Your humble friendly neighborhood sales hired gun scores the final run for the “Benbrook Cubs” in a 15 – 0 World Series win.
The more I play baseball, the more I see how sales teams are like world series baseball teams.
They face competition at the highest level, plus adversity, unpredictable unforseen circumstances, team camaradarie, and the odds being stacked against them.
Yet they win.
In sales, managers of other offices loved me because I sold huge volumes of revenue into their markets. For example, I was the #2 sales rep for our LA market, but I worked in Dallas.
Unfortunately, my manager didn’t appreciate it, (and neither did I) when reps from these other markets tried to steal my accounts out from under me. But we won.
Once, our own company’s HQ shut off our fax machines (it was the 80s). They thought we had created a “fax culture” and relied on them too much, so they cut us off.
We did rely on them a lot.
Our office had hundreds of advertising clients that needed to see ad proofs, weekly. Our “fax culture” drove sales volume that completely outstripped our other 28 branch operations.
After one week of substantial ad revenue losses from this brilliant executive management maneuver, we were back on track, with our “fax culture.”
Our own company tried to kill off our revenue stream because we beat down our internal competition so badly. But we won.
Am I in Heaven?
No, this is Iowa.
This famous quote from Kevin Costner’s Kapra-esque baseball movie, Field of Dreams holds special meaning for your friendly neighborhood Sales Hired Gun.
I was born in Iowa at the Minnesota border. Our family foursome hit the trail as soon as possible afterward and never looked back, except for family visits. It’s cold in Iowa.
Though I’ve lived in the Lone Sar State for decades, speaking in terms of birth certificate, passport, 23andMe and criminal background check … I’m a Hawkeye.
And being from Iowa, I’m the fortunate recipient of a lifetime of Heaven. At least in terms of baseball.
For some people it’s the Formula One Grand Prix of Monaco. For others it’s the Super Bowl, or World Cup Soccer, the Olympic Games, WWE Wrestlemania, or the horse races at Royal Ascot.
My lifelong affliction is the World Series.
It began in grade school when I got sent to the principal’s office by my teachers. Discipline problem.
I saw our principal so often we became friends. We watched World Series games together on the TV set in his office, where I learned the meaning of discipline:
You don’t have to jump on a 3-1 hitter’s count pitch if you’re looking for a fastball. You have at least one more pitch you can look at. That’s discipline.
So tonight I’m watching a great Series. The Dodgers advance to a 3-2 lead behind their great pitcher from Dallas Highland Park, Clayton Kershaw.
Also, because of the Covid pandemic, the World Series is being played in – Dallas.
Our World Series tournament this year happens to be scheduled for this particular week. In this particular year. And I am in Phoenix, not Dallas.
Oddly enough, I’m ecstatic about it.
Sure, this is a great opportunity to attend a World Series game in my own back yard.
But this is also another opportunity to play ball in major league ball parks, at a high level with my friends. And to play for another WS ring with them.
In fact, our game is exactly the same as MLB games: 60′ 6″ pitcher’s mounds, 90 foot bases, 427 foot center field fences, nine innings, wood bats, open stealing.
We also play a lot tougher game.
It isn’t uncommon in our league to have pitchers in our 50s or older throwing over 150 pitches in a game.
A lot of guys play injured. Many take pain killers before games in order to play.
I know several top pitchers who can throw nine innings one day and return to the hill the next. Sometimes on the second day they’re throwing even better than the day before.
Show me the highly paid professional player who does that.
The only reason I ran track in high school and college was because I got bummed out when my team lost baseball games.
Now, I try to make sure I’m not one of the ones who contributes to a team loss by fouling up.
Over the past dozen years I’ve been privileged to play on our DFW Phillies team in nine World Series tournaments.
As I may have subtly mentioned last week, these guys are good. These guys know baseball. These guys are ballplayers.
I’m an athlete who can still run kind of fast for an old guy.
Still, as a result of those nine trips to Phoenix, four championship rings reflect the lights in my den, and five finals loser awards gather dust in my clothes drawer.
Believe it or not, the league stacks the deck against us to prevent us from winning. But we win.
Some years it’s almost like something out of the original movie, Rollerball.
“Stop the Phillies at any cost!”
We often open our week of play against the toughest team on the schedule. But we win.
Or we play against the defending champion of that division last year. But we win.
A few years ago I learned that we learned that one of the league’s executives placed a form of bounty on us. Allegedly the league offered to pay the league fee for one of our principle competitors if they beat us. But we win.
This year we flew in under radar as a different team. The “Benbrook Cubs” out of Fort Worth, Texas are here for serious business in 2020.
Our team brings together this collection of pro bono baseball hired guns from Dallas, LA, Puerto Rico and the Northeast U.S.
Game 1: 22 – 2 Cubs
Game 2: 15 – 0 Cubs
Game 3: 10 – 9 Cubs
Game 4: 15 – 8 Cubs
This will be an interesting week.
BTW: How are sales going?