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Beating the Odds

Playing with Passion

This happened years ago on Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium, and Hall of Fame player Ty Cobb was being interviewed by a sports writer.

“Ty,” the scribe wanted to know, “what do you suppose your batting average would be if you played in this era?”

“About three-hundred,” Cobb replied.

“Three-hundred,” the writer exclaimed.”Why so low? You have the highest average of all time — three-sixty-seven. And you’re always saying that the players of this era are not as good. So why only three-hundred?”

“Well,” Cobb explained, “You’ve got to remember that I’m 70 years old.”

That was Cobb. Always playing — and living — with an edge. He constantly tested limits, both his own and those of his opponents.

Here’s a disclaimer: He often went over the line with his rage, and today he would likely find himself in trouble for his words and actions.

However, what if you could bring his passion to your work? What if you could go about your work as if today were your last day? Here’s what Cobb said about the game as he drew near the end of his career:

“The great trouble with baseball today is that most of the players are in the game for the money and that’s it. Not for the love of it, the excitement of it, the thrill of it.”

Think of that for a second. Cobb LOVED the game. He felt excited by it. Thrilled by it.

And his attitude showed in the way he played.

“The greatness of Ty Cobb was something that had to be seen, and to see him was to remember him forever,” said fellow Hall of Famer George Sisler.

Perhaps you will never hit like Cobb. You don’t have to. But if you work with the same passion, your success will be assured.


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