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The A.R.T. of a Champ - "Attitude"

posted Jan 11, 2016, 9:18 AM by Ray Hughes   [ updated Jan 11, 2016, 9:24 AM ]
Psalms 25:9 (NIV)  "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his ways."

Remember the man who wanted to build an extra barn for his expected bountiful harvest but was foolish because he didn’t know he would die that night?

In 1970, I got off to a good start.   After beating Bob Gibson and the Cardinals on May 18, I was 8-2 with an ERA of 2.79.  I had three more starts before I had to go to a two-week summer camp for the National Guard.  I remember telling a reporter that I was hoping to have ten wins when I left.   I could have never envisioned how long it would be before I won my next game.

I lost the next three and went to summer camp 8-5.  After I returned, I lost three more in a row.  Then I finally pitched well against the Reds but the bullpen let the lead slip away.  The next time I got off the hook for a loss after pitching poorly.  Then I pitched well again and the bullpen failed again.

I finally won my ninth game on July 17 against the Fergie Jenkins and the Cubs.  At that point my ERA was 3.79.  It had climbed a whole run during my streak winless outings.

The frustration I felt during those two months served as a good lesson.  I had been overly proud in May, sufficiently humbled by July.  None of us know what the Lord has planned in our lives.  That doesn’t mean we should lack the confidence to build a new barn or take the mound expecting to win.   It does mean that in the end, we are part of our success but not all of it.  We should be careful to contain our pride.

I recall a story from a golf book.  Two young Texas players, both of whom were taking lessons from a pro named Harvey Pennick, played in a local tournament.  When the first got back to his coach he related how the other, who won the tournament, sat around recounting his victory to anyone who would listen.  The old coach told the young man.  “Just remember Ben, it’s not what you do.  It’s who you are.”  Ben Crenshaw remembered that when he won the Masters in 1995, shortly after his old coach died.

-Larry Dierker