Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thoughts from a Fan of Pittsburgh Pirates' Manager Clint Hurdle

I have been glued to the TV these past few weeks watching the Pittsburgh Pirates' over-the-top exciting season.  Like most Pittsburghers, I have been waiting for this season for over 20 years.  So many great players with great stories make up this Team.  However, the person that I've enjoyed watching most hasn't been running around the bases.  It's the man leaning against the railing of the dugout chewing a large wad of pink gum - manager Clint Hurdle.  Since arriving in Pittsburgh as the Pirates' Manager three years ago, I have had a great affection for Hurdle.  From what I observed on TV and read about him is a classic good guy.  The kind of person ready to cheer you on when you're having a great day and pick you up when your day is not that great.

Clint Hurdle.jpg
Pittsburgh Pirates' Manager Clint Hurdle

Last week my husband shared an article with me -  - which clinched Clint Hurdle's spot in my heart as a man to learn from (after my dad who will always hold the top spot - of course!).  There are many qualities in Clint Hurdle that admire - both professionally and personally, but two really stick out.

1) Positive Attitude.  Clint Hurdle is the ultimate example of the power of positivity.  One of my favorite parts of the ESPN article was how after being fired from the Rockies, the staff continued to reach out to Hurdle for inspiration.  They missed his positive attitude and uplifting sayings being part of their daily lives.  I strive to be the kind of person who is missed because of the positivity I bring to a situation, not because people are happy I'm not there because of my complaining or grouchiness.  It is so easy in life to let the negative rule our attitudes or emotions.  Personally, Hurdle has had many hurdles in his life that he has overcome.  Professionally, he accepted the job of managing the Pirates who up until this season had 20 consecutive losing seasons, the longest losing streak in North American professional sports history - conquering that negative situation on a daily basis had to be hard.  Over the years Hurdle has learned to face negative situations, learn from them and then move on putting the life lessons he learns into action with a very positive twist.  The best part - he has found great happiness and contentment in life.  I want to be like that!
2) Have fun.  One of my favorite moments from this post-season adventure was after the Pirates' Wildcard victory over the Cincinnati Reds.  The players waited for everyone to get into the locker room.  Then they circled around Hurdle and sprayed him with champagne while Hurdle did his own little victory dance. (Another example of talking the talk and walking the walk - Hurdle celebrated with apple cider to maintain his over 15 years of sobriety.)  This morning I watched Hurdle's press conference about today's game at PNC Park.  He was talking about Pirate fans approaching today's game like the pirates we see in movies . . . how much fun is that!  (YES, I saved an eye patch from our International Talk Like A Pirate Day celebration and YES, I will be wearing it at the game this afternoon!)  Here is a man working hard in a high pressure situation; yet, he is enjoying the moment and having fun.  I want to be like that!

Through the high and low moments of his life and career, Hurdle sends a daily e-mail to a growing list of people (currently over 1,000!) sharing a positive inspirational quote or thought.  He ends his e-mails with, "Make a difference today.  Love, Clint"  From watching his actions and hearing his words both on and off the field, Hurdle has definitely made a difference in me!

This is one day that this mom won't be out running.  Today you'll find me at PNC Park cheering on Clint Hurdle's Team.  LET'S GO BUCS!

No comments:

Post a Comment