Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Commando Providers Visit Cooperstown

By Chaplain (Capt.) Lew Messinger

Eighteen Soldiers from the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT, visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on May 1. Cooperstown has traditionally been known as the birthplace of the modern game of baseball.
The Commando Provider Soldiers were asked why the field was named “Doubleday Field.”
Pvt. Wesley Johns of Company B quickly replied, “Well, sir, maybe it’s because they used to play two games a day here.”
Legend attributed the game of baseball to Abner Doubleday in 1839. The sport – which had been developing already - quickly grew into a professionally-played sport and America’s national pastime.
While the Hall of Fame primarily venerates high-performing individuals who have given their all to the game, it also celebrates the many great teams that have graced America’s ballparks for over 100 years: the Knickerbockers, the Red Stockings, the Bronx Bombers, the Whiz Kids, the Big Red Machine, and many others.
Abner Doubleday himself was a man of action. A company-grade officer stationed at Fort Sumter at the outbreak of the Civil War, Doubleday eventually rose to the rank of major general.
“Everybody wants to be part of a great team,” said Col. David Miller, commander of the 2nd BCT, during his command in-brief. “But great teams don’t just happen. Individuals collectively make it happen.”
George Herman “Babe” Ruth hit a lot of home runs for the New York Yankees in the 1920s, but he didn’t make it America’s winning team all by himself!
Indeed, a “team” which emphasizes personal ambition and achievement over cohesion and camaraderie often amount to little more than a tragic group of individuals. Winning teams know that the greater whole is worth more than the sum of its parts (“1 + 1 = 3”), where each part complements the other, each building on another’s strength or compensating for another’s weakness.
The Commando Providers did not travel the three hours to Cooperstown to play any games. While there, they received training in the core Army Values and team building.
“Life is not a spectator sport, where you sit on the sidelines and watch other people play it out,” said 210th BSB Chaplain (Capt.) Lew Messinger. “While many things we experience are beyond our immediate control, life does not simply happen to us. We make it happen!”

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