I’m not quite sure why I remembered this today, but I figured that I might as well put it on the site before I forget about it.
I was thinking about dominating performances and the single most dominating performance I saw wasn’t by a professional athlete. It was by my dad.
My dad used to play baseball in San Jose’s Men’s Senior Baseball League. I was about twelve years old or so and I got to see him play a lot of baseball. There are a few performances that are very clear in my memory, including opening up the inaugural season at Municipal Stadium.
But the one that I always think of when I think of the greatest games I’ve seen him pitch was one in which he struck out 23 batters. There are only 27 actual outs in a 9 inning game. He pitched the entire game, which he always did, so that wasn’t such a big deal. I think he might’ve only given up one hit. But out of the 27 times he got the other team out, 23 were on strikeouts. I think the Major League record is 20 in one game. It’s very hard to do.
I remember looking at the score book and just being amazed at how many of the boxes were scored “K”.
It wasn’t really fair. The other team didn’t have much of a chance. He was just on his A game. It was domination.
At that moment, as I was rooting him on and thinking that my dad could strike out everyone else’s dad, I wondered if I’d ever have that kind of dominating performance in sports. The answer would eventually be no. I think the most hitters I ever struck out in a game was 14. But that’s not really the point.
In order to be great at something, you really have to lock yourself in and want it very badly. You also have to love it very much. It doesn’t just have to be about sports. It can be about anything in life.
You know what? My dad could still probably strike out yours. Actually, I’m sure of it.