- Christian Pandoff (West Toronto Alumni)
A Players Perspective “Baseball is Like a Poker Game"
Jackie Robinson once said, “Baseball is like a poker game". Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead.” The mentality that a game is not finished until the final out is recorded sometimes strays away from the common ballplayer. The same concept applies to any of life’s burdens, which have to be overcome in order to be successful.
We, as a team, saw it first hand in the second game of the eliminations versus Brampton. Easy for me to say, this was the most puzzling game I have ever been apart of. Building such a sizable lead in the early stages of the game resulted in somewhat of a lax approach to the second half of the contest. As ballplayers, we have been inattentive to the aggravating phrase “no lead is ever safe,” which has been uttered by possibly every coach I have ever had. In all respects, it is difficult to comprehend one of these situations without having been apart of one. At the time, I remember turning to one of my teammates between innings and saying, “we’re living the A’s versus Royals game from Moneyball.” After dropping a nine run lead, Brampton had tied the game. In spite of this, we were able to depart Burlington with a win as the “good guys” did in the movie.
In the most noteworthy tournament of the season, I learned what the cliché used by many coaches really means. If there is one main element that I have refined in how I play the game, it is learning how to want to win. The continuous drive to keep going even when you feel like its over is a crucial feature to any athlete’s lifestyle. In baseball one cannot sit on a lead and run the clock. There is no clock. “Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead.” Robinson’s words embody the true essence of why we play the game. In a situation where you are losing the game, you should want yourself and your opponents to keep going. That is what I will take away from this most memorable season with the West Toronto Baseball Association.