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