Will the Real Hero Please Stand Up?

Last night’s MLB game between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies was insane. A combined 36 hits & 28 runs in a game that was billed as a pitchers duel pretty much sums it up – CRAZY!

The 15-13 victory for the Braves left me searching for a hero. There were a few to choose from in a game where the Braves trailed 6-0. Led 8-6. Trailed 12-8. Led 13-12. And finally won in the 11th inning when Braves third baseman, and team leader, Chipper Jones hit a two-run walk off homer giving the home team the 15-13 victory. He was mobbed by his teammates as he crossed home plate.

Jones, therefore, would seem to be the obvious choice for hero of the night. In an interview following the game, Chipper, who is in his 18th season with the club, said it was a high spot of his career. That is saying something considering he has played in over 2400 games. But ultimately Chipper was not my hero.

Braves catcher Brian McCann might also be a hero candidate. It was his grand slam in the 5th inning that tied the game after Atlanta had trailed 6-0. But I will pass on Mac too.

In a game with 28 RBI’s, my hero choice goes to a player who didn’t drive in a single run. I choose Braves second baseman, Dan Uggla who made the biggest impression on me. Let me explain.

Immediately following the game Chipper was the man of the moment. Not only was he smothered by his teammates, but he was also grabbed for a quick TV interview. By the time he left the field the dugout had cleared. No happy teammates. No more mob scene. No autograph seekers. Just an empty dugout . . . with one exception.

Dan Uggla.

Standing all alone, holding Chipper’s batting gloves and mitt, was Dan Uggla waiting on his teammate. As Chipper descended the steps, Uggla handed him the equipment and then hugged his neck and patted him on the back. For me, it was the highlight of the game.

Uggla’s leadership was on full display. In a moment of great humilty and servanthood Uggla reminded those watching, that celebrating someone else’s accomplishments is just as big as doing something great yourself.

When was the last time you stood back and watched one of your teammates do something great and then went out of your way to celebrate their success? When was the last time you waited on someone when no one else did?

If you have been too busy trying to be the hero of your team, I suggest you push the pause button today and find someone else to celebrate.

Twenty years from now, Chipper Jones will probably remember hitting the winning home run on a wild night in the month of May back in 2012, when he looks back on his storied career. But I can assure you he will also remember who was waiting on him in the dugout when everyone else had hit the showers.

Relationships matter more than results. If you forget that principle, don’t expect to be the hero anytime soon.

 

i2i,

Randy

 

Do you think leaders should be more focused on relationships or results?

Leave a comment



susan

8 years ago

I noticed the same thing:  with the exception of Uggla the dugout was completely empty when Chipper was done with his interview.  And they didn’t just hug; they embraced like two school girls after one finds out she has been asked to the prom by the boy of her dreams.  It was a sweet and sincere moment in baseball.
I’m not sure it’s an “either or” but a “both and” answer on the relationship and results question.  What I do know is that the focus on relationship can bring out better results than one can imagine. Thanks for this reminder; it’s timely for me as I wind down the year. I have a goal of writing a card to each of my 96 students before the year is over and have yet to begin. I think I’ll start this weekend.

randygravitt

8 years ago

Awesome Susan! Thanks for the comment & for making such a difference in the education arena!

Johnorr0723

8 years ago

This may well be my favorite RG blog evvva!  I on the other hand was disgusted when Ruiz hit a bases clearing double to take the lead and I turned the radio off.  What kind of fan am I? 

randygravitt

8 years ago

I believe it would be called ‘fair weather’ and I might not have admitted turning it off it, publicly. Thanks for the comment though. And thanks for being an Uggla in my life so many times through the years. Glad we are on the same team!

Chris Patton

8 years ago

Probably one of your best posts!  Great observation and insight, Randy!  Thank you so much for sharing…I needed this today!

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks CP. Make a difference today!

Sam

8 years ago

You have hit a home run with this one, Randy!  Hey Chipper, make way for Randy.  Thanks, Randy.  I will be forwarding this to my sons (one of whom is co-captain of his high school baseball team and a U. of Toledo recruit).  Blessings to you, Randy.

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks Sam. My best to your son as he continues his baseball career!

Coach Mac

8 years ago

Amazing awesome inspiring story!! 

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks Coach!

Josh Stitcher

8 years ago

One of your best posts I’ve read yet! I appreciate everything you do and how much of an impact you are making for the Kingdom!

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks Stitch. Keep making a difference!

Sbarber

8 years ago

Great post, RG! When I read your post I remembered him also celebrating Freeman’s sac fly in the 8th too. Dan was the man all night long. Watch this video to the end.
http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=21107381

randygravitt

8 years ago

Awesome Susan. I had missed that. Great teammate!!!

Patrice

8 years ago

Great relationships produce great results.

randygravitt

8 years ago

So true cuz!

Jim Middleton

8 years ago

Randy, thanks to your sweet sister’s post on Facebook I found this great article.  As I learn more and more about the things your great mother and dad’s kids are doing, I treasure my friendship with them over the years and know how proud they are.  And I must say you kids are following in their footsteps with your wonderful families.

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks Jim. They had great friends like you guys to help us all find the right path!

Patty

8 years ago

Excellent post! Great observations about relationships.
I was at the game and watched that moment happen. I’ve seen a lot of ball games and a lot of happy celebrations but that one between Chipper & Uggla was one of the most sincere and intimate I’ve ever witnessed. It’s refreshing to see it between men. 

randygravitt

8 years ago

Thanks for the comment Patty!

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