Before Success: Someone Had To Believe
By: Parrish L. Stahl
As a baseball follower it is easy to marvel at the talent the Detroit Tigers put on the field. Justin Verlander could possibly be the best pitcher in the game. Miguel Cabrera and Price Fielder are two of the premiere hitters in the history of the Tiger organization. They are media super stars. Professional athletes and successful people in general have something in common; someone somewhere along the line believed in them and let them pursue a dream.
The odds of playing in the major leagues are astronomical. There are no bad players in the majors; just a select few are elite though and every one of them have had to make dedication and family sacrifice a way of life. I had a conversation with the mother of Tigers pitcher Phil Coke, and she said half-jokingly, “it is just little league all over again, the foods better though.” We so often hear about the great salaries and forget the people behind the scenes that spend years supporting other people’s dreams.
No one can succeed in any walk of life unless other people are there to support them. Someone drove every major leaguer to practice for years before they made it. Before there was the manicured fields, air conditioned club houses, limousines, airplanes and catered food; there were dusty sand lots, burning hot summer days, broken down buses, shortages of equipment and sack lunches. Even the greatest Tiger of all, Al Kaline, who came directly from high school to the Detroit Tigers in 1953 and has been with the organization as a player, broadcaster and executive ever since, needed people to believe in him at every step along the way. Another famous man with very small hands wandered into a gym in Louisville, KY, mad because someone stole his bike. He planned to do something criminal, but was headed off by someone who cared and channeled his passion. That little boy grew up to be the 3-time Heavy Weight Champion, his name, Muhammad Ali.
Someone saw potential in Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Helen Keller, Elvis Presley and you if you are reading this. Someone thought it was essential that you learned to read. If you see talent are you supporting it and fostering its development? How much talent and ability is overlooked because no one was there to help? We all have the potential to change the world. Your life is not the only destiny you control. What can you do to work on a better future? History is full of little things that became huge victories.
Even if you never became a professional, if you are successful there was a coach, parent, friend, relative, teacher, bus driver, or a perfect stranger that impacted your life in a positive way. Roll models and inspirations are not limited to a select few. Do not sell yourself short; we all have something to give. Let’s talk about your ideas! Who believed in you and what can you do to return the favor?