Advice from God (aka Umpire Doug Harvey)

Doug Harvey

Doug Harvey in action

Umpire Doug Harvey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, after a long career making calls of ball or strike, out or safe and whether to keep playing in rain (maybe even darkness). His speech showed the minimal and firm style of communication that enabled him to only eject 43 players or managers in over 30 years of working games.

Harvey commanded respect, and his nickname, God, affirms that idea (and then some). There were a lot of jokes and tributes from former managers yesterday, but Harvey’s speech communicated some really serious and good themes.  He came from a family of umpires, and gave his father a lot of credit for instilling good values.

Advice from Doug “God” Harvey:

1. Set goals and promise yourself you will attain them.
2. Work hard to achieve your goals.
3. You never know when opportunity will come, so be ready to do your best – quickly.
4. Know the rules – the real rules – it will get you out of arguments.
5. Sacrifice, both emotional and physical, is part of success.

He gave anecdotes that supported these themes, such as working with broken teeth so he wouldn’t lose income while his wife was about to give birth. Harvey concluded by saying his goal was to “teach everyone I work with everything I know, in order to improve the profession, and challenge them to improve on my accomplishments.”

Why shouldn’t these ideas apply to everyone?

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