Lessons From Baseball – It's All About the Now

I saw an interview with Torii Hunter, outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as they were preparing to take on the Boston Red Sox in their first game of the 2009 playoffs last week. The interviewer was asking if Hunter was concerned because of their history with the Red Sox.

In 1986, the Red Sox were down 3 games to 1 against the Angels in the ALCS, trailing 5 – 2 in the top of the 9th of game 5, facing elimination. Three more outs and the Angels go to the World Series. But Don Baylor and Dave Henderson hit homers for the Sox, forcing the game into extras. The Red Sox won in the 11th inning. They won the next two games so the Red Sox went to the World Series instead of the Angels.

In 2004 the two teams met at the ALDS and the Red Sox swept the Angels. This happened again in 2007. Last season (2008) the Angels lost the Division Series to the Red Sox 3 games to 1. The media kept asking whether the history between the two clubs hangs over the Angels like a dark cloud.

Hunter’s response was GREAT. (I was amazed that he was so patient with the interviewer because I know he was tired of being asked that question. But Torii kept it light and laughed while he rejected the interviewer’s hypothesis.)

Torii Hunter said the only people worrying about the history are the media, who keep bringing it up. Torii didn’t care about the history. Hunter said that right here, right now the history doesn’t matter. It’s in the past — it’s not now.

This is true in life. You always have the choice to let go of the past and live in the now. What happened in the past never matters unless you choose to keep it alive by telling that old story. If you keep telling a story in which you were victimized by someone else, you are going to keep that energy alive. By keeping the energy alive, you keep repeating the pattern.

If you want to change your life, change your story! Quit dwelling on how bad things were or are. If the Angels kept thinking something like “Everytime they get to the Playoffs, the Red Sox destroy their dreams,” then they will experience it yet again. (And further verify the thought.)

Make your story about now and what you want it to be. Ignore the past. Quit repeating the stories about what you don’t like or don’t want.

By the way, Torii Hunter went out that night and hit a three-run homer.

The Angels beat the Red Sox 5 to ZERO. The Angels won game two, beating the Red Sox 5 to 1. The Angels SWEPT the Red Sox by winning game three by a score of 7 to 6. The Angels eliminated the Red Sox from post season play for 2009. So much for history. It’s all about the Now. Thanks for the reminder, Torii Hunter!

Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young