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By MIKE McCARTHY, Special to The Californian
PORTLAND, Maine — Day in and day out we go to the ballpark to play the game we love. There are moments of late-night rain delays, overnight travel and a variety of weather conditions but there are also moments of joyous walk-off wins, dominant shutout pitching and amazing web gem catches.
We are incredibly fortunate to play the game we do, and we try to never take that for granted. We also realize that while we are not in the major leagues, we do carry a voice that fans appreciate and value.
While I am no saint and have just as many shortcomings as anyone, I do realize that my career allows my actions to be a voice to make the world a better place.
As I listened to a speech that Denzel Washington gave to a group of young actors, it hit home with me.
"It's not how much you have, it's what you do with what you have. And we allhave different gifts," he said. "Some money, some love, some patience, some the ability to touch people's lives. We all have it! Use it! Share it! That's what counts!"
While his message was intended to inspire and grow the minds of the young actors present, his message grew and inspired me just as much. He has a gift to touch people's lives and just as he described in his monologue, he uses it.
Each day at the ballpark, we have an opportunity to impact someone's life. Whether it by saying hi to a fan, stopping to talk to a young baseball player or simply just playing the game hard.
We each have the opportunity to impact the world around us but the choice is, will that impact be positive or negative? Will we be better people today than we were yesterday? Will we go out into the world and inspire those around us or will we balk at the opportunity and let it pass us by?
Each day I wake up and aspire to be a better baseball player and the best teammate I can be, but more importantly, I wake up and try to be the best man I can be. I have failed countless times, far more than I care to count. But I also know I have succeeded far more often than I have failed and will continue to be better tomorrow than I was today.
Go out and inspire the world around you today! See how much good you can do to the world around you in one day. I am confident you will find yourself having done just as much good for yourself as you have for those around you.
Side note: June 6-8, the Portland Sea Dogs will be hosting an equipment drive for Baseball Miracles at Hadlock Field that will go to benefit underprivileged youth around the world. Any new or used baseball equipment is welcomed with open (and thankful) arms!
Michael McCarthy is a former Cal State Bakersfield pitcher who now plays for the Boston Red Sox' Class-AA team in Portland, Maine. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mmccarthy35.