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It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

The End of the 2019 Little League Baseball Season is Near
Raymond is my son and we are approaching the end of his baseball season. He’s 11 years old and plays in a house baseball league in our community for the Yankees team. Tomorrow is the Major’s Division Championship Game for the league where the final two teams of fifth and sixth graders will compete for bragging rights as champions. The Yankees will play the Dodgers. But, the Yankees almost did not make it to the championship game this year and that would have been a huge upset. To fully understand, we have to go back to last season.

Flashback to 2018
Raymond played for the Yankees last year as well. Because the divisions are based on age, they were in the Minors in 2018. The core team and coaches are the same for both years. They finished the 2018 regular season as the top seed, however, lost in the championship game to their main competition, the Dodgers, who were the regular season second seed.

Now, if I have to be completely transparent, I feel the Dodgers were the better of the two teams last season. The Yankees were able to beat them in the last game of the regular season and clinch first place due to the close out pitching performance on the Dodgers part. When it came to the championship game, they were ready and the Yankees lost. Though it was heartbreaking, I knew in my heart the better team had won.

Back to the Present
This year is different. Not the scenario because once again the Yankees are the number one team for the regular season and the Dodgers are number two. But, this year, the Yankees are the better team.

Major Hiccup
Do you get it? Yes, I’m corny and hope you got the pun on words. No? I’ll help you out. They are in the Majors division and I’m getting to the part where they almost don’t make the championship game this year, hence, Major Hiccup. I know, mom jokes! Anyway, here’s how it went down.

The Yankees easily beat the first two teams, the Diamondbacks and the Red Sox, in the playoff games against them. When it came to playing the Dodgers in the third playoff game, the Yankees lost 3 to 2, resulting in them having to play another playoff game to make it to the championship. This should’ve been easy because they were playing the Diamondbacks again and had shut them out in the week before. It was not easy!

The game started off with the Yankees coming out a little flat. The Diamondbacks capitalized on this in the second inning. They went up by six runs! The Yankees were visibly becoming emotionally defeated. The parents and other spectators continued to cheer them on in an attempt to lift their spirits. I personally was saying prayers because I knew how hard the team had worked all season to get back to the championship in an effort to win this time. However, if it was not God’s will, I was accepting of the situation. I did continue to have faith, though.

The Yankees were able to rally their way to a tie by the end of regulation through some strong defense that motivated their offense. This forced an extra inning. The Yankees were able to hold the Diamondbacks again on defense and score the needed run on offense, winning 11 to 10. The Yankees and their fan base were emotionally spent, but extremely happy to make it back to the championship game for 2019. I could not help but to think how the Diamondbacks felt. They seemed to have had the game in the bag and it slipped away. Though everyone loves a good upset, the Yankees were the better team and were able to come back and win.

How Did It Happen
The Yankees had put in the work all season. At the sign of adversity, they had their strong support system cheering them on. When they got back emotionally equipped, they performed. I know personally for Raymond, my husband and I have been getting him baseball training. We also made sure his equipment fit and worked well for him. He had a triple, a double and several runs to help contribute to his team’s win. I, as a spectator, responded differently as well. Though I was nervous, and was in good company on that front, I intentionally relaxed my mind and body and prayed.

Going Forward
We will have to wait and see what happens in the game tomorrow and I will surely fill you in. The framework is already set. The preparation has been done and it’s just time for the Yankees to execute. Win or lose, they are the better team, but there will be things for them to learn either way. If they win, they will be extremely grateful because of the long road it took to get this victory. They will learn how it feels for their hard work to pay off. If they lose…well I’m not thinking about that yet! We will do that analysis if necessary (hopefully not)!

What about you? Are you able to identify when you didn’t achieve something you wanted because you know you had more preparation to do? Or, when God put a pause in your progress because He had more pruning to do in you so when you did achieve it, you were ready? Sometimes it’s a redirection for something even better. What we can also learn from this is it is not all about self. Are you there to pray and cheer for friends and family when they need you? God put us in this world to love one another; to be strong when others are weak. The Yankees would not have won yesterday without the collective effort of everyone: the coaches, players, parents and spectators. We need one another.

In every situation, pray, praise, do the work, and trust God’s will. We’ll discuss this more on our journey.

Go Yankees!