By: Taylor Morriss
Sports are a great way for people to not only make friends, but create lasting bonds with people who would otherwise have remained strangers. My post this week isn’t going to be very long, but it is going to cover something that I think boys, on a baseball team for example, will find familiar.
The bond of friendship between teammates is something even more than just friendship… it’s a brotherhood. Maybe not during the early t-ball years, but this loyalty becomes stronger each year, and by the teenage years it becomes fully developed. If you are currently playing in high school and college, I’m sure you can relate.
You grow with this same group of guys while you’re a part of a high school or college team. You go to battle with them under the bright lights, blazing sun, or torrential downpour. At the risk of sounding too much like Grey’s Anatomy, they truly become your people. The “highs” of winning games and making ESPN- worthy plays paired with the lows of exhausting practices and running punishment laps; they all contribute to the formation of this bond between teammates…between brothers.
I’ve witnessed this for many years. I’ve seen boys go to bat for one another (excuse the pun) against rival teams, other teammates, and their coaches; even when mistakes were made by that player. I’ve seen them pick up one another after a rough inning or a rough game. I’ve seen them show support and loyalty to one another until the end of every season, and in the case of the seniors, until the end of their baseball careers. And I’ve seen them represent a missing teammate by flashing his jersey number with their fingers during every senior picture taken because they KNEW in their hearts and in their minds that he should be there standing next to them as he had done every year since they became a team, a brotherhood, their freshman year.
I may not have been the recipient of these gestures of immense loyalty, but I was close to it all and I witnessed it first-hand. Even here at the Ranch, while they are not necessarily a team, they create bonds with one another during their training that carry beyond the summer program and the boot camps. That is how I know that these bonds between players are something real and something rare. It isn’t found just anywhere and with just any group of guys, but once it is found, it is something that is not easily broken or even weakened, and it is cherished. It is not something that is granted, but something that is earned. It is fed by mutual respect, friendship, camaraderie, and shared experiences, both good and bad. It is something to work towards, and whose benefits far outweigh its costs. I hope you find it.
**There are less than 8 spaces left for June Elite Pitchers Boot Camps!