Two Things I Learned On Tuesday from Don Larsen

Yankees legend Don Larsen came by the office in New Rochelle today. If any of you don’t know, Don pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. It may come as a surprise to you that he didn’t even know he was supposed to pitch that day! With that, the story of how his perfect game came to be teaches a good lesson about preparation.

  • Always be readyLarsen had started Game 2 and was given a 6-0 lead, but lasted only 1.2 innings in a 13-8 loss. He told me, “I expected to be in the bullpen on Monday (Game 5).” So, what’s that mean?   Be ready to take advantage of an opportunity even if you think that opportunity may never come.
  • Make the most of every opportunity – Raise your hand if you’ve been the starting pitcher in a World Series game! (…crickets). As rare as that may be for you and me, and as rare as that still is for players today, getting the ball handed to you for such a big game almost never happened in the 50’s. Why? Because there were no expanded playoffs. Two teams, 7 games, that’s it. Don certainly made the most of it.

So, always be ready and make the most of every opportunity. That will work wonders for you at school, your job or anywhere else in your life.

By the way, today made me think of my Times Talk with Larsen and Yogi Berra and Bob Wolff from a few years back. Here we are reflecting on that World Series perfect game:




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