The Shimmy

The shimmy is not to be confused with The Shake. Although it can’t be separated from it, either. Not entirely.

Anyone watching the American League Championship Series (and the East Division Championship Series before that) will have heard commentators remarking on a little hip swivel by Boston batters, usually as they grin and dust themselves off after safely completing a double or triple. Sometimes it’s over so fast I’d have missed it without the voice-over alert: When they’re not sliding, it can become one with the motion of pulling to a halt atop the bag.

Apparently it started in an August slump, as a way to celebrate extra-base hits, and a way to motivate a little extra effort. Down against the Marlins, Boston shimmied their way to an 11-run breakout inning and went on to win the game.

And so it reminds me, yet again, of the life lessons of baseball. There are many, each appropriate to the stage of the season, but today I like these the best.

#1 – Get on base.

Of course the home run is wonderful; the grand slam, spectacular. But even the professionals don’t always hit it outta the park. Over time, a lot of points are scored by runners who have worked their way around the bases. But first they have to get on base. So do I.

#2 – Do just a little bit more.

Of course it’s good to get to first base. But runners can take a double play off the table, while also getting into scoring position, if they make it to second. So when I can, I should hit a little smarter and run a little harder, too.

#3 – Celebrate every success.

Of course the end of the inning might see runners stranded on base. They celebrate in the moment anyway. At the end of my own innings, I sometimes get stranded partway around, too. (At the end of my own game, I’m pretty much sure to.) In the meantime, I should celebrate getting there — wherever “there” is — anyway.

#4 – Have fun.

Of course some of the players have pretty good moves, while others, umm, not so much. It doesn’t seem to matter to them or to their fans. I, too, can learn to have a joyous disregard for how silly I look, and just have fun.

And The Shake? No, you’re on your own there.


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10 Responses to The Shimmy

  1. Marion says:

    Lovely video Isabel.
    I was reminded of this page from Ze Frank, which is as old as the internet, almost, and looks like it. Still you get the idea. Dance Lessons for your next party:
    He too, dances with abandon.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Marion – Thanks, and many thanks for the link. I hadn’t seen that. Dance as if no one is watching, indeed.

  2. Sparkling! I must try these forms of approbation — judiciously.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    Your lessons from baseball remind me of a chapter in one of Robrrt Fulghum’s books where a young man goes to his psychiatrist seeking help—he’s obviously doing something wrong because some of his sales efforts aren’t successful. He is told to go to the library and look up page such-and-such on so-and-so date in 1925 in the New York Times.

    The man does that. He comes back to the psychiatrist saying, “I don’t understand! The article on that page was about Ty Cobb batting .335.”

    “Right,” replies the psychiatrist, “one of the best hitters of all time only got a hit about 1/3 of the time, so why might you expect every sales approach to result in a sale? Your task is to give it your best, not to bat 1.000!”

    On the other hand, though, I suppose if the man had learned to shimmy!

    Go, Dodgers!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Yes, any game where great success means failing two times outta three will test your sense of yourself, that’s for sure. Go, Boston!

  4. Lorna says:

    Thanks for a great read and even better watch!

  5. Kate says:

    Great moves, and great reminders.
    Celebrate the little wins!!

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