Bottom of the ninth inning. Playoff baseball. It’s the moment where MLB history is made. It’s supposed to be the moment when the game’s biggest stars and highest-paid players come through in the clutch. But for New York Yankees bench player Raul Ibanez, last night was the opportunity to make history.
Needing a hit in order to keep the inning alive and give the Yankees a chance to tie the game, New York manager Joe Giradi replaced Alex Rodriguez, the game’s highest paid player, with Raul. The 40-year-old Raul hadn’t played all game, instead cheering his teammates on from the Yankees’ dugout. But when his opportunity came, Raul capitalized, hitting not only the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth, but the game-winning walk-off home-run in extra innings. Raul became the first player in MLB history to homer twice in a game in which he didn’t start.
When your opportunity arrives, how will you respond? Instead of pouting or mentally “checking out” of the game because the Yankees’ All-Star was scheduled to bat, Raul remained focus, patiently waiting until his number was called. How is our approach day-in and day-out in preparation so we remain ready when opportunity finally presents itself? History is full of pivotal moments where those who were ready excelled and those who weren’t flopped.
How will you respond when that long awaited opportunity arrives? Will you be ready to compete?