Last night, the San Francisco Giants won their 3rd World Series in 5 years. In order to accomplish the feat, Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ 25 year old ace, had to come in on 2 days rest and pitch 5 shut-out innings earning his third win of the series and the title for the Giants.
Lost in the headlines was the starting pitcher for the Giants in Game 7, Tim Hudson. Hudson, the oldest man ever to start a World Series game 7, didn’t have his best stuff and he was yanked in the second inning after just 28 pitches. After 214 wins, over 2,000 strike-outs, 13 seasons, and 3 teams, Hudson finally has a World Series ring anyway. But none of the stats, good or bad, are what stood out to me about Hudson this post-season. What stood out to me, and was tested to the greatest degree last night, was Hudson’s professionalism, team-first mentality, and character. After one of the worst outings of his career, it would have been easy for Hudson to sulk, feel sorry for himself, and hang his head after the game. Instead, he did what you see in the picture above – he celebrated with his teammates and hugged and honored his young pitching staff mate, Bumgarner, on a job well done.
Hudson’s reaction last night is a strong lesson for young athletes, of course. It reinforces what most coaches preach about the success of the team being more important than individual performance and that losses belong to the team as well, no matter the circumstances that led to them.
But the lessons aren’t just for young kids. Tim Hudson is 85 days older than me (certainly in better shape), and a example that I need to learn from as well. When I bring in business for the company I work for, it is never because of my brilliant salesmanship. It is on the back of all of the outstanding work we’ve done over the past 20 years, it is aided by the professional advice and estimating that I receive from my Project Management team, and it comes from relationships that have been influenced by a myriad of people. Similarly, when a project doesn’t go as planned and we don’t fully meet a client’s expectations, it isn’t the fault of the design team because they have bad ideas. They are informed by things I share with them, inspired by others in the workplace, and have distractions outside of the office just like the rest of us, and we all own a part of those failures. Finally, what a great reminder to celebrate your teammates’ successes – I don’t need to pout and fuss when I lose a big deal I was hoping for and my colleague wins the one he is working on because his success is all of our success. If he closes business this week, it helps the company pay my health insurance premiums this month and next month when I close something, I help the company pay his.
Tim Hudson reminded me last night that we’re all in this together. I admire Hudson for a fantastic career, yes, but more importantly I admire him for the way he reacted to the negative he faced last night. Well done. Thanks Tim, War Eagle!