A couple of years ago I went to a baseball game at Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play. Going to a game at Wrigley is a big social event. Many Cubs fans like to drink beer and they drink several beers during the day. The fans enjoy watching the game, partying together, and supporting the team whether the Cubs win or lose.
I remember going to the ballpark as a child. We always sat in the bleachers because of the cost of tickets. We bought peanuts but we usually brought our own drinks with us to save money.
About this time, when I was young, I was on a baseball team. We did not do very well when we competed against other teams but the experience did teach me how to be a team player. It taught me the importance of sportsmanship and the basic rules of the game of baseball.
Being a good team member is a skill that we can all use all of our lives.
I am currently a member of the QAT (Quality Assurance Team) at StreetWise. I have learned
that it takes a team to make QAT function properly. No one person could possibly cover working at
the office desk six days a week, plus sell papers to cover bills and living expenses.
We share the QAT work. Each member of QAT takes at least half a day on the desk and we all have time to supervise other vendors on the street, as well as sell our own papers so we can pay our bills and survive.
Because our locations are spread all over the city we are able to supervise the other vendors who are also spread around the city. It would be impossible for one person to cover the whole city, but as a team we can get the job done just by each of us traveling to our separate locations.
QAT exists to make sure vendors are who they say they are, in the building and on the streets. We have to make sure that only vendors and people who are connected to StreetWise are coming in to the office. We are supervising to make sure everyone’s badges are current and that everyone signs in at the front desk.
We check to see that all vendors are clean, neat, courteous and sober in the office and on the street when they are selling the magazine. We have monthly meetings to discuss new policies and current events for the company.
Baseball is an American pastime that can be played anywhere with a bat and a ball, or if you live in the “hood,” with a stick, a ball and some designated bases. We all know that the object of the game of baseball is to hit a ball thrown by the pitcher and to work our way around the bases to score a home run at the home base.
Every player on both teams works hard when they are “at bat” to do their best as individuals and to help their team members advance the bases. When the teams are in the field they work to keep the batting team from scoring home runs, by doing their best individually, and by cooperating as a team.
Teamwork is a good learning experience and is a great example of how we can get a job done and have fun doing it. Baseball or stickball teaches the value of teamwork. We learn that we do better as a team and individually when we persevere, acquire skills, and use ingenuity.
Most of the community activities I am involved with now, such as the 12-step programs, require teamwork skills. I like the goal of helping one another and passing what we have learned on. All communities strive for this, but sometimes things become twisted, and instead of helping one another, we hinder or harm each other.
We learn from our young sport team experiences, and even from being adult sport fans, that we can accomplish more as team members than as individuals. We practice this realization through church and civic activities, and through other organizations we are involved with.
I believe that God created us to be dependent on him but also to take care of each other. So when God asked Cain in Genesis 4:9, “Where is your brother, Abel?” and Cain replied, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” I believe the answer to Cain’s question is yes, we ARE each others’ keepers.
We are a team. Let’s find out what we have in common and put aside our differences. We can work together on common goals and accomplish so much if we always try to work together as teammates.
Baseball is a great American pastime. I am not a big fan of baseball but I like it better than all the other sports because I think it is the most civilized of all the major team sports.
I have attended both Cubs and White Sox games in Chicago and I have been to major league games in Milwaukee and in California.
In the summer of 1980 I had the chance to play in a company baseball game. My career job was working for Gold Eagle Company and there was a company picnic at a South Side park. There was a company baseball game between the South Side company plant and the North Side company plant.
I worked at the North Side company plant and was encouraged to play for our team. At first I was very hesitant to play but a Gold Eagle executive kept encouraging me and asked me over and again, “Do you want to play, do you want to play?” So finally I did get into the game and I am very glad that I did.
When I was up at bat I did not score a home run, but I batted an RBI, so I did bring the third base player home. This is an example of teamwork. At Gold Eagle there was teamwork involved in the production of automative products. The teamwork that made Gold Eagle operate productively carried over to the company softball game.
Currently I am working with organizations trying to preserve affordable housing. I formerly lived in a troubled building myself in Uptown. Our organizations have had some success, but it has been limited. Success depends largely on whether the members of the various housing groups co-operate with one another and how well they interact and co-operate with other community organizations and elected officials.
Although I have recently made a positive housing move and no longer live in a troubled building, I still do some work for these housing organizations on behalf of people who are less fortunate and who still live in problematic buildings.