Nov 272012

In the context of my struggle with losing so many years to illness, I read this in Craig Ferguson’s autobiography* last week and took great comfort:

Had [the baseball player who hit the "shot heard round the world" in 1951] stayed in Glasgow he would never have played baseball, he would never have faced the fearsome Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca in that championship game, and he would never have learned that if you can hit the ball three times out of ten you’ll make it to the Hall of Fame.

Today I watch my son at Little League games, his freckled Scottish face squinting in the California sunshine, the bat held high on his shoulder, waiting for his moment, and I rejoice that he loves this most American game. He will know from an early age that failure is not disgrace. It’s just a pitch that you missed, and you’d better get ready for the next one. The next one might be the shot heard round the world. My son and I are Americans, and we prepare for glory by failing until we don’t.

- American on Purpose, page xiii

* (P.S. I feel bad saying this after quoting it, but Craig Ferguson’s book is not the best of the recent comedy memoirs. Personally, I most enjoyed Samantha Bee’s book, then Tina Fey, a tie between Mindy Kaling / Rachel Dratch, and then Ferguson.)

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