The Ninth Inning: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

Owen (Baseball)

Today is the ninth and last inning of The Porch’s baseball series at the start of the 2016 season. Today, we look at the important concept of “It ain’t over till it’s over”. So, here is the full line-up for the series:

· First Inning: Everyone has a chance!

· Second Inning: Patient pondering, then frantic action!

· Third Inning: The aggressive team is often the winning team

· Fourth Inning: If you can hit….

· Fifth Inning: Many singles are better than one solo home run

· Sixth Inning: A strong bullpen is key

· Seventh Inning: Time to stretch

· Eighth Inning: Rally time!

· Ninth Inning: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

Yogi Berra, Yankee Hall of Famer, is said to have uttered, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” He was referring to the ninth inning of baseball games. Baseball is the only sport which does not use a time clock to determine the end of the game. A baseball team is never defeated until the last out is made in the last inning. Thus, there is always a chance… you are never out of the game until the very end. The largest ninth inning deficit appears to have been on April 24, 1901, in their first American League game, when the Detroit Tigers scored 10 runs in the ninth inning to beat Milwaukee, 14-13. Teams have had comebacks with as many as seven runs in the ninth inning to win within the last few years. These comebacks confirm what Yogi said about not giving up until it truly is over.

Persistence to the end… this equally applies to us in the business world. I’m sure you have seen project teams work diligently until the very end, then let loose ends trip them up with the finish line in sight. There is this human tendency to relax when victory seems assured. However, as in baseball, driving to the final out – until the final box is checked – is critical to our success. How many of you have seen someone work diligently on a project at home and even finish the project, but leave the final clean-up to someone else? I have told the story before of my acquaintance that built his own house from the ground up. He worked almost night and day to construct the house. They moved into the house with only the final few trim projects yet to complete. However, it took him many months to motivate himself to complete the last few activities.

Below are three quotes that I think sum this up very well:

“Do it again. Play it again. Sing it again. Read it again. Write it again. Sketch it again. Rehearse it again. Run it again. Try it again.  Because again is practice, and practice is improvement, and improvement only leads to perfection.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

“No. Don’t give up hope just yet. It’s the last thing to go. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.”
― Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year

The bottom line is this… As long as you have hope, desire, and the ability to keep going, you still have a chance to win or be successful. Don’t give up! Finish the race! If there is just a flicker of hope within you, victory is still possible. Keep going!

For you NON-baseball fans, thanks for tolerating this baseball series. It’s over. Have a terrific day… perhaps, even a “top ten” day!

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