Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Everyone's different when it comes to drive, determination and ambition, but when a family member passes, be it unexpected or after a long battle, everything pours back about that individual in a way that is pretty emotional.  I bring this up because I truly feel for Edinson Volquez this morning. Volquez started for the Royals last night in Game 1 of the World Series.  He stood on the mound and pitched his guts out because that's probably what he was taught by his father growing up.  Fathers and mothers are so valuable in a child's drive and upbringing.  Making them believe, showing them tools to achieve greatness, and last night Volquez did it the way he learned it from his mentors and from his father.... no question.

What happened next was pure sadness.  Volquez received the news after his outing that his father died.  He didn't know it before, but he did his father and family proud after he came out of the game.  As reported in Hardball Talk, "...the father of Royals starter Edinson Volquez died shortly before game time... He was told by family members after he left the game in the sixth inning..."

Andy McCullough Tweeted:
Now the idea obviously was that the Volquez family wanted Edinson to go out there and do his best, no distractions.  But I cannot imagine what happened when it was revealed that his father had died.  It's a buzz killer to the great proportions. Here's the one thing I know though; and this will become clear when the season is over.  Volquez made his father proud, and while numbers and stats mean nothing right now for this young man, what does matter is that this pitcher left it all out there just the way his father would have wanted.

I equate this to BYB Senior Writer Suzie Pinstripe who revealed something very personal to all of you in her interview with us (Read MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH SUZIE PINSTRIPE): 

BYB: I love your drive and work ethic Suzie. Where did you learn to be so ambitious?

Suzie Pinstripe: I learned to be ambitious from my Dad...He taught me to work hard and seek your own successes. Success is open to everyone but you have to go and get it...My dad was a member of the Achilles International Track Club.  Achilles International is an organization that gives people with special needs, illnesses and those physically disabled the ability to compete in national and international races across the globe.  My dad was suffering from a number of diseases and he was an Achilles athlete.  After he completed his fourth New York City Marathon, he had a heart attack and died.  

It killed me.  It broke my spirit and I lost my way...Soon after, I met a person who changed my life.  She gave me my legs and told me I could run.  I believed her, she coached me and I began running in memory of father and for my own life.  I run to live and I live to run.

Think about that for a second. Loved ones will bring you determination ,drive and the tools you need to push yourself to the next level.  When that loved one leaves you... yes, you are crushed, destroyed... but after you step back and see the big picture, it will always be revealed just how important that person was in your mission at hand.  They walked you through it, when it was the hardest... pushed you... and just when you wanted to give up... they didn't let you. That stays with you... always.

Volquez will grow from this loss, as crazy as it seems. There will be a day where he'll stop feeling sorry and carry on the way his father taught him. It's that toughness and competitiveness that was taught.  Perhaps he finds drive in another loved one like Suzie Pinstripe. Someone to help keep him motivated.  He's a good kid with a ton of heart and courage.  After the dark days ahead, he'll emerge with that competitive nature again. I know it.

I don't know. I just felt it necessary to express that opinion today.  I felt terrible for Volquez last night.  I think I felt worse hearing the commentators and news reports from ESPN that are STILL not corrected suggesting that Volquez knew about his father's death before the game.  It's speculation. I found it all too personal to talk about. It's nobodies business.

If you're gonna take anything from this BYB article today, it's this;  Believe in yourself and remember who helped you get there.  And if you lose that loved one, always keep them in your heart.  Most likely they're the one who helped you achieve your goal.  Now go out there and make them proud and live through them.

Volquez made his father proud last night, but no question, his father knew that Volquez would be a success in the Major Leagues all along.  That's family ladies and gentlemen... write that down.

Now that I'm managed to give you, and myself a good cry, go out and do something amazing.

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