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Inside Pitch Magazine, November/December 2018

Intentional Walk: Being There for the Big Moment

By Rusty Stroupe
As the grand moment approached, I grew more and more anxious. Normally I'm not a nervous person. I kinda take life as it comes. But there are moments in one's existence that are monumental. And as the time grew nearer, I was afraid. Not afraid of the event itself, but afraid that I would miss it.

Set an alarm, you might say. Have someone you trust remind you of the upcoming event, you might recommend. If it's that important, how could you forget, you might ask.

I think there are many examples of people in life whose minds went strangely blank precisely when they should have been focused, and who missed out on their big moments. Here are a few examples:

1. Joe Green: He said no when his college roommate asked him to join him and invest in a wacky business venture. Had he said yes, Joe would now be worth around $7 billion. His roommate Mark Zuckerberg's crazy idea was to start a social website called Facebook.

2. Wally Pipp: An excellent first baseman for the New York Yankees, Wally woke up on June 2, 1925 with an excruciating headache. When his headache was still hanging around that afternoon, he asked the Yankees manager for a day off. A young replacement named Lou Gehrig started the game that day in his place and played the next 2130 games in a row.

3. Erwin Rommel: Germany's top general in World War II was also a devoted family man. So much so that he left his front line duties for a two-day trip home on his wife's birthday so he could surprise her and celebrate with her. He headed out on June 5, 1944 and a few hours later, the largest beachfront assault in the history of history occurred as the Allies attacked German forces on June 6, 1944...also known as D-Day.

4. Edward J. Smith: There is some historical debate about Captain Smith, but it is believed by many that he was asleep when the Titanic he captained struck an iceberg that eventually caused it to plunge into the icy Atlantic Ocean. Either way, it was not a good night for him, because even after he showed up on deck, he seemed confused and disoriented, frozen by indecision and disbelief.

Perhaps the disciples were afraid their boat might sink the night the storm tossed them to and fro in an incident recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. At their darkest and most perilous moment, they realized their leader was sleeping soundly below. “How could he do this to us at a moment like this?” they asked. But Jesus was not being neglectful or irresponsible, He was simply resting in total trust of His Father. At a moment of his choosing, he probably yawned, stretched, and rolled his eyes at the lack of faith he was witnessing all around Him. And when He was good and ready, he raised his arms to the sky and calmed the sea before the amazed eyes of His disciples. His big moment had come, and He had answered the call, as always. And He still does today.

So with this in mind, I did not want to miss my big moment when it happened recently. Even so, I nearly did. A minute or so after leaving the parking lot where I work, it hit me. Oh no! Had my moment passed? How could I have forgotten? A quick glance at my truck's odometer led to a deep sigh of relief. I pulled off the side of the road and took a picture before proceeding. My Nissan truck had rolled over to 100,000 miles. And I was there at the big moment to enjoy it.

Inside Pitch Magazine is published six times per year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt association founded in 1945. Copyright American Baseball Coaches Association. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any way without prior written permission. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, it is impossible to make such a guarantee. The opinions expressed herein are those of the writers.
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