Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Freddie Norman, 104 Wins; 103 Losses.

There was a great baseball manager in the 1970s and 1980s named Sparky Anderson. I think he was the first manager whose teams won a World Series from each league. He won with the Reds in '75 and '76 and with the Tigers in '84.

In any event, there was a guy who pitched for Anderson when he was with the Reds named Freddie Norman. Norman had the uncanny knack for hardly ever winning more games than he lost. He routinely registered records like 13-12, 13-14, 14 and 13. He had a lifetime record of 104 wins and 103 losses. In other words, he was mediocre.

One of the first things Anderson did when he got to the Reds was trade for Freddie Norman. He went after him like you would have gone after Sandy Koufax in his prime. I remember he was asked, by a New York Times reporter, why.

Anderson replied simply, "A baseball season is about 1400 innings long. Year in and year out Freddie Norman eats up 200 innings and doesn't hurt me. He gets me through the season."

Sometimes not hurting things is enough, even in advertising. Sometimes you just need to get through the innings. Work hard and as well as you can. Do your job to the best of your abilities and fight the good fight.

Not every opportunity is an award winning one. Not every battle is for a foothold in Europe. Sometimes you just hope to get through without wounding yourself too much. Closer to the finish line, stirred but not shaken.

Today, just back from an idyllic trip to Cape Cod, I have to edit an internal video for an unappreciative client and, frankly, an unappreciative agency. It's the advertising equivalent of the second game of a double header against the Kansas City Royals. Nobody's watching. Nobody really cares.

I'll use my strong right arm and muscle the ball out there. It won't be a tour de force,
but I might eke out a win. And this way I'll get through part of my 28th season in the game.


Anonymous said...

great lesson!

needed it today.

dave trott said...

I forget who said "A professional shows up and gets to work. An amateur has to wait for inspiration."