Friday, January 15, 2010

Making Do When You Don't Have Enough

This is a baseball story that pleases me. It illustrates the challenge of putting together an organization when there are not many options available; with spunk we can make it through. Perhaps the joke will be lost in the explaining, but here it is.

It was 1933, and Casey Stengel was a rookie manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers. They were low on the list for Rule 5 draft picks that year, and Casey picked Ray Berres, a 170 pound light hitting catcher. When asked why he picked the lightweight Berres, Casey replied,

“You have to have a catcher because if you don't you're likely to have a lot of passed balls.”

Think about it. If no-one is there to catch the ball, you don't have much of a game.

When faced with tough choices, ask yourself what sort of business you are in. What is it that you absolutely must do, or shut your doors?

Casey's Dodgers only won four games that year, and the Dodgers failed to make the playoffs. Casey's career as a manager was a spotted one. He won some and he lost some. What he never lost was his sense of humor, and his ability to warm the crowd. He loved what he did and he made sure people loved playing his game. A plaque dedicated to him at the Yankee Stadium's monument park reads in part,

" for over 50 years; with spirit of eternal youth."