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Are you strong when others grow weak?

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in Leaders & Managers

As the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox pushed deep into postseason territory this fall, right fielder Trot Nixon, who’d spent his whole career in Boston before signing with Cleveland a year ago, had his night in the sun.

In Game 2 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway, Nixon sparked a seven-run rally in the 11th inning, the most runs by a team in one extra inning in postseason history.

“We persevered,” said Nixon. “It’s kind of ridiculous to be playing baseball at 1:30 in the morning, but you don’t get these opportunities very often.”

Cleveland manager Eric Wedge echoed that thought but had more to say about Nixon, who’s been thriving as a mentor to the team’s young starters. He talks to them one-on-one and fires them up.

“If you’re going to be a leader, it’s strength and personality and presence,” said Wedge. “You’ve got to be vocal. You’ve got to be strongest when other people are sometimes at their weakest, and you’ve got to pick people up. Trot has been a huge influence on a lot of our players.”

Bottom line: Nixon said he felt calm in the batter’s box and kept his emotions in check, which gave him an edge. His mental strength literally led his team to victory.

—Adapted from “Indians Turn Boston Marathon Into Quick Knockout,” Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com, and “Trot’s Delight,” Paul Hoynes, The Plain Dealer.

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