Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Bunt

Sometimes one finds oneself tested, and one never knows the outcome until the situation presents itself to apply all one's ability to the test. The Ramban teaches that each person has a potential and sometimes that potential translates to actual accomplishment because life contains many tests, trials and tribulations.  The Ramban tells us that Hashem never gives an impossible test; His tests are always meant to transform one's potential energy into actual energy resulting in a fortification of not only one's self esteem but also a means of building a positive reputation.

One of the most difficult plays in baseball for a left-hander is to field a ball hit to the left side of the infield.  One will never see a left-handed short-stop because a grounder toward the hole between second and third is gloved with the right hand, however, the throw can not be made without completely turning either counter-clockwise or clockwise to get in position to make the throw.  Left-handed infielders are usually only found at First base because they are naturally in position to throw either to second or third without turning; they can throw with just a pivot.

One day, unusually chilly and overcast for baseball season, I was pitching well.  There was a constant drizzle that day making the field wet.  I was the winning pitcher that day, our team won, however, I can't remember the details of the win because the game was overshadowed by one play.

Late in the game, trying to get something going for the opposing team, their manager called for a bunt and the batter laid down a great bunt straight down the third base line.  Our third baseman started for the ball, however, I tore off the mound with abandon to field the ball.  What I was about to do, my coach would say was something that he thought could not be done.

I gloved the ball with my right hand, and instead of turning around either clockwise or counterclockwise, with my back to first base, I stepped with my left foot toward the dugout, away from the field as if walking off the infield.  Then, I pivoted on that left foot, planting it to throw off it toward first base.  As I planted my foot and shifted my weight to throw, my cleat slipped slightly backwards as I snapped off my throw to first.  The slip made my release point slightly later than a usual throw and added an extra snap that cast the ball no higher than three and a half feet off the ground.  The throw beat the runner easily.

At the end of the inning as I walked off the mound my teammates congratulated me and my coach stood there beaming saying,"I never saw such a play - I didn't think it could be done!"

I never thought I could make such a play!  Life is filled with tests; tests that build confidence.  One should remember the Ramban's lesson: there are no impossible tests!  Meeting a challenge is just another opportunity transforming potential energy into actual tangible results.

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