Like a lot of Tampa Bay area sports fans, I “looked in” on the recent Baseball Hall of Fame induction of Tampa’s – and Plant High’s – Wade Boggs and former Chicago Cub second baseman Ryne Sandberg.
Boggs and Sandberg were an appropriate Cooperstown tandem.
Both were modern-era players who played the game the old-fashioned way. They never forgot that baseball was a team sport, and a lot of little things have to go right for a team to win consistently. They both respected the integrity of the game – and those who had preceded them.
Moreover, neither was among the more gifted, natural athletes of their time. Their success was a tribute to dogged discipline, uncanny concentration and career-long perseverance. Professionalism wasn’t so much a compliment as a given.
The honorees also said some things at their induction ceremony that obviously resonated with their live audience of family, friends and fans – and hopefully beyond.
Boggs, the hitting machine with the Golden Glove, elevated his remarks from career chronology and inclusive gratitude (despite skipping a page from his speech) to transcend the game. The former Red Sox, Yankee and D-Ray third baseman sagely noted that “Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens. Not by what life brings us, but the attitude we bring to life