On October 1, 1931…Babe Ruth stepped to the plate in game 3 of the World Series and did something unthinkable. He pointed out to the stands in centerfield and called his shot. In came the next pitch…smack. A home run. In that moment, a legend was born.
As a kid, playing stickball in the backyard, I would copy the Babe from time to time and call my shot. I was a far better pitcher than hitter, but sometimes I would really get lucky and belt one out to center. I remember creating situations in my head…bottom of the 9th…2 outs…the count is 3 and 2…Sanders steps back into the box…here’s the pitch…it’s belted deep to center…back…back…back…GONE!
I would round the virtual bases throwing my hands up in the air…fist pumping…and jump on home plate when I would make it all the way around.
I dreamed big when I was a kid. For a while there, that changed. But I’ve brought the kid back out in me again – that playfulness, that imagination, the dreaming, the lack of fear I had…the absence of fear that allowed me to climb the tallest of trees no matter how many times I slipped and fell.. It took me some time to find him…but I did. I’ve been told I have a child’s joy and the soul of an old “well lived” man. I love both.
I had a conversation with my dad the other day that I will never forget. I was talking to him about this project I’ve been working on for some time, something I have run him through from A to Z and heard those encouraging words “this is going to work…it may not look like what exactly think it will along the way, but this is going to work. Don’t waste any more time not doing this.” But the best part of the conversation came when I was telling him about this anticipation I could feel in my hands about the whole thing. What he said next I will have plastered in my mind for eternity.
“You can do two things…the first option is this. You can set your expectations as close to 0 as you can and anything that you receive is icing on the cake. You can save yourself from disappointment and just be happy with what you get even though it may be nothing close to what you wanted. That’s option 1. Or, you can go for the whole f’ing thing. You can set your expectations as high as possible, work as hard as you can to get there, and go for it all. Try to get every last ounce you can out of it. Dream big.”
He then gave me a look and goes…we all know which option you are going to choose.
So here I am again, a kid at home plate…it’s the bottom of the 9th…2 outs…2 on…down by 2 runs…3 and 2.
I’m stepping into the batters box…and going to do the unthinkable…I’m calling my shot. I’m pointing out to that left-center wall. I’m swinging.
– Evan Sanders