I love baseball.
I live in a part of the world where baseball is only played 4 months of the year.
The rest of the time, we prepare for snow or recover from it.
My friends prefer winter sports like hockey.

I like hockey.
But I love baseball.

I started playing when I was 6 years old.
There were no organized teams in my town, so my friends and I converted to softball.
I played softball for the next 40 years.
Until one day when my son said, “I want to play baseball dad”.

A tear came to my eye.
I had so much to share, to teach, to do.

My son is dyslexic. He doesn’t read easily.
He’s adopted. His birth mother gave him away when he was two days old.

He struggles with school. He hides his insecurity with vanity and he has been bullied since he was five.

The closest town with organized baseball was 45 minutes away.
And we drove it three times every week so he could play the game I love.

He got good.
He hits with power and pitches with enthusiasm.
It makes me proud to see him confident.
Last year, he was a final cut from the provincial squad.
This year, he made the winter roster.

He loves the game his way and has never missed a practice in 5 years.
He talks about wanting to play professional baseball.
He dreams of playing in front of thousands of fans.
I encourage him to follow his dreams and to do what he loves.

To do that, we have to capture his talents.
We capture videos of him playing. We measure exit velocities, pitching speeds, and running speeds for college scouts.

We advertise him to potential buyers (or scouts) using recruiting agencies to create opportunities.
But no matter how much opportunity he gets, nothing will fix a poor attitude.
As sports fans, we know that. We don’t like the arrogant SOB who doesn’t give credit to his teammates. We cheer against him. We boo him.

Major leaguers can make $30 million a year to play a game that kids happily play for free.

Welcome to professional sports.

Young people don’t start playing sports to make millions. They play for the love of it.

Somewhere along the journey, love of the game transfers to the love of the money.

Texas Rangers spent half a billion dollars on two players in 2021.
The average salary in baseball was just north of $4 million.
But beware of averages.

90% of all the player salaries are earned by less than 112 players.
More than 50% of players in the Major Leagues don’t earn a million per year.
The median salary is $1.1 million.
The minimum salary is roughly over $500,000.

My wife argued that half a million a year is a royal amount to play a child’s game.
She’s right, but the average length of time in the “Show” is less than 3 years.

Players play their whole lives hoping to play in the majors.
Few become multimillionaires.
And even fewer become millionaires once the expenses, taxes, and management fees are taken care of.

Most quit once their hopes are dissolved. Making no real money, they go home to get a “real” job.

And now I bring it back to you.
I’m going to ask the same questions I posed myself before I sold my restaurants.

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Is it for the love of the game or for some other reason?

There are people just like you who will become insanely wealthy playing your game.
They are the minority.
If the rules of baseball are true, that will be less than 10% of all who play the game.

You might be one of them.
But if you’re not, do you still love the game?

Without love, customers feel it, employees abandon you, and competitors sense weakness as they climb over you into the “Show”.

But if you love this game, it’s time to adjust your swing, build your strength, and speed up that bat before someone takes your spot.

It’s a competitive game.
It’s a wonderful game.
But you gotta love it.

Otherwise, your reputation will suffer.
And fans will see you as a money-grabbing Scrooge McDuck.

Like baseball recruiting for a 15-year-old boy, advertising can’t fix a poor reputation.
Advertising can only bring you opportunities.
You have to do the rest.

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