Author Topic: E-mail forward - Seventeen Inches  (Read 556 times)

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Offline Matthew

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E-mail forward - Seventeen Inches
« on: January 12, 2017, 08:44:09 AM »
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  • There is a well    thought out moral story  given here by the Baseball Coach. You will all agree with it, but an you ingest it and put it into force.?


        Seventeen Inches

        Friends, Great Lesson on where our country is headed, please read to the end.

        In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more
        than 4,000 baseball

        coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention.

        While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other
        more veteran coaches

        rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the
        weekend. One name,

        in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment —
        “John Scolinos is here?

        Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

        Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.

        In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a
        college coaching

        career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive
        standing ovation,

        wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around
        his neck from which

        home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

        Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

        After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop
        hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of
        the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly
        where he was going with this, or if he

        had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.
        Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he
        said, his voice

        growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the
        possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to
        share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home
        plate in my 78 years.


        Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League
        coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

        After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?” more of a question
        than answer.

        “That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth
        coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

        “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

        “That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do
        we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began
        to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

        “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

        “You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is
        home plate in college?”

        “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

        “Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”

        “Seventeen inches!”

        “RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide is home plate in the Major Leagues?

        “Seventeen inches!”

        “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.
        “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the
        ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he
        hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they
        don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch
        target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make
        it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you
        can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say
        twenty-five inches.’” Pause. “Coaches…” pause, "… what do we do when
        our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid
        facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught
        drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit
        him? Do we widen home plate? The chuckles gradually faded as four
        thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s
        message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using
        a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the
        crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn
        door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With
        our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline.
        We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence
        for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

        Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small
        American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality
        of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been
        stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and
        discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home
        plate! Where is that getting us?”

        Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem
        in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have
        taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept
        under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate
        for themselves! And we allow it.”
        “And the same is true with our government. Our so called
        representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They
        take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve
        us. And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country
        falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

        I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn
        something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better
        practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man
        with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about
        life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my
        responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others
        accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our
        faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

        “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one
        thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold
        ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be
        right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same
        standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when
        they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our
        government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve,
        there is but one thing to look forward to …”

        With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around,
        and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”

        Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching
        the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting
        him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year,
        looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is
        the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much
        more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your
        players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches,
        your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches."

        And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong
        with it today, and how to fix it.

        "Don't widen the plate."
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    Offline Matto

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      • Julian Moore
    E-mail forward - Seventeen Inches
    « Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 08:52:08 AM »
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  • It sounds like he is condemning me. I used to work as a little league umpire and I had a wide strike zone. I widened the plate, LOL.
    I Love Watching Butterflies . . ..

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    E-mail forward - Seventeen Inches
    « Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 10:39:51 PM »
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  • Seventeen inches, huh?  

    That's an odd number for home plate.

    .--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.

    Offline Lighthouse

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    E-mail forward - Seventeen Inches
    « Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 11:04:51 PM »
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  • Yes, and the door into Heaven doesn't stretch any wider either. It's know as the narrow gate for a reason.

    Offline Croix de Fer

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    E-mail forward - Seventeen Inches
    « Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 06:16:41 AM »
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  • Awesome story.
    Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war. ~ Psalms 143:1 (Douay-Rheims)


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