Golden Oldies – Baseball and Life

I love old television shows. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore, do they?

It’s refreshing to sit down to watch the antics of Andy Griffith, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and many others. I don’t have to switch the channel when the grandkids come in the room and I laugh at good, clean fun. The storylines are easy to follow and watching these shows is relaxing. I truly believe that the laughter is healing, too.

The Donna Reed show comes on Monday through Saturday at 4:30 am. Yes, 4:30. Did you know there were two 4:30s in a 24-hour day? There are!

I’ve caught bits and pieces of the Donna Reed Show over the past couple of years, but about a month ago, I decided to record them each day. This show always has a socially relevant lesson. I love that it is funny and holds time-honored wisdom.

Recently, Mr. B and I were watching and there was a reference to the teenaged son on the show, Jeff Stone, going to interview Don Drysdale. I said, “Do you recognize that name?” because the only time I remember hearing that surname, it was attached to the greedy banker on The Beverly Hillbillies. Mr. B rolled his eyes and nodded his head as a “yes”.

I’m not a baseball fan. Give me a break.

Come to find out, this Don Drysdale guy was a pretty famous pitcher for the Dodgers and all the young boys in the 1960’s knew it. Ok, so several of you baseball-loving dudes in 2016 know it, too.

In this episode, Jeff was waiting on a couple of cute girls to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Both these gals were the captain of their respective softball teams. One team name was the Glamorettes and the other was the Starlettes. (Oh, brother! We’ve come a long way, baby.)

Jeff was watching the teams practice before going to the interview with Drysdale. Jeff got lassoed into agreeing to umpire the next softball game between the Glamorettes and the Starlettes. When Jeff told Drysdale about it, Drysdale gave this advice, “Hide.” Jeff did not heed this advice and went to umpire the girls’ game the next day. Of course, half the players didn’t like his calls one moment and the other half of the players didn’t like his calls the next moment. He was trying to be fair and yet make everyone happy.

And now the life lesson –
During the game, when tempers were growing short, Drysdale showed up at the game to return the Stone family’s pen he’d mindlessly put in his pocket after signing a baseball for Jeff. Ok, so that’s a pretty large nugget of wisdom right there: Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you.

But wait, there’s more!

Drysdale asked Jeff how it was going and Jeff told him. The Hall of Fame pitcher told Jeff, “Just go out there and act like an umpire. Be firm. When you make a decision, stick with it. It’s the only way. It’s the same in baseball as in life; the surest way to get clobbered is to be indecisive. A wrong decision is better than no decision at all.”

And there it is, folks, our life lesson for the day. Be firm. Make a decision and move on. Not everyone is going to leave happy. That’s not your job as the umpire…or the leader in your home or business. Don’t let indecision derail you. You’ll make the best decision with the information you have at the time.

The episode aired in May of 1962. I think the message still works for me in September of 2016.

Batter up!