Live Life Like a 3-1 Count

One of my favorite, and probably one of the all-time greatest baseball movies, is Field of Dreams. It captures so much about the game that reflects life. Of course, the real story is the restoration of a relationship with the main character’s father.

James Earl Jones’ character, Terrance Mann, delivers a poignant monologue that no other has done to better capture the essence of this great game.

Yesterday was Opening Day. A day when every fan has an equally optimistic outlook for their team. A day that marks the unofficial beginning to summer, even though it snowed in Cleveland and postponed the game against the Boston Red Sox. It’s a day of renewed optimism and allows us to believe in the impossible. Much like Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, did in Field of Dreams that led to his opportunity to relive a childhood moment in a game of catch with his father that he’d lost years ago.

He took a chance and swung for the fences. He plowed up his corn field and built a baseball field. It didn’t make sense, but he believed that it would lead to something great.

I have this t-shirt that I got from a company named Baseballism. It says “Live Life Like A 3-1 Count”. It means to live life wide open. Swing for the fences everyday. In baseball, when a hitter has a 3 ball and 1 strike count he typically receives a sign from the coach to “swing away”. Swing hard and true. The results are likely in your favor.


Imagine if more of us lived life like this…optimistically approaching each day with the belief that we can achieve great things if we are just willing to simply risk. The belief that each day is like Opening Day, and we all have the chance to “win it all”.

There is a famous quote that says, “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Life is too short to live in fear of making mistakes, or not ‘doing it the right way’.

Take risks.

Make mistakes.

Eat steak.

Build something.

Go places.

It’s all right there for you to experience. Why watch that 3-1 fastball right over the heart of the plate pass by you. Take a ‘hack’ at it and drive it out of the park. That’s what living is all about.

Swing away…

“Baseball reminds us of all that was once good, and could be again.” – Terrance Mann, Field of Dreams