Friday, August 26, 2011

Striking Out

Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs in his career. To do it, he had to strike out 1,330 times. An average batter in his day held a statistic that of his batting outs, 12% of them were strikeouts. Of Ruth's batting outs: 24% were strikeouts. Double the average.

Probably some baseball stats you've heard before...or at least vaguely referenced. The whole point being that in trying to swing for the fences, a lot of times you'll strikeout.

Or as I heard it said recently, "If failure isn't an option, success isn't either."

Obviously a Ruth had a lot going for him to allow the failures. Namely, a coach who put up with it. Think of how Ruth's hitting strategy would have changed, had he been punished for his strikeouts. I'd imagine few of us would have any idea who he even was.

But his coach realized Ruth could produce great things...if he was also allowed to produce horrible things.

It's just a matter of interpretation whether it's worth tolerating the bad outcomes in order to get the good outcomes.

Of course, you need to be able to hit home runs for someone to put up with all your strikeouts in the first place.