Baseball and the Game of Life

Bill Bathe

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Baseball and life have a lot of similarities. I know what you are thinking, yea right, it's simply a game involving a bat and a ball. What can that possibly teach us? I am here to tell you what it can teach you. Not only baseball, but other sports as well.

Growing up I couldn't see the similarities with baseball and life. I simply knew that a game was on and lets go play! But as time has evolved and I have gone on to other things, only now can I reflect and look at what the game of baseball has taught me.

Baseball and life are similar. I think the first thing it taught me was personal interaction. How to deal with teammates and how to work together towards a common goal. We all wanted to win together, but we also experienced defeat together. We learned how to deal with defeat and how to rise above it. How to keep on trying every out, every game. We didn't know it at the time, but we were learning valuable skills that would carry over to other facets of our lives.

It also taught me how to deal with one-on-one situations. You against the pitcher in the batter's box with the game on the line. You strike out and the game is over. How did you handle this on a personal level? It taught you that you will overcome even in the eyes of defeat. It teaches you how to handle defeat amongst your peers and what you will do to be better next time. Baseball and life are similar, they are just on different stages.

How about your hitting? You fail seven out of ten times and you are a three hundred hitter and a hero. You fail eight out of ten times and you are only hitting two hundred. One extra hit per ten at bats can propel you from hero status to the goat status. How do you deal with defeat when you are only hitting two hundred? Do you throw in the towel or do you put your best effort forward, hold your head high, and carry on with great determination?

Baseball and life teaches us that everyone fails at some point. What matters is not giving up. What matters is getting up and you keep pounding the rock. And while you are pounding the rock, without even knowing it, you are gaining character, desire, determination, and that great spirit that will carry over into life skills.

When I reflect back and try to understand what I learned from this game, I can now see what it has taught me. I know I can handle any situation, because I know how to get back up and move forward. I can deal with personal one-on-one situations, because baseball taught me that.

I know if it doesn't go just right, there is always tomorrow and the prospect of better things. I can handle defeat because I know it is only an opportunity for success later. And an opportunity for me to learn along this road called life.

Yes, baseball has taught me how to be in life, how to handle the ups and the downs, how to be a better person, and how to go out and get what I want in life. It is a grand game in so many ways!

Baseball for me was a stepping stone to my career now. Yes, I accomplished a lot in baseball, but it is where I am now that matters to me and baseball helped me get here.

I am now a captain with the Tucson Fire Department and a paramedic. I have the opportunity to save lives and affect them in a positive way. I deal with tragedy, as well as the overwhelming emotion when saving a life. How do I handle these pressure situations when faced with real emergencies?

I can look back and know that baseball taught me life skills and the ability to handle success as well as defeat. I know that I put my best foot forward each day. Somedays will be enriched with reward, and some with tragedy, but I will keep the course and give it my all. Baseball taught me that. And I hope it can help you as well. Please email me with any thoughts or questions.

Bill Bathe- former major league baseball player who played in 1989 world series. Former instructors include Eddie Matthews, Harmon Killebrew, Billy Williams, and Dusty Baker to name a few. Just click on Baseball drills and baseball equipment to go to his website which provides drills, equipment, information and tips. Also, digital online video analysis, equipment, posters, and more. In addition, stories and pictures on the journey to the big leagues. Or email him at


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