Spring training for baseball is upon us and the speculation on who will be this year's successes begins. You’ve probably heard the old saying, “they were just in the right place at the right time.” While on the surface it may appear that someone’s success was completely coincidental, I am persuaded that success is never an accident. In fact, it’s my observation is that it is usually a combination of preparation and timing.
Satchel Paige threw his first major league pitch at the age of 42. Actually, he was good enough to play in the majors at the age of 18, but he couldn't--Satchel Paige was black. However, seven years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, Paige, an undisputed superstar everywhere but in the major leagues, finally got his chance.
Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck was criticized for adding such an old man to his roster--some sportswriters and critics called it a publicity stunt. Others said Paige was finally getting the break he had deserved for years--though most doubted his ability to compete effectively at his age. Paige silenced the critics when he won his first three games as a pro…shutting out Chicago twice in the process.
All along he knew he was good enough to pitch in the major leagues, and when he finally got his chance, he proved it. He went on to win 28 games during his pro career, and even made a brief comeback at the age of 59, pitching three innings for the Kansas City A's.
He approached his major league pitching debut no differently than he approached any of the 2,500 games he pitched during his career. "It was just another game," he said. "And home plate was where it always was."
Though Paige had the ability to make throwing a baseball look effortless, he spent his life perfecting the art. And, eventually, he got his chance to show the world he was capable of competing with the best.
In the work that you do, you may have to wait years before you get your chance to play in the big leagues. And the fact is, the chance may never come in just the way you would like. But if you’ve invested the proper preparation, you can be sure your time will come—and when it does you’ll succeed.
Never give up on the dream of being the best—Today Counts.