Being The Batting Champ10 November 2012
Being born and raised in San Diego, I have always supported the athletes who represent my city, whether it’s athletes from high school, college or the pros. Gail Devers raced her way to gold at the 1992 Olympics games in Barcelona, Spain. Dan Fouts, Lance Alworth, and the late Junior Seau are Chargers who have their jerseys retired because they played the game of football with tremendous tenacity and passion. Charde Houston made school history in the state of California when she passed Cheryl Miller to become the all-time career scoring leader in women’s high school basketball with 3,837 points. Then, there is the veteran Tony Gwynn.
Gwynn began his career as an Aztec where he was a dual sport athlete in basketball and baseball. He excelled in both, and even though he set two school records in basketball while at San Diego State, when debating to go pro, Gwynn made the decision to pursue baseball.
What most sports fans know of “Mr. Padre” is his optimum hitting skills. Gwynn is arguably one of the greatest hitters to ever approach a batter’s box. His round frame, thick knees, sharp eye and patient swing were swift with the bat, hitting the ball towards the 5.5 hole. It was rare for Gwynn to strikeout during a game. The left-handed batter spent countless hours not only perfecting his stance, but also analyzing data such as field conditions, facilities, weather, day or night game, and R/L pitchers and their delivery style. It seemed that he had everything figured out.
This was until Randy Johnson, also a southpaw, marched on the field. The “Big Unit,” who stood at a soaring 6’10, threw 100+ mph fastballs down the strike zone. Johnson was one pitcher that Gwynn could not overcome. He went 1 for 12 with four strikeouts against Johnson, a percentage of .083 at bat, considering Gwynn’s lifetime batting average was .338.
Still, despite the poor batting average against one pitcher, there is a bigger picture to look at. Gwynn’s overall accomplishments, such as nine club records, 3,000+ career hits, 15x All-Star, 5x Golden Glove, and 8x batting titles, overwrite that slight statistic. Not to mention in 2007, he received the highest honor in Major League Baseball; Gwynn was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame alongside Cal Ripken Jr. These are, nonetheless, prime achievements that stand in sports history.
There are many craps players, mentors, and instructors who have off days, whether it is in practice or live play. A few months ago, I practiced throwing 36 rolls. I couldn’t get it together for the life of me, hitting 11 sevens in those 36 rolls. I cussed… a lot. Even if it is practice, I still want to throw well because practice translates into live play. However, members of the GTC family, like me, can overcome bad days. We can analyze our throw and stance through videos, research casinos, table conditions, and personnel in order to assist with a profitable trip. If you have a few strikeouts (7’s) during your turn with the dice, there is no need to worry. In the end, you are still the batting champ.
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