I Got Skills

This Blogging 101 assignment asks me to describe the one skill I’d like to master.  Most people would want to be a better person, father, mother, etc. but I don’t consider that a “skill”.  That’s more a result from applying skills and principles in your life.  Even then I don’t think anyone could say that they have “mastered” being a better person; that’s a work in progress until you breathe your last breath.

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No. For me I’d like to master being a professional baseball player.  I LOVE baseball.  It is poetry and ballet on grass.  To me it is the ultimate game that requires individual skills melding into those skills of an entire team.  It calls for skill and thinking rather than brawn.  No don’t have to be the fastest, strongest or biggest person in baseball to succeed; you just have to be the smartest.  Out-thinking and out-strategizing your opponent.  Just look at the mano-a-mano struggle between pitcher and batter each trying to out maneuver and out think the other.  Is he going to throw a curve ball here? Is he expecting the change up in this situation? What’s he a sucker for? High fast balls?  Where are the fielders playing me? To pull?

Granted there are many skills that go into making a great ball player and skills alone don’t separate the hall-of-famers from the other professionals.  That takes some special quality – call it charisma, presence, personality or mojo – that you can’t acquire.  You either have it or you don’t. That being said I’d still like to be able to master hitting a 95 mph fastball over the left center field wall in old Yankee Stadium. And be able to do it consistently.  Here’s something you might not know: a batter has just 0.40 seconds to decide to swing or not if a pitcher throws some heat from the mound.  That’s less than half a second to decide what kind of pitch it is (curve, splitter, slider, fast ball, change up), is it going to break at all and its location (inside/outside and high/low).

Yeah, I’d like to master that skill.

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To hear the crack of the bat, the sting in your hands as you make contact, the roar of the crowd and the sunshine on your back as you round the bases!  Goosebumps!  You know what I’m saying … just like in “The Natural” when he hits that homer at the end of the movie into the lights.  Yeah, like that.

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