“A Ground Ball with Eyes” - The Thin Line between Failure and Success

Baseball season opened this week, always a great time of year for me.  I don’t live near a big league park, but whether it is a trip home to see a game at Chase Field or a road trip to one of the more storied ball parks like Wrigley Field or Fenway Park I always try to get in at least one game.  I have loved watching the team of my youth, the San Francisco Giants; win two of the last three World Series Championships.  Will they be able to make it three out of four?  Will there be another perfect game this year? Can someone finally break DiMaggio’s record 56 game hitting streak?  Who will break out as the newest phenom?We all love the great success stories.  But for every hall of famer out there, baseball history is littered with those who might have been.  In the movie Bull Durham, the fictional lifetime minor league catcher Crash Davis said: “Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It's 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There's 6 months in a season, that's about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week - just one - a gorp... you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes... you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week... and you're in Yankee Stadium.”  The difference between a lifetime .300 hitter – a hall of famer – and the .250 hitter we will never remember could be just that one extra hit a week.The line between success and failure in baseball can be very thin indeed.  The line between success and failure in transferring your family farm or ranch can likewise be very thin.  The difference between success and failure can often be traced to a lack of clear goals.  It is difficult to put a plan in place if you don’t understand your goals.  So as you settle in this weekend to watch a little baseball, take some time to think about what your goals are and write them down.  You will have taken the first big step toward a successful succession plan.  Like Babe Ruth once said, “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”Play Ball!