Melky Cabrera was awarded the MVP trophy at the conclusion of last night’s Major League Baseball All-Star game. Safe to say it’s the current high point of of his professional life, perhaps even his personal one.
Drafted by the Yankees at 17, he played his way up through the farm system, debuting as a NY Yankee three and a half seasons later in July 2005.
Young, shy and with little fluency of the language, Melky communicated through his actions. He was a passionate and joyous player…I believe video tape would prove it was during his tenure in outfield, the multi-player victory jump-bump was born.
A talented fielder, and fan favorite, but his hitting was inconsistent. 2009 was one of his stronger years, where he helped the Yankees win their 28th World Series, but less than a month later was traded to play in Atlanta for 2010.
Atlanta released him at the end of a mediocre season, Kansas City picked him up for the 2011 season, but he was not the same Melky. Rejection and failure had changed him, and he made some decisions in the off-season. He changed his lifestyle and his diet, he lost weight. He worked out a lot, and practiced even more. 2011 saw him setting many career highs. That increased his value, but apparently not enough, for he was traded to San Francisco over the winter.
But he continued his efforts, perhaps even doubling-down, and 2012 has been his best year ever. He is at the top of the entire league in hitting, and is loved and adored by SF fans. They dress and up as “Melk-Men” at games, flooded the ballot box, getting him a starting position in the mid-season classic…. and now he is the MVP of this years’ game.
Rejection and failure are the pits. It hurts, it’s embarrassing, even humiliating. And even if we care very deeply about what is at stake, it can shame us into retreat; withdrawing totally, or start a simmering pot of anger or resentment. Or it can make us better.
“Accepting” Rejection and failure does not mean being content about it.
And it doesn’t have to be a final destination, either.
Instead I suggest by honestly acknowledging our situation or results, and how we feel about them, we define our own ‘bottom’.
We need to know where we are, just as much as where we want to be, if we want to have any hope of creating a successful course for getting there.
We all have our own stories of inspiration, people who’ve battled through dark times, to triumph. I am a sucker for the quiet successes. While not particularly sportive myself, the personal power an individual has to make a difference in sports has always intrigued and inspired me, paralleling the potential I feel have to make a difference in both my life, and my business.
I have been an unabashed Melky fan from the begining. His original Yankee #28 replica tshirt is on top of my tshirt pile, and sheer luck of the draw, I got him in the AR Fantasy baseball league draft. Last night I could not be happier for his success, or more inspired to pursue new ones for myself. Congrats, Melky- HAPPY to YOU!