Now that the Redondo High School Baseball team has broken into the top 25 in the national rankings, I thought it would be an appropriate time to revisit where it started last year and as it carries into this one (Jason at top of celebration).
“If you hear a voice within you say, “you cannot paint”, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gough
Boys think of this quote while in your youth so that you can carry it into adulthood. In doing so, hopefully you will act upon it when you’re on the fence facing a choice that may positively influence your life and uncertainty gives you pause to venture ahead with the final decision. Don’t allow limitations to be put in place by yourself without an attempt, or as a result of others telling you what can’t be done when there is no justifiable reason to at least try; and when you choose to explore the unknown, then “try your ass off” because if you’ve ventured beyond self-doubt, then nothing less should be acceptable!
So now here you are as high school baseball champions in a city that has never been privy to experiencing one before and you have to wonder after all this time about the percentage of people, alive and no longer on this earth, who truly believed when and if this could have been achieved with optimism dwindling each year it didn’t happen. Look no farther than the picture of the players on that very first Redondo high team and spend a moment thinking of those boys who grew to men and having children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc., with all those generations starting each season with the hope that the next team(s) would bring home that title that proved so elusive for the 99 years afterwards, ending up no closer than a couple semifinal appearances (including the one last year).
It’s natural that when some things have never been done after a considerable amount of time, expectations consequently are redesigned by those of the growing number of casual spectators with measures of success being redefined after repeatedly falling short of the ultimate prize. But hears the part where those rules don’t apply regardless of the degree of devotion that fans of the team, including parents, possess. It’s the players who carry the standards of faith and devotion to what they believe they can accomplish and in an odd way, what they feel is specifically reserved for themselves no matter how the odds, and sometimes mere chance, are stacked up against what actually occurs.
We as parents have supported you boys throughout this year but we will never have a precise understanding of the fellowship that was forged between you boys and the personal tests you had to pass that resulted in the run to this championship and you don’t know how good I am with that – that’s your property. We had to honor our role as parents and temper our belief in our sons and the team with the possibility we might have to be there in a different capacity should you have fallen just short of YOUR dream and I sincerely thank you for never having to exercise that responsibility.
I’m unashamedly envious of the emotions that have been generated and experienced by you young men since Saturday and I’m fairly certain they will be more greatly appreciated over time and may look different the farther as the years go by. I would recommend that you take the time to embrace and absorb each feeling because you are one of only a select few that get to experience it. In my own personal and very private way, I’m still processing what an important chapter has been written in my life from your achievement because of my intangible relationship with both of you starting from the literal birth of Jason and the figurative one with Cole that began on the minor division Dodgers. I’m so glad I was alive to see it after some really close calls that almost robbed me of the opportunity and I can only thank you for “playing as if it were my last game” in the remote chance it was the last one I’d remember given this “brain thing.”
So let me draw to a close with this thought. There was some debate at the beginning of this season whether this potentially was the best baseball team in the 100 year history of Redondo High. When the final out was recorded on Saturday with the undisputed title of CIF Champions being bestowed on the 2015 team, I think that any arguments disputing who might have been better has been put to rest since no one from this community, alive or not, has accomplished it. As I’ve said before, “greatness is no accident”, and where you sit today, you can be satisfied that greatness has been achieved!
Last quote. “If you’ve got nothing to dance about, find a reason to sing.” — Melody Carstairs. Since Saturday and for the remainder of your life and carrying on historically, you will always be able to look at this accomplishment and both dance and sing. I’m humbled by the gratitude I owe you boys and I’ve been doing the same in private so as not to embarrass myself.