The Sacrifices of Playing Baseball
by Lynne Belluscio
In baseball there are sacrifices. A batter will sacrifice to the outfield to bring in a run. Or a batter will bunt, to advance a runner from first to second, or second to third, knowing full well that he’ll be thrown out at first. When a manager calls for a sacrifice, it’s a hard call for a player to accept especially if you’re a Little League player. A manager once said, “It’s a mentality. You gotta understand it’s helping your team win and it’s an important part of the game.” Learning to bunt is almost a lost art. “You gotta want to bunt, you gotta want to get it down.” Larry Bowa, a coach for the Phillies said, “Guys don’t want to work at it and they can’t bunt. They don’t know how to bunt. To me, if you practice bunting, it’s the easiest thing in the world. If you don’t practice, it’s the hardest thing in the world.”
Maybe you’ve never heard of Masahiro Kawai. He played baseball for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan for twenty years, and he holds the professional baseball record for the most sacrifice bunts – 514. In 2003, he surpassed Baseball Hall of Fame star, Eddie Collins’ record of 511. While I was looking up those stats I was surprised to see that Tom McGinnis’ grandfather. . .