Enjoying success in a game designed to make you fail is an experience you can share only with others who have had a like experience. I’ve used this space in the past to try to give you an understanding of how hard it is to be successful in baseball. It appears I have failed. Most of you just don’t understand how difficult it is.
Every year when the Sheboygan A’s gather for the first time, I tell them that they shouldn’t worry about the other team, their best hitters or their hotshot pitcher. You are not going against them, you are playing against The Game. The Game is so hard to play. The Game takes delight in embarrassing you. Just concern yourself with executing fundamentals and beating The Game. You are playing against The Game; forget the other team.
But it is so hard. You know you are in for a troubling experience when you are on defense and they give you the ball. Is there another game so confident in itself that it gives you the ball when you are on defense?
And when you are on offense, they give you this stick thing and send you up to the plate where you try to defend yourself with it. You walk up to the plate with your stick. The catcher looks at you and laughs. The umpire looks at you like you’re the guy who ran your car over his dog. The pitcher looks down at you from his perch and smirks.
”Yaaaeek” shouts the guy who just lost his dog.
“Your girlfriend ain’t bad,” says the catcher.
The pitcher smirks again.
“What just happened here?” goes through your head.
“Swing the bat,” somebody shouts from the stands.
There you stand, like you are alone on some planet a zillion light years away. You and this stick thing. Everything around you is hazy, smoky, fog.
“Focus,” a teammate shouts from the on-deck circle.
You step out of this box they made for you and try to gather yourself. You step back in for another try. It is mental. It is physical. It is emotional. The game is so hard. It is so hard to win. So please, please, please, I beg you, appreciate this September run of the Milwaukee Brewers. It is the closest thing to a miracle I have ever seen.
It is so hard to win in this game. It is so fickle, so fluky. So many variables can go against you. You don’t just lace up our cleats and say we are going to win today. Those other guys can play, too. And on top of it all is The Game requiring it’s 100 per cent perfect execution on every pitch.
Whether the Brewers are one-and-done in the playoffs or go all the way, remember always The Run of September, 2019. The Brewers beat The Game in September. I have seen a lot of baseball, folks, but I have never seen anything like the Milwaukee Brewers’ Run of September, 2019.
The Sheboygan A's are members of the Wisconsin State League and Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. The A's have helped develop more than 41 players that have reached professional baseball, including 2002 World Series Champion Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim Angels). All Sheboygan A's home games are played at Wildwood Baseball Park in Sheboygan. Connect with the A's on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.