September 26, 2003


In Baseball or in Life -- Win or Lose, You've Got a New Game Every Day (Jay Hook, September 23, 2003, LA Times)

I was the starting pitcher for the 1962 New York Mets, a team that holds the worst record in modern-day baseball.

We won only 40 games that year, lost 120 and were rained out twice on our road to ignominy. No club has ever lost that many games.

By the end of the '62 season, when I would leave the ballpark after a game, I felt that I had better focus on grad school because my baseball career was beginning to throw me a curve. [...]

Unlike Casey Stengel - who, let's face it, had nothing to lose even with a losing team - the Tigers' Alan Trammell is in his first year as a major league team manager. Trammell was a terrific player and is a guy who knows how to win.

It would be a shame to start his managerial career with a record number of losses.

As a team, the Tigers are in a rebuilding phase and have many young, inexperienced players. Yet these guys had to be winners at some point in their careers or they wouldn't be playing at this level. Many of them will go on to be winners in the major leagues. They deserve a better start.

No matter what happens, though, I hope each of them remembers what 1962 taught us: It's a new game every day. Some of us will be successful at baseball, some at engineering, some at medicine or whatever.

I've had three careers, one in professional baseball, one in business as an executive in the automobile industry and one in what I call social service, including being a professor, president of the trustees of a United Methodist seminary and a leader of a community college foundation.

Many of my teammates from 1962 also have gone on to lead successful lives. And the Mets went on to win a world championship in 1969.

Mary Pickford expressed her philosophy as follows: "Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And suppose you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose. For this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down."

The 1962 Mets lived through the losses, but it sure didn't end there.

We love ya', tomorrow.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 26, 2003 9:52 AM
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