Diamond in the rough

clear diamond in the green grassLife is like a diamond in the rough. Every cut or break only reveals more of the beauty and brilliance we all have waiting to expose. ~Author Unknown

When I speak of diamonds, I refer to a baseball diamond instead of the precious gem. And when I speak of the rough, I refer to the three inch blades of St. Augustine grass that inhabit our backyard after a week of summer rain in Florida. In this rough lives our own personal field of dreams.

I am passionate about baseball. I have been since I was a young boy in little league. Playing the game until I was close to eighteen years old, it provided me with many exciting moments and valuable lessons. Lessons that I am still absorbing today.

I am not going to pontificate on the high morals present in any sport. Unfortunately, there are misguided and fraudulent individuals from all walks of life. Baseball is no exception. But, there are those that play the game the “right” way with energy, passion, and integrity. Just as in everyday life, we can choose to focus on the positive or the negative. I choose the positive.

Regardless of whether you are a baseball fan, or a sports fan at all, there is much that can be taken away from this American pastime that originated over 150 years ago. Baseball is one of the few games that has no time limit. Regardless of how far behind you trail in the pursuit of a win, there is always a chance. There is always hope. It is the eternal optimist’s game of choice.

In light of that feeling of hope, consider this fact. The most prolific hitter in baseball history is Ty Cobb who carried a .366 batting average into the Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed upon a major league baseball player. Think about the implications behind this statement. A person fails more than six times out of every ten tries and he is considered the most decorated hitter in baseball history.

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~Japanese Proverb

Most of us have been exposed to this quote at some point in our lives. Here is a living proof example. Yes, baseball is just a game. But, it provides insight into some valuable lessons that can be applied to many other areas of our life. We can always cultivate hope. We can learn to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. We can choose to focus on the positive and expand its influence in our lives.

As I step into the backyard and don my glove, I pick up the ball and prepare to pitch to the opposition in my 10 year old son. First base is the plumeria tree (much to the dismay of my wife). Second base is the vague patch of lightened grass somewhere in the general area of where second base should be. Third base is the concrete slab leading to the air conditioned house. And how I long for the air conditioning on those 95 degree days when my son comes running out of his room and inquisitively states one word, “Baseball?”

As much as I am tired when I get home after a long day at work, as hot and humid as it is outside, I sometimes forget just how important this time with loved ones really is. In a way, the miniature baseball world of our backyard has taught me another lesson. To live in the moment, to appreciate the people around you, to cherish every experience you are able to share.

spend-time-with-childrenI have never had the opportunity to hit a game winning single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning. I will never be a hero on a baseball diamond, lest it be during my sleeping hours. But, as I take the initiative today, I poke my head around the corner into my son’s room and utter the inquisitive “Baseball?”. The immediate response and grin on his face reminds me that I can be a hero on this field of dreams in my own backyard.

And that observation is truly a diamond in the rough.

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19 thoughts on “Diamond in the rough

  1. MRS N, the Author August 27, 2013 / 8:23 am

    Another baseball fan? My husband and I love baseball too! I really love this blog post and it is so true when you said, “It is the eternal optimist’s game of choice”. Baseball is a true example of life. Sometimes you strike out, sometimes you foul tip, sometimes you bunt. It is an act of true amazement when you hit the ball on the sweet spot of the bat and watch as it glides through the air and over the fence. 🙂

    Here’s to many many days of living out our dreams and finding the diamond in the rough. 🙂

    • davecenker August 27, 2013 / 8:34 am

      Superb analogies, thanks for adding to my list! It is so true that baseball parallels life when we step back and look at it. My son and I love to play baseball, watch baseball, or just toss the ball back and forth in the backyard. Whatever it is we choose to do, it is a great way to spend some quality time together and share the experience with each other. Thanks, as always, for you wonderful comments. Have an awesome day 🙂

  2. Amy Lynne Hayes August 27, 2013 / 8:49 am

    We’re more of a football family here, college football specifically. I love that you and your son share a love for baseball though, and that you take the time to play with him, even if does feel like 1,000 degrees outside. That father and son time is so underrated in today’s busy society, and good on you for investing in your children’s development beyond just covering their costs! 🙂

    • davecenker August 27, 2013 / 9:03 am

      Thank you Amy 🙂 I grew up a college football fan in Pennsylvania, but I have always had a special place for baseball since I actually participated in the game also.

      I realized something important after publishing this post. The quote about children really applies to adults and children alike. We can spend money on our family and friends (which is still nice ;-)), but it is so much more important to spend quality time with these same individuals for it is in these moments that we truly build a relationship.

      Thank you for your always insightful and thoughtful comments. Have an inspired day 😉

  3. Jennifer August 27, 2013 / 9:44 am

    Can you guess what our son is doing right now? Baseball on the PS3 🙂 This just made me smile when reading – he truly loves playing with you in the backyard. Wonderful post and I need to remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and get back up again 🙂

    • davecenker August 27, 2013 / 9:55 am

      I agree wholeheartedly 😉 I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed handling certain things. Taking the time to step back and see just how lucky we are is very enlightening.

    • davecenker August 27, 2013 / 4:32 pm

      You’re very welcome! Thank you for stopping by and providing your comments. Have an inspired day!

  4. apartmentwife August 27, 2013 / 10:29 pm

    i shared this post with my baseball fanatic husband and he smiled the whole way through. a good message about investing in people and enjoying american past-times 🙂

    • davecenker August 28, 2013 / 8:17 am

      Thanks, I am happy that both you and your husband enjoyed it 🙂

  5. billyanderson74 August 28, 2013 / 12:59 pm

    Great post. Really hits home for me. The part about failing is so true. A great life lesson. My wife is famous for telling her students on the first day of school, every year “I hope you take a lot from this class; and I hope I take something from you too…the fear of failure” she goes on to explain the importance of making mistakes, learning from them, and to keep trying.

    Thanks for the great post and since we are talking baseball…Go Cardinals!

    • davecenker August 28, 2013 / 1:09 pm

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments! Baseball is such a great game for so many different reasons and I am happy that you enjoyed the post.

      At least we are fans of teams in different leagues, Go Rays! I hope to see the Cardinals in the Fall Classic this year 😉

  6. alyssamichellefrench August 28, 2013 / 9:21 pm

    Dave–
    You always have such wonderful perspective on everything. Once again, your post is not only beautifully written but also inspires me to think deeply about life. There are so many memorable messages, but I especially like these lines: “A person fails more than six times out of every ten tries and he is considered the most decorated hitter in baseball history…” and “We can always cultivate hope. We can learn to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. We can choose to focus on the positive and expand its influence in our lives.” What a powerful thing to remember and to be able to accomplish. I enjoy the theme of “choice” that runs through your words; each and every day we have the choice to be happy, to be optimistic, to enjoy what we have, to play baseball in the 95 degree weather. So often we forget that and count our failures more than our successes. What a great reminder!
    -Alyssa

    • davecenker August 29, 2013 / 8:18 am

      Thank you for your very thoughtful comments Alyssa. I sincerely appreciate your insight 😉 I didn’t even truly comprehend how much I could learn from my very own words until I read your reply, thank you 🙂

      Choice is such an incredibly powerful and life-changing force when we “choose” to use it 😉 I am so happy that you enjoyed the post and that it provided some meaningful perspective to your own life. I hope you have an inspired day!

    • davecenker August 29, 2013 / 9:01 am

      Thank you Melissa, that is one of the nicest comments I have received about my posts. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face and have an inspired day 😉

    • davecenker August 31, 2013 / 9:54 am

      Thank you for stopping by and providing your insight. I hope you have an inspired day 😉

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