Here’s a lesson we can all take away from the magnificent no-hitter thrown last night by the Giant’s Jonathan Sanchez.
The baseball was great last night. Near perfect. But the non-baseball lesson was even better.
Give people with talent a real opportunity, don’t give up on them, and eventually they will rise to their talent level.
In social terms, some people would call that a form of “affirmative action. ” It’s just about giving people who would ordinarily be ignored a chance to fulfill their maximum potential.
Before last night, the Giants almost gave up on Sanchez. Fans were calling for his head. The club needed a hitter and had a surplus of young arms. But apparently no GM was willing to trade for Sanchez or give him a chance.
The lefty was unceremoniously sent to baseball’s woodshed and demoted to the bullpen.
By every statistical standard, the Giants should have dumped Sanchez, a massive underachiever. If there was a less anal, bean-crunching GM in the league, Sanchez surely would have been dealt off before Friday night.
But circumstances like Randy Johnson going to the disabled list, left Sanchez as the Giants’ only option for a Friday start. They had to believe.
It was the opportunity a real gamer relishes. Sanchez, who has shown real glimpses of greatness inthe past, perhaps every third inning he pitched, was set up to prove himself.
It was the opportunity everyone with a strong belief in their talent relishes.
All you need is the chance. Or someone to give you one. After the game, Sanchez mentioned how he put some extra time in with Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti. Rags certainly didn’t give up on Sanchez.
Last night, Sanchez emerged as a different pitcher. The hook and sink on all his pitches seemed to be guided to their spots perfectly. And the Padre hitters seemed totally mystified.
The game had its dramatic moments and disappointments. The Uribe error, the Rowand catch. All that and the Giants were hitting! The baseball part was great last night.
But the non-baseball parts were even better. Sanchez’ father was in the stands watching for the first time. And for the first time, it all came together for Sanchez.
When people with promise are given a chance to shine, they can and will.
The Giants extended Sanchez another chance, and he affirmed their belief and his own talent by throwing a gem, the first no-hitter in the majors this year.
It was nine innings for all of the Jonathan Sanchez’s in life, the ones often described as “unlikely.”
Imagine the amount of potential unfulfilled because people have been deemed “unlikely” all their lives.
You are only “unlikely” if you’re never given an opportunity.
But with a chance, you can surprise and amaze.
That’s exactly what the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez was at AT&T Park.