“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
― Winston Churchill, Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches
Writing to you today from the town that’s come to be known as “America’s most exhausted city.” The reference is for our Kansas City Royals who, last night, swept the California Angels in three games to take home the American League Central Division title. The first two games, held in Anaheim, went into extra innings keeping up those fans in Kansas City ‘til the wee hours of the night! Despite a 29 year drought during which time some fair weathered fans turned the other way, Baseball Fever is back in Kansas City; the air is absolutely electrified!
And, I must admit, when I see those “boys in blue” high-fiving, bumping chests, fist pumping, it makes me rather emotional. Why? Because through sheer grit and determination, they are making this happen! Not only for themselves, but for their fans, even for a nation. Despite what the pundits might have said, despite being overlooked, despite winning streaks being played off as dumb luck, they stuck with it, they never gave in.
It’s not just one player on the team. It’s the team; the whole team, in it together. In fact, some of the players who have never been considered super stars have proven otherwise in the off season making everyone sit up and take notice. Mike “Moose” Moustakas who was sent down to the minors for a brief period this season is the only player to have gotten on base in all three of the off season games; the lumbering Billy Butler who can certainly hit, but has never been considered much of a runner stole second base in game three. Not to be overlooked are the fabulous Alex Gordon (most effective Royals player of the season), Eric Hosmer (homeruns in playoff games two and three), Salvador Perez (best catcher in the MLB), Jarrod Dyson (how about that pick off in game two?), Lorenzo Cain (did you see those two gravity defying catches in game three?), Nori Aoki (could a player bring more smiles to people’s faces than this guy?), among others… and, not to forget the incredible and deep pitching bench who have made this victory a reality: James Shields, Yordano Ventura, Brandon Finnegan (fresh off the college diamond and already bringing value), Wade Davis, Jason Vargas, Greg Holland, the roster goes on…
The lesson here is obvious: Even if you’re the underdog, NEVER GIVE IN. Had a series of defeats in sales? The only way you can truly lose or fail is to give up. Been looking for a job for months without luck? Stay the course. Seeking a taker for the manuscript you’ve poured your heart and soul into? If your writing is truly stellar, don’t throw in the towel. Sure, a healthy dose of reality is important and should be administered frequently. You may have to change things up. You may have to bring on new talent. You may have to iterate in order to draw attention from the right customers. But, bottom line, NEVER GIVE IN.
The Royals play for the American League Championship title starting on Friday night. The competition from the Baltimore Orioles will certainly be fierce. Here’s hoping those boys in blue will once again stick with it, as a team and NEVER GIVE IN. Go Royals!