Bases Loaded with Creative Confidence

 

Angel’s Stadium, Anaheim, southern California

The invitation to the Angels vs. Rangers came as a total surprise! German Marty was totally jazzed since he’d never been to an American baseball game before…and what an exciting game!

On this July afternoon, the crowd flowed through the hot sun towards the stadium. Lots of fans wearing red Angel hats and tee-shirts.  After a beautiful live rendition of the American national anthem complete with fireworks, a rushing waterfall and a video film showing the fighter jets and excerpts of US constitution, wow – any German history teacher would call this a kind of “American dream” visualization.  Sometimes it seemed like baseball was the side show with all the eating, drinking, vendors peddling their wares. People and tattoo watching too: but what about the reason we are all there, the game?

I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about baseball – I don’t. We were lucky to have great seats next to a very friendly couple cheering for Texas who offered to give us pointers. Still, what follows is a personal account of our experience from the perspective of what David Kelley coined as “creative confidence”.  This is internal conviction that when we embrace our unblocked creativity, we’ll live our passion and be really good at what we do. It’s “about believing in your ability to change the world around you. It is the conviction you can achieve what you set out to do”. The Kelley’s think that this self-assurance lies at the heart of innovation (Creative Confidence p.2 by David and Tom Kelley) and so do we.

The Texas Rangers won the last games in Anaheim and came up confident and strong first to bat. And they were leading 2-1 again.  It wasn’t looking so good for the Angels. The crowd roared as Angels’ Mike Trout number 27 came up to bat. The Angels’ best player strode with purpose to home plate. His posture and ease signaled success before the pitcher threw one of the many 90 mile- an- hour fast balls. How utterly simple yet so important to believe in your own ability to succeed!

And not only did Mike Trout believe and own his success but the crowd sporting the red Trout jerseys did too. The energy of the crowd seemed boost him higher.  He slammed his first home run of the day over the right field fence! And later, despite a wicked wrist injury, he drove a line drive into left field. In the 6. inning he rocketed the second of his 2 home runs into the waiting “trout net” of a fan. Could it be otherwise? The bases were loaded (a Grand Slam), which means there was a player on each of the three bases and the Angels scored 4 runs or points. This contributed heavily to the Angels´ final 13-7 victory. After the game, Angel’s coach Scioscia said about Trout:

“I think our fans understand what they’re looking at,” Scioscia said. “This guy’s a special player, a special talent. And when Mike does something special like that, even though it doesn’t happen here very often, you just got to tip your cap and acknowledge it.”

Mike Trout is very capable if not exceptional player who knows how to activate his internal creative resources to act on his convictions and score. As a team player, he’s top and we witnessed this on that hot Sunday. But what impressed us the most is his ability to impact his world and change the course of the game.