On August 2, 2013 Vinnie Catricala struck out on one pitch. That’s right. One pitch.
In a minor league battle between Midland Rock Hounds and Corpus Christi Hooks, Nick Tropeano got the easiest strikeout of his life and Vinnie Catricala wrote himself into baseball lore. After the first pitch was called a strike, Vinnie disputed the call and decided to take his time getting back into the batter’s box. The umpire decided he was in violation of Rule 6.02 (c) which requires an umpire to call a strike if a batter refuses to get back into the batter’s box. Did Vinnie take his place in the batter’s box? No. He stayed out of the box and drew a third strike call.
Instant Hall of Shame.
This isn’t how he dreamed it would be when he was a kid in the back yard. Little Vinnie dreamed of loaded bases, two outs, and a 3-2 pitch in Game 7 of the World Series. Big Vinnie, however, struck out on one pitch in a forgettable minor league game. All his years of training, diet, sacrifice, and dedication had no impact in his claim to victory.
Vinnie provides us a few key life lessons applicable to just about everything:
Lesson 1: keep swinging.
No one really knows what pitch God will throw next. It might be a high heater or curve ball. It might be in on the hands and jamb us a bit or it might be the dreaded spit ball. Whatever it is, we’ll have no shot at it if we don’t stand in there and take it.
Lesson 2: complainers are losers.
Many of us moan and groan about the last pitch and miss the opportunity to hit the next one. You can’t stand outside the batter’s box and whine about your circumstances, the bad calls, the prevailing winds, or the sun in your eyes. Get in the box and swing. Complaining once makes it easier to complain the next time and before we know it, we’ve got ourselves a nice little rut–a habit not easily kicked. Vinnie struck out because he complained.
Lesson 3: big moments are the product of accumulated little moments.
We dream of making it big as a writer, actor, business man, husband, father, pastor, etc, and we even train for the big moment. But for many of us that big moment will never come because we never stayed in the batter’s box. You can’t hit a grand slam in Game 7 of the World Series unless you stay in the batter’s box during T-ball, Little League, High School, College, and even during those forgettable minor league games. We can’t expect the big moments to come if we’re not putting our training to use and faithfully dealing with each pitch thrown at us.
Vinnie made National news, but not in the way he’d always hoped. Don’t be a Vinnie. Stay in the box. Keep swinging.
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