--Unfortunately, because of the lead times, deadlines, and time lag between the time I write these words and the time you read them, I do not know how the Cumberland Little League fared Monday night as I write this. But I can tell you that in my heart it doesn’t matter much. Oh, of course I’d love for them to have won, all of the Blackstone Valley is rooting for their success, me included. But what I mean by that is I will measure their success not by wins and losses, but in the effort. And I feel I can say without fear of contradiction that we are all very impressed with their effort.
Friday night’s loss just might have been a win had they played a few more innings like the majors do. They were beat up and out of sync from the very first of the game but they did not quit. In fact, they were mounting a comeback against a very, very good opponent when time ran out for them. This kind of character in any person is admirable. But I think even more so in very young people.
This is the glory of organizations like Little League. And in my opinion Little League is enhanced by players like our Cumberland team and their coach Dave Belisle.
Dave sets an example of what a good man is. He is positive, realistic, and consistent. Sure, Dave learned a lot about how to coach a young sports team from his dad, Bill, and he does a fine job with the hockey team. But there are those who will always see Dave in the shadow of his dad at Brother Adelard arena coaching the hockey team. The baseball team is not the same at all in my view. Dave has adapted from the ‘boot camp sergeant’ style of coaching of yesteryear to today’s supportive, instructional, but “let’s have fun” coach. I think it is harder on the coach to coach that way, but Dave does it well. Very well.
So well does Dave Belisle coach that you could hear the admiration in the voices of the announcers on the TV broadcast Friday night. I was so proud to know him and so proud he and his team was representing me in this great contest.
As I say, and as has been said by many before me, win if you can. But play hard, play fair, and grow from the effort. Set an example for others if you can of what true winning is all about. It is somewhat disconnected from the score of the game.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.