It’s spring time, and that means it’s baseball season. I’ve taken an extra part-time job as an umpire for the local city league. Towards the end of the final game last night, the coach of the fielding team made a pitching change. He called time out and brought the infield in to the pitcher’s mound, told the current pitcher that he had done well and that a change was going to happen. Then he asked one of the boys in the huddle if he wanted to pitch. I watched this little fifth-grade boy’s face light up instantly. He quickly nodded in excitement. As he began to pitch, I noticed something very different.
This was no ordinary pitcher, and I would later learn no ordinary boy. His coach would later tell me after the inning was over that he was a miracle baby. He had suffered a rare stroke after birth and lost traditional movement of his right arm. When he would pitch, he would take the glove off from his left hand and hold it between his right arm and torso, giving him the ability to throw the ball with his left arm. As soon as the ball left his hand, he would quickly put the glove back on and prepare for the imminent play. This was the process for each and every pitch. One batter hit the ball directly back to the pitcher’s mound. Not only was his glove on in time, he was able to make the catch, remove the glove and ball to be able to throw to first, and throw the runner out.
His pitching performance was entertaining, but his story is inspiring. I’ll never forget this boy and the lesson he taught me last night. No matter what the circumstance may be, no matter how difficult the challenge, if we truly want something and work hard for it, we can achieve it. For this boy it was being able to play baseball. For the rest of us, the opportunities are endless.
So whenever you need a little extra motivation, think about this boy. I know I will. We all need good examples in our lives. Those unsung heroes, like the one I met on the baseball field last night, can inspire and motivate goodness in everyone.