Deep in the heart of Georgia, a little boy tosses a baseball high in the air and catches it. Each throw a little higher a bit more altitude, with a little more arc, making it harder to catch. With each throw, a young man’s confidence grows, his belief that he can play this game called baseball becomes more and more immense by the minute.
Personal and family sacrifices, the hours of playing catch, hitting that little ball off the tee, running after a pop fly and fielding sharp grounders are finally paying huge dividends. Joy intersects with passion and hard work, resulting in the formation of a dream come true.
Gradual advancement, more hard work, incremental improvement, maturity, the taste of success at the tip of your tongue, the fruits of your labor are starting to blossom.
Plateau. They said it, not you. Your stuck, stuck behind someone else’s dream, trying to find clear wind to fill your sails, but the others are tacking in front of you, stealing the very wind that drove you to success. You move, they move, it’s not personal, it’s just competitive. This is not the joy you envisioned, skewed but still in it’s light and nature. A kalidescope of your original dream disappearing into a pattern of dashed hopes and missed windows.
Perseverance is a word whose meaning is deeply understood by few, lived by even fewer. Tough times bring fight or flight, the tendency is finding a place to keep your head above water, settling for something steady and predictable, something more of a sure thing. Common sense and fate may have been knocking on the door of the dream, a cruel foreshadowing of illusion, deep indication that it’s time to forge another path, to alter course.
Dusty roads, an endless bus ride, fast food and even faster competition. Substitute teaching, working with kids, stealing time away to stay sharp, finding the inner strength to continue working on your game against all odds. The dream is still at the end of your fingertips, if only someone could see the yearning, the desire, the intense burn of competition.
One chance is all he ever wanted. One chance, if they could only believe in him a mere fraction as much as he believes in himself. Portland, Oregon to Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, and in the middle, Des Moines, Iowa. Living year 11 of the dream, wondering if it will ever come true or will it be a constant reminder of what could have been…
By now, virtually every serious fan of the Chicago Cubs has embraced the feel good story of 2009, the emergence of rookie infielder Bobby Scales. Scales, after toiling in the minor leagues for 10 seasons, finally got his cup of coffee in the major leagues on May 5th, courtesy of Cubs P Carlos Zambrano. If Zambrano hadn’t been injured and if the Cubs didn’t have an immediate need for another infielder, the switch-hitting Scales would still be roaming the sweet dirt of Des Moines, Iowa. Instead, all Scales has done is hit, going 8-18 (.444 batting average) with 1 HR and 5 RBI’s including a pair of two run doubles in yesterday’s 11-3 Cubs victory over the San Diego Padres. He’s gotten a hit in every single game he’s played.
There’s a good chance that Bobby Scales will be sent back to Iowa when the Cubs activate Zambrano from the 15-day disabled list. The Chicago Cubs might be led by the likes of Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley, and Aramis Ramirez, but the heart and soul of the franchise is encased in players such as Scales. If it all ended today, Bobby Leon Scales would have achieved the dream that every kid who has touched a ball has ever dared to imagine.