We were getting nowhere in communicating with spoken words, so I wrote him a letter. It was intended to tell him what I needed from him, but as God worked on my words, I began to understand him on a new level.
I don’t know if this post that I adapted from this letter will help anyone, but I know this. Our marriage hasn’t ever been as good as it is since I wrote him this letter.
If nothing else, I hope it inspires someone struggling through a communication challenge in their marriage to write it all down. It’s incredible what happens when we think before we speak. I just have to write it down to be understood.
Why I Had to Marry a Third Baseman
I know the basics of baseball, but I don’t know the intricacies. So I did what any good little bookworm will do – I opened up Google and learned a few things. And now the writer in me is going to apply them to my marriage.
You don’t have to be as quick as a shortstop, but you must still have quick reflexes. And you have to trust them.
One thing I do know in watching baseball is that you have to be prepared to be beaned with a ball that’s hit very hard. You don’t get much time to react.
You have to think on your feet. You can’t be scared of the ball. And if you get hit with one, you have to be able to shake it off.
Quick reflexes are a gift; much more so than foot speed. You need wit and grit to take down the ball – often with your body.
I’m a quick thinker. I hit really hard with my words. I take on a lot of things. I need someone to help me handle my fear of the ball.
Quick wit and grit help keep me balanced. My wit is quick and often biting. It’s not meant to be. And he gets that. Most people don’t.
Warren is awesome when he’s thinking on his feet in a crisis. He keeps his cool even though he may be shaking underneath in anticipation of a hit from that speeding ball.
Warren trusts his abilities to think and react. I need to trust that ability.
And I need to trust my own abilities to think and react. He can’t do that for me. And that is often a root of our communication breakdowns.
You make some of the most difficult plays in baseball. And in life.
I realized that Warren had never really struggled financially in his life. And that’s a good thing.
The fact that I have is a crutch I lean on occasionally. I crumble in financial uncertainty, but he sees it as a hurdle to overcome.
I need to look at that perspective and not look back at the pain and fear.
If a third baseman gets scared, he’s going to get hurt. That’s a great life lesson.
Warren lost his coach five years ago. And he accepted that it was his turn to be the coach. He’s done an incredible job, but I don’t know how he does it.
People don’t often accept him for who he is. And that often includes me. His gumption to laugh in the face of this lack of acceptance is rare today.
And that’s a place we lean on each other. I don’t “fit in” most of the time.
People are scared of the fact that he knows what he wants. He’s ok with being an outsider.
The way I always dealt with a lack of acceptance is to try to please people. If I let a girl cheat off of me in school, she might be nice to me for a while.
So, I’m going to take his approach. I’m going to love me first. And the rest of them can accept me or not. I have to be ok with that. And he taught me that.
You play third base because you don’t run as fast.
He doesn’t care about running fast. He cares about pacing himself. You don’t need to run fast to play third base. You have to think on your feet.
That’s a humble attitude. Not everyone can be the fastest. He’d rather do the tough skills. He’d rather help the team than have the speed and flashy attention of being a pitcher or shortstop.
Third basemen are the least likely to be named to the Hall of Fame.
Obviously, Warren never expected a career in the pros. He never expected the MVP award at a game. Heck, he didn’t even hit a home run until his last game.
He played baseball because he loved it. He played third base because it was a challenge. He didn’t need the credit. He just loved the game.
He played because his heart is about making the team better. Him becoming better was a requirement for making the team better.
Third basemen aren’t often rewarded in the Hall of Fame because they don’t look at a key factor as readily as they do with other players – defense.
Third basemen save runs. That’s their job. Warren save the day so often. But it’s always quietly. He’s not a glamorous guy. He’s a third baseman.
Their job is not glamorous. It’s very misunderstood. Baseball fans know it’s a necessary position, but it’s the not the showstopper.
It’s a place for a man of skill, quick thought and reflexes.
And the last thing I learned from my baseball player – There’s no crying in baseball. You get hit. You get back up and keep playing.
I’m so thankful that God sent me a third baseman. He’s just what I needed.