Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Dominican Republic

We all remember that famous story about Coach Knute Rockne and the speech he made to his Notre Dame football players at half-time which many refer to today as “Remember the Gipper,” Well I think history may have repeated itself last night during the San Francisco Giants – Kansas City Royals game. According to the Associated Press report: “Pitching with the initials of late St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras on his cap, 23-year old rookie Yordano Ventura allowed three hits over seven innings for his first Series win.” The Royals’ Ventura and Taveras were good friends.  They grew up together in the Dominican Republic and Ventura had dedicated the game to his memory. I call this “Excelling for a Higher Order.” It’s when athletes acknowledge emotional issues in their lives they want to excel for. By doing so, they enhance their own feelings of self-worth and thereby enhance their performance.

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According to the late, great Casey Stengel, most baseball games are lost, not won. But there’s another side to that coin and it’s called “The psi Factor” which, simply put, says: Athletes who are happy and whose lives are in harmony will perform close to their skill levels on a consistent basis (and will win games for their managers.)

The following was taken from the Internet:

“Each time (David) Ortiz crosses the plate after hitting a home run, he looks up and points both index fingers to the sky in tribute to his mother Angela Rosa Arias, who died in a car crash in January 2002 at the age of 46. Ortiz also has a tattoo of his mother on his biceps.

“Ortiz and his wife Tiffany have three children. Since marrying Tiffany, he has become a fan of the Green Bay Packers (his wife hails from Kaukauna, Wisconsin, a town in between the cities of Green Bay and Appleton.) On June 11, 2008, Ortiz became a United States citizen at John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

“The David Ortiz Children’s Fund was founded in 2007 to support a range of causes that Ortiz believes in. The Fund allows Ortiz the flexibility to donate to those children who are in the most need at any given time, from Boston to the Dominican Republic and beyond. Ortiz released his own Charity Wine label in 2008 with all the proceeds going to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. The wine called Vintage Papi proceeded to raise $150,000 for charity.”

Of course, it’s important that if the psi factor is to work the athlete must possess the skill level to perform at a high level. Which fits “Big Papi” perfectly. At the time of this writing, Ortiz will take a .733 World Series batting average into game six at Fenway Park. Which makes you believe that, during the next baseball season, if he puts his mind to it, Ortiz could be the first major league player since Ted Williams to bat .400.

According to Boston ace Jon Lester, he had this to say about Ortiz: “The guy’s got a heart of gold.”

I was appalled by a recent column that appeared in the Springfield (MO) News-Leader where a retired chaplain made the ridiculous claim that Albert Pujols was greedy and “grasped for $250 million instead of settling for $210 million where he was loved.” That is one of the most stupid comments I’ve ever read or heard. Let’s set the record straight.

First, it’s important to remember that Pujols was reared near an ocean by his grandmother in the Dominican Republic and I’m sure that he and his wife, Deidre, missed being near an ocean. Who in their right mind would rather live in St. Louis than have a beautiful home overlooking the Pacific?

The columnist further stated, referring to Pujols, that “covetousness is epidemic in our society” without giving any thought to where the money paid Pujols is going to be going. I lifted the following from an article about Pujols on the Internet: “In 2005, Albert and Deidre Pujols launched the Pujols Family Foundation which is dedicated to their ‘commitment to faith, family and others.’ The organization promotes awareness of Down Syndrome and works to support those who have it and their families, aids the poor in the Dominican Republic, and supports people with disabilities and/or life threatening illnesses. Among other activities, the foundation hosts events for people with Down Syndrome. The foundation gave the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis the resources to open and office and hire staff. A center for adults with Down Syndrome bears Pujols’ name (‘Albert Pujols Wellness Center for Adults with Down Syndrome’) opened in 2009 in Chesterfield, Missouri. Pujols has taken several trips to the Dominican Republic, by taking supplies as well as a team of doctors and dentists to the poor who need medical care. The Pujols Family Foundation also holds an annual golf tournament to raise money to send dentists to the Dominican Republic.” The columnist should have known better than to attack Albert Pujols as one who practices what he referred to as the “deceitfulness of greed.”

And finally, I’m sure the people of California will love Albert just as much as those in St. Louis. Albert is one of those star athletes who will be loved no matter where he goes.


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