Family - Starting 9's Right Fielder

The final member of the Starting 9's outfield and team is the right fielder. Much has been made of this position through the years (think back to the Peter, Paul, and Mary's song). Regardless of the position's status in little league, the right field position becomes much more important in the higher levels of the game. Family fits as the Starting 9's right fielder as it rounds out the three elements of "brotherhood" building in the outfield and completes the team. Family is the Starting 9's Right Fielder.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13

The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates kept disco and the group Sister Sledge to the cultural forefront when they chose the song "We Are Family" as their rallying cry. The team united on and off the field, and ended up winning games and the World Series in dramatic fashion.

Recognizing that every team experience is an opportunity to to extend one's family allows everyone involved to experience extraordinary community. Entering the experience with this mindset breeds success. It doesn't mean every team that experiences family will win a championship, but it does mean that you will experience success.

Just this week I happened to run into one of my former players as he was dropping some things off at a friend's house. He's moving out of state with his family a year after his high school graduation, and it was clear he was mourning the change. We spent a few minutes talking and, even though his family was moving out of state, he was still leaving some of his "family" behind. Our success with his team experience was clear.

Experiencing "family" through baseball has the ability to enhance and heal at the same time. If someone has experienced a wonderful family life, it serves to enhance and grow an already healthy family unit. If someone has experienced difficulty within the family, a baseball family can heal deep wounds and provide a new picture of family for that player.

Seeing a baseball team as a family and bringing a level of unconditional love to the team through that recognition helps everyone experience love. "Phileo" or brotherly love is available when teammates treat one another as brothers, raising them up to higher levels of accomplishment. "Agape" or unconditional love is available in those times when people choose to love no matter the situation. When both are exhibited and apparent, a team becomes a family.