my son could have caught at age six? For a while, it looked like the game could only be described as a game of errors, breaking the 1943 record for the most made by the Cards in a World Series game.

 In the ninth inning, I was writing a headline in preparation of a story. It read, “The Cardinals Beat Themselves.” But, then the Cardinal’s tenaciously refused to concede. I began writing a new headline, “The Come Back Cards, Lessons from the Field.”

Game six was not solely a game of baseball; it was a game of life lessons. In many ways game six reminded me of lessons I learned from my parents.

My dad taught me never to give up. He was tough like leather. Life threw him a number of curveballs and he hit them all. Just like the Cardinals, he made some mistakes along the way, but he didn’t let his mistakes keep him down. He brushed the dirt off his jersey, put his mistakes behind him and kept moving forward through the innings of life. My dad showed me how important it is to keep your eyes on the goal, and to keep going through every single out. And when it looked like he was losing, he just got tougher. The Cardinals, my dad and I have that in common – we are all tough birds.

My mother taught me to work hard. She never stops moving. She is smart and contemplates her next move. She manages to accomplish more in one day than some complete in a full week. She amazes me.

As I watched the players in game six, I saw my mother in them. Each one worked hard physically while constantly thinking of their next move. If their heads were transparent, and their brains were gears instead of tissue, the RPMs would register off the charts. As much as baseball is a physical game, it is a mental sport. Life is like that too. 

The Cardinals taught us that when it looks as though the game is over, don’t give up. They didn’t and it paid off for them. They showed us to work hard for what we want and go for it. They did and they won. They showed us how to think and patiently wait for the opportunity to score. David Freese did that and hit the winning homerun.

 Baseball and life are parallel, each are full of hits, strikes, outs, homeruns and the sweetest of all – wins.

I hope your game six finds you a winner.

James Baer (Editor) October 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Wonderful, inspiring words. I've lived by the motto all my life: When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

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