Big League Hits & the Importance of a Short Memory

Contributed by: Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD Tim Wyman

Nothing screams springtime more than baseball. For most Michigan players – baseball is practiced indoors from November thru March most years so they are itching to get outside this time of year. That was true for my son Jack and his teammates at Albion College.  The Britons made their annual pilgrimage south to play ball during spring break.  My wife Jen and I decided to go cheer the team on near Orlando, FL for four days. I know, it’s a tough job – but hey it’s all for the kids!

Fortunately the weather was quite nice – I have the sunburn to prove it as usual. Jack’s team finished 5-2 with some exciting games in both victory & defeat. Jack’s first hit came in a reserve game where he legged out a triple after hitting to the left center fence.  Later in the week he got a few starts with the varsity squad collecting his first “big league” hit up the middle. Needless to say, we were excited and proud of him.  Currently Jack is playing first base and pitching as one of the team’s closers.  I think he would agree that he played well in the field – and that he’d like to forget his first pitching outing.  Fortunately, after many years of playing baseball, he learned the importance of having a short memory and went back to the ballpark the following day to compete.

Lessons of the Game

As many of you may recall, I coached youth baseball for several years (see Jack’s 10-year-old team – he’s the first row directly in the middle).

It’s fair to say I was quite passionate about it. I found the game of baseball, at least at the youth level, to be so much more than a little white ball.  It’s a game that provides many valuable life lessons. Sometimes you succeed – sometimes you don’t.  How you handle and deal with failure is more important than how you deal with success. The little things count in baseball that the casual observer overlooks or underappreciates; move a runner, throw to the correct base, know when to take a pitch, ah I could talk about it for days!

The old MasterCard commercials sum up our experience:

Flight = $350

Condo  = $200/night

Rental car = $70/day

Seeing your kid get his first collegiate hit in person = priceless

Opening Day for the big guys will be here soon.  For me, I will be spending my time following Albion. Welcome Spring!

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD is the Managing Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and is a contributor to national media and publications such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on Good Morning America Weekend Edition and WDIV Channel 4. A leader in his profession, Tim served on the National Board of Directors for the 28,000 member Financial Planning Association™ (FPA®), mentored many CFP® practitioners and is a frequent speaker to organizations and businesses on various financial planning topics.