Doug Glanville, the baseball player turned author, described what it was like to play against the men who were recently elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame.According to Glanville, playing against those great players — in particular, pitcher Randy Johnson — made him into a better player.
Glanville recalls a spring training game, very early in his career, when he hit a triple off Johnson. His confidence soared as a result: “at a young age,” he writes, “I had a tangible baseball result to go with my faith in my ability.”
He concludes by observing that “true greatness means more than a chain of personal bests. It also means bringing out the best in others — teammates and, maybe even more so, opponents.”
I never was an athlete. But I’ve long understood that I play my best when competing against opponents who are really good, no matter what the game: tennis, bowling, chess. I didn’t fully understood why, though, until I read Glanville’s article. Continue reading