Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just Keep Swinging

In the process of backing up my machine here (since I'm taking it in for a repair before the service contract is up,) I came across one of those inspirational quotes that you save to get you through discouraging interludes.

This, from one of baseball's greatest hitters, is one that I found printed across the top of the local paper's sports page a few years back, right over the scores from the various high school teams. At the time, I really needed not just to hear this, but to keep it in the forefront of my thoughts. So I taped it at the top of my monitor, where it always fed me a little encouragement and direction every time I looked up.

"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or just feeling badly, the only thing to do was keep swinging."

- Henry Aaron

Now, here's a guy who, I think we can say, probably had a lot more reason to feel downhearted at times than most. As I'm sure most people realize, when he was on his way to breaking Babe Ruth's career home run record, he was receiving death threats and hate mail on a regular basis.

After the last game of the 1973 season, having reached 713, one short of the record, Aaron stated that his only fear was that he might not live to see the next season. So when he said, I just keep swinging, that was quite a statement.

(I suppose it was stressful to be receiving threats of indictment while going after Aaron's record, but I don't think they quite compare.)

1974 baseball card uploaded to Flickr by brettbigb

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