Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mentors and Coaches

In 2004, the Boston Red Sox were on the edge of elimination from the playoffs. They were one inning away from a 4-0 sweep in the American League Championship Series against baseball's biggest giant, the New York Yankees. Boston called on Dave Roberts to pinch run in the 9th inning. His team was down 4-3 and needed a run. Roberts stole second base and made it by a hair. He scored a run to tie the game and his team won in extra innings. They won three more games in a row to defeat the Yankees and then went on to win the world series.

Dave Roberts has always been a role model on and off the field. Base stealing was his specialty and he donated $500 to local high schools every time he stole a base. I really enjoyed watching Roberts when he played for the San Diego Padres. Roberts credits his success to Maurey Wills, the first baseball player to steal 100 bases in a single season in the big leagues. Wills mentored Dave Roberts and taught him not to be afraid, even when everyone in the ball park knows you are going to attempt a steal.

Dave is now getting the opportunity to teach others the art of base stealing in his new role as special assistant with the Padres. A group of young athletes including Tony Gwynn, Jr, will benefit from Dave's mentoring while Tony's hall of fame father, Tony Gwynn, Sr. coaches college players at San Diego State University.

The world needs mentors. I have been Blessed to have so many awesome mentors and coaches in my life. The best mentor of all times is Jesus. He taught regular people how to be better fisherman. He taught the world that it is better to forgive than to hold onto a grudge. When I take my kids to watch the Padres this year, I will point out the behind the scenes coaches like Dave Roberts who are responsible for making the players better, just like Jesus makes us all better people. Whether we find ourselves in the world series or at a critical moment in our lives, each of these mentors have one thing in common to say to us, "do not be afraid".

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