Monday, November 3, 2008

MFP Copier Sales "You Gotta Have Heart"

We've all heard the story about Abe Lincoln and how many times he lost running office before he finally succeeded (geez, I'm writing this on the eve of us electing our next President), one of the oldest sales success stories. Never give up, never lose faith, be a grinder, his law partner said of him "His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest." I know a kid just like Abe.

For those who know me, they know that my passion is for coaching. Since my son turned 5, I added my name to the ranks of those who have coached Little League, Babe Ruth, Pony League and then graduating to Summer Collegiate Teams and Fall High School Teams. Over the years I have coached these young men in three D's of Life or better referred to as the 3D's of Baseball. Desire, Dedication and Determination, I have always preached that if you have these three qualities you can reach what you've always dreamed for whether in baseball, life or work. I am honored that some of these guys still find the time to call me and "shoot the bull".

Until, this summer, I would always recruit players or someone who knows someone would call me to be placed on the team. I don't run an elite team, just one where everyone gets to play no matter what the talent level is. This summer coming off the Collegiate season, I really didn't have the time to make a lot of calls and especially with the economy dragging. So, this summer I placed posts on local sports message boards in NJ looking for players.

I had a few calls, placed a few guys and then I had an email from a player. He stated that he was a LHP Pitcher and had pitched in HS and was looking for a fall team to play on. I responded with and email stated we would love to have you on the team. A few days passed and I didn't hear from him, then a few days later I heard from his father. I was a little surprised since I had not heard back from the player. His father and I spoke and he stated, "did my son tell you about his disability", (geez I thought), I responded with no he didn't. With that the father told me that his son has cerebral palsy in his right arm and has no use of it..........., however he is a hard worker and loves the game of baseball, his father reminded me of Jim Abbott . To tell you the truth, I was not sure what to do at that time. I then relied on why I coach, why I run the teams, its not for me its for the guys to get better and hopefully they will be able to advance and play baseball in college. With that I stated we would love to have him on the team.

The day came when Bryan arrived on the team. Bryan is about 6'0" and has good size for baseball. He had no use of his right arm at all and did a glove transfer similar to Jim Abbott.

I find it hard to describe all the great things about this kid. I saw it right away, he already had the 3 D's. His desire to succeed, his determination to get better and his dedication to the sport was probably more than all of the other guys on the team. He's enthusiasm to learn, to work hard and to soak up our knowledge was impressive. Did he throw hard, no, but he was a lefty, and all this kid needed was some confidence. Well, I must say that his attitude and perseverance won everyone over, team members, parents, coaches from other teams and players alike.

On one day he called me and asked if I thought he could pitch in college. I told him there is a college for everyone who still wants to play ball, and I thought he could pitch at some college. His outings kept on getting better and better and he quickly became one of our best pitchers. (confidence, desire, dedication and determination). I had spoken to Bryan and asked if he had contacted any colleges, he said he had however he was not getting much interest. I made a call to a local college and spoke to the coach and told him about Bryan, his demeanor and all of this kids attributes. A few days later the coach came to one of our games, saw Brian pitch and was impressed. He then called Brian and set up a visit with him and his parents to the college. As of a few days ago, Bryan will be going to college and will be playing college baseball.

On this past Sunday, we gave him the ball against one of the best fall teams in the State, we lost 2-1, however Brian pitched all 7 innings, allowed zero earned runs and only two hits. It was one of the finest memories that I will ever have and one that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. So many of us, will say why me and he says why not me? His Desire, Dedication and Determination hits home, and is a great story about a great kid who has the heart to compete, the heart to win and the heart to never give up.

My hats off to Bryan, way to go kid!

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