Giants know the meaning of working together as a team
By Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel
CHULA VISTA, California – As a native of San Francisco, I have always been a Giant fan since the time I first started collecting baseball cards as a young child.
I remember watching the 1962 World Series when the Giants faced the dreaded New York Yankees, led by Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford Inc. vs. Willy Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal Inc. On paper, this was probably the greatest Giant team of all time and yet, they got beaten by the Yankees in seven.
In 2010, when the Giants faced the Rangers, everyone thought the mighty Texas Rangers—who batted close to a 300 average; the media made them look almost Olympian. What chance did the Giants have of beating such a team? Vegas decided to place their bets on the Rangers–and lost, much like they did this year. The Giants had to face the first MVP in 50 years and a pitcher who could qualify as the second coming of Sandy Koufax. The Tigers were an impressive team who dispatched the Yankees in four straight games. Yet, in both 2010 and 2012 Giants won because they function with remarkable cohesion.
This year’s Giants faced the mighty Reds, who defeated the Giants throughout most of the season. They were down by two games, and then they won three straight victories. Who could imagine. The Cardinals were last year’s World Champion, and watching the Giants and the Cardinals was like watching the battle of the World Champions. Despite being down 3-1, the Giants reeled off three straight victories.
The Giants won on sheer will-power.
What is so unique about this year’s Giants?
This is a team where every person commits himself for the greater good of the team. As Mr. Spock once said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.” Felipe Alou said it best, “Sometimes we had good teams with the great Giants. Sometimes the team (with those players) was not as great. . . ” Yes, they never won it all, which is why Alou added, “A team isn’t necessarily great, because you have a lot of great players. This (Giants) team is a team.” Wow—what a profound statement about the nature of synergy. Euclid, the great mathematician, said, “The whole equals the sum of all of its parts.” Well, in baseball, the whole is actually greater than the sum of its own parts.
When you think about leadership and excellence, history has taught us on many occasions that greatness comes to people who commit themselves to a vision that is greater than their own political ambition; ultimately, the successful team—or leader—does not denigrate others and takes complete responsibility for the good of the collective.
Cowards—on the other hand—are skilled in blaming others.
Such a life-lesson is so evident in many parts of our country’s life today. In Benghazi, we saw how true heroes fearlessly sacrifice their lives for the safety of others. These men were true giants.
Recently on Geraldo at Large, Charles Woods, the father of murdered Benghazi SEAL Tyrone Woods, sent this message to Barack Obama:
“It’s better to die a hero than live the life of a coward.”
Next week, think about the kind of leaders you want to govern us when you vote next week.
Rabbi Samuel is spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Chula Vista. He may be contacted at email@example.com
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