In the eight weeks since I became a league president, I’ve learned a number of lessons. One is that there’s a difference between “Little League” and baseball. Baseball is a fun sport to play with the kids. “Little League” is stuff you have to deal with so those kids can play baseball.
But today, I learned an important lesson about perspective.
It had been a rough week. The Board has been roiling over a controversial proposal made by a couple of members. And when those members faced stiff opposition, they resigned. So, I’ve had a deal with a week of e-mails and phone calls over the issue. It wasn’t a fun week to be a league president.
Then, a couple things happened that brought the whole matter into its proper perspective. One positive, and one negative.
The positive was that my son got his Winterball team, and I was happy with the team he got on. The manager coached a AA team we played in the spring that I respect. Even though they didn’t make it to the win column very often, they played well all season long. Twice, they tied our team and forced us into continuation games when the sunlight ran out. In the championship tournament, they topped two other teams to come in third. What made me especially happy was the idea of seeing my son play baseball again. It made all the “Little League” stuff worthwhile.
The negative was serious news about my younger brother. He was hospitalized on July 30 with diabetes-related heart disease. Fortunately, he recovered and was released the next day. Considering our family’s long history of cardiovascular disease, the news worried me a great day. My dad died at age 55 from a heart attack related to his diabetes. My mom suffered a stroke at age 50 that left her paralyzed for the last 13 years of her life. My brother said the incident was a wake-up call for him to take better care of himself. It was a reminder to me too.
My brother’s news was also a sobering reminder that league politics are trivial compared to matters of health and family. It is a blasphemy to call a proposal for running the league a “life or death” issue when real life and death issues occur. And we have to remember that our ultimate goal for running a league is for our children’s growth and happiness. Everything else is secondary. And nothing is more important than taking care of ourselves and the ones we love.