With the MLB Hall of Fame induction announcements coming out last week, I took a few minutes to sit back and think about some sports legends – both in baseball and in other sports – who have received second chances. A few names that came to mind include Alex Rodriguez, Michael Vick, Floyd Mayweather, Ray Lewis, Mike Tyson, Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, amongst others.
I began to ask myself, do these guys deserve a second chance? Did they deserve to be re-introduced into the sport they play and be idolized by fans across the world?
Alex Rodriguez’s place in baseball has come into question with repeated steroid use allegations, Michael Vick with dog fighting, Tyson, Peterson, Mayweather, Rice with domestic abuse and Ray Lewis with other allegations.
So, why am I writing about it? Why does it matter? It really comes down to just one question - do you believe in second chances?
I don’t think anyone expected AROD to come back and hit 30 home runs, Vick to re-enter and thrive in the NFL or Adrian Peterson to rush the way he has after missing two seasons of his prime.
Nonetheless, the ups and downs, the tribulations these athletes have gone through in their lives have taught each of them lessons and brought them to where they are today.
As each of these athletes have completely exceeded expectations, they have taught me to think about two key things:
Do I believe in second chances?
I have been pretty unforgiving when it’s come to baseball players and PEDs and all domestic violence. Yet, after working on a few things with AROD and Ray Rice in the past, I have realized that they have paid their dues. They’ve served suspensions, forfeited millions of dollars in salary and, in the case of Ray, has done everything in his power to have a second chance. However, Ray’s second chance has been with his wife (and now daughters), and speaking, raising money and acting out against domestic violence.
What differentiates these guys from an ‘Average Joe’ who has made mistakes? What was their mindset for redemption? Do they deserve these second chances they’ve received?
Then I turn to myself and ask, do I deserve a second chance?
After leaving Steiner, I really didn’t know if I wanted to retire or keep going. I didn’t know if I wanted to just create The Steiner Agency, just golf every day or take this crazy idea I had of CollectibleXchange and grow a new company. CollectibleXchange has become my second chance. My second chance to make a difference in the collectibles and sports marketing industries. This is my redemption tour. To create a one-of-a-kind innovative platform that benefits athletes, entertainers, teams, schools and other sellers and buyers, sports and entertainment collectibles fans. NOT myself. I want to create a platform that has never been implemented before.
It’s never too late to be the person you want to be.
Story time. Around a decade ago I was in my office late after work with Alex (Rodriguez) and here we were for over an hour discussing life advice. He told me that he was going to turn things around in his life and that he had been working harder than ever to getting back in shape - baseball shape and mental shape. He wanted to make things right with his teammates, the Yankees, fans, the media...everybody.
“I want to play the game right for more than myself," Alex said, "even though nobody believes I can.”
There wasn’t much advice I needed to give. There he was, giving himself a second chance instead of worrying about all the people doubting him. (And I was one of them).
By the time we finished talking that night, I learned something about him: Alex loves baseball more than he loves being a player. Maybe he lost his way at some point, but who hasn't? There are plenty of people in the world who have lost hope in their ultimate dream, though that doesn’t mean you can’t redeem yourself. It doesn’t mean you can’t keep fighting for what you want, your dreams and aspirations.
I always knew from Alex's teammates that he was the hardest working guy on a baseball field and that he would be ready to compete when he stepped in the batter’s box. But after that night, I knew that Alex was destined to fix everything else in his life, too.
If you want to right your wrongs, have a redemption tour, prove your doubters wrong, you must have a MAMBA MENTALITY. Push yourself to greatness. Be a competitor. Take risks. Prove your worth. Better others and you will better yourself.
If you haven’t already, please check out CollectibleXchange, or CXStuff. CX was created just for you! If you’re looking to buy or sell any collectibles, this is the #1 place to be! Check it out and let me know what you think.
Quote of the day: "If you burn your neighbor’s house down, it doesn’t make your house look any better.” – Lou Holtz
Song of the Day: “Night Moves” by Bob Seger