Life Lessons From Baseball

How to Sacrifice
by Mick Cochrane

Pivot in the box. Square up.
Surrender to the pitcher.

Slide your top hand up the barrel,
don’t squeeze, keep your hands

soft, bend your knees.
You need to keep your balance.

Let the ball come to you––
be patient. Don’t stab at it.

Point your bat, absorb the shock,
and hope the ball stays fair.

Afterwards expect no high-fives,
no headlines, no contract

extension. No one bunts
himself onto an all-star team.

You do it because that runner
on first, he needs to come home.

He’s your teammate,
he’s your brother, he’s your son,

and you, you’re the guy who still
knows how to lay one down.
From the Writer’s Almanac.


  1. I love this poem because it captures what a good editor does—helps writers do good work and let’s them get the attention and applause.

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