Tag Archives: Scouts

Experience – valuable in sports and life

Three veteran pro baseball scouts, living in San Diego County, and all in their 80’s, scouted baseball talent for major league teams.  They have 150 plus years of experience among them.  An interview with a Union-Tribune writer revealed the changes in major league baseball since they started.  San Diego U-T, 6/9/17

A few points got my attention.  The first was their use of ears and eyes when judging prospects.  For example, where speed guns now tell how fast a pitch is, they listened and watched carefully as pitchers offered.  They could tell by the sound of the ball on its way and its impact on the bat how hard the pitch was.  They also learned that velocity itself could be misleading.  It didn’t determine the ball’s movement in the 60 feet, 6 inches between mound and plate.  The eyes could see that.

The second was the value of experience when youngsters are drafted.  Of course now that agents are involved, and they never have small sums in mind—they intend to get rich by getting rich off prospects who have never thrown a pitch at Busch Stadium or Wrigley Field.

While a player like Mike Trout, of the Anaheim Angels—oh, pardon me—the Los Angeles Angels—signed right out of high school, he’s the rare exception.  The trio of scouts noted the difference is vast between a senior in high school and a junior in college.  And the teams seeking to build through the draft fare much better signing the college kid.

They also noted the desire a young man had to learn.  Since being a student of the game is as important as being a player, only players who never stop studying the game last.

Experience in the Christian life is like baseball scouts tuning their eyes and ears to watch and listen as pitchers pitch.  No scholastic degrees rival it.  No lack of experience in a believer, however gifted, compensates for it.  No Christian, and no Christian leader, can ever stop being a student of the Master.  Service and learning go together and can never be separated.  Should we make service the all-in-all, we become shallow.  Should we make study the all-in-all, we become isolated.  But together…now that’s Christ-likeness!

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