The Sandlot Principle: Which Team Are You?

On a sticky summer day, two teams shouted each other down on a scrubby sand lot.

Insults flew between the little league pitcher in uniform and the scrappy catcher in shorts.

The catcher had enough. His face flushed red, his eyes narrow, he yelled the immortal words, “You play ball like a GIRL!”

The boys’ jaws dropped. The catcher’s teammates snickered.

It was on.

Both teams met later to settle the score, taking their places on the little league field – the uniformed team’s home turf.

Regarding the game that followed, in the immortal words of Smalls, “We beat the crap out of those guys.”

So, which team are you?

By all appearances, the league team should have trounced the casual players. They had all the resources – a real field, a budget for equipment, snazzy uniforms, coaches, cleats, and scheduled practices.

Certainly, they were learning the game, but on the sandlot, boys played ball.

They played all day, barring pool days, and didn’t stop until it got too dark to see. The game never stopped. Fielding balls was no different than a game, and batting practice was its own fun.

All part of a whole, they played, despite their bare minimum numbers.

Their resources scraped bottom too. A ball was more than a ball – it meant the game could go on. If it was lost, the cost of a new one took time and effort to collect. Mitts got beat up, scuffed, even torn, but they never got stiff from disuse. No uniforms needed (with just a subtle dress code: jeans, tee shirt, and a baseball cap), they got clothes dirty.

Which team are you?

Take apart this analogy any way you need to. There are as many ways to see it as there are people.

For me, it means cracking out the steno pad and pen when I usually have a computer and keyboard.

It means using even the weak-inked promotional pen when the others go missing or break. (I am no fan of those, especially when they sit poorly in the grip.)

It means anticipating not having access to home resources and printing out documents to reference and keep the project going.

See clearly, try hard, play always, and “beat the crap out of those guys”.


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