The baseball home plate is a 5-sided rubber slab at one corner of a baseball diamond at which a batter stands when batting and which must be touched by a base runner in order to score. The baseball home plate is the place where you stand to hit the ball and the last place the player who is running must touch in order to get a scoring point.
Baseball Home Plate
Do you know how wide the home plate is? Seventeen inches.
Yes, SEVENTEEN INCHES!
And what do they do with a Big League Baseball pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?
They send him to Pocatello, Bannock County, Idaho, a youth baseball league where five divisions of play are offered. Games are played on a Monday through Thursday basis, beginning in April and ending in June.
What they do not do, they do not say, ‘Jimmy, that’s okay. If you cannot hit a seventeen-inch target, we will make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We will make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you cannot hit that after all, let us know so we can make it even wider, say twenty-five inches.’
What Baseball coaches do when their best player shows up late to a practice? Or, when the team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up to a game unshaven? What if a player gets caught drinking which is not allowed? Does a coach hold him accountable? Or, does a coach change the rules to fit the unruly player? Do coaches widen the home plate?
Up to now I am sure there are chuckles but they will fade away as the fog lifts up and the true message behind the baseball comparison begins to unfold.
If you take the diamond shaped baseball home plate and point it up, a shape of a house is revealed and it is then completed with a freshly drawn door and two windows which leads me to tell you about the problems in our homes and the Republic today. Problems with marriages, with the way parents parent their kids, with our discipline, our responsibilities.
We do not teach accountability to our kids, the future of our country. There is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widened the plate.
Now you post the United States flag on top of the diamond shaped baseball home plate turned house image and we can point at the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have turned their teaching skills to be demagogues or ideology indoctrination masters. Teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful in raising smart and skillful new generations and to educate and discipline our young people. Parents are allowing, even supporting, others to widen the home plate! Where is that getting us?
Now let us replace the flag on top of the diamond shaped baseball home plate with a Cross. And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening the home plate for themselves! And We, the People, allow it.
The same is true with the government in Washington D.C. The so-called representatives of We, the People make rules for us that do not apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries to enrich themselves and serve their own interests not We, the People. They long ago stopped serving We, the people. And we sit back and allow them to widen the home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch and do nothing, just immerse in apathy.
A diamond shaped baseball home plate is a metaphor to something of great value. WE can learn something about life, about ourselves, about our own weaknesses and about the responsibilities of our leaders and us as a nation. We must hold ourselves as well as others accountable to that which we know to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path to a very gloomy future.
And remember, if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards; and if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools, churches, our government continue to fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to … we have dark days ahead of us … when the home plate is turned around and you then see its dark black backside revealed.
This entire write up comes from the ideas of a smart man, coach John Scolinos – born March 28, 1918 in Los Angeles. John Scolinos died November 7, 2009 in Claremont California. He was an American football and baseball coach who was the head baseball coach at Pepperdine University from 1946 to 1960 and at California State Polytechnic University Pomona, from 1962 to 1991, in Claremont California.
Coach Scolinos’ message was clear: keep your baseball players – no matter how good they are – your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches, not an inch wider. That is how you will succeed.
And this my reader-friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it, by NOT widening the home plate.