You Can’t Hit A Home Run Unless You Step Up To The Plate

The written rules of baseball fit easily inside the jackets of all Major League umpires. The unwritten rules would take more space than that — and be ever so much more important.

Never make the first or third out at third base.” “Never throw behind the runner.” “Never steal bases late in the game when you are way behind…or way ahead.” Never, never, never do anything ‘bush’

My two favorites are these:

You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate.”

NOW is the time to swing for the fences.

Every truly dedicated baseball fan (over the age of forty) all sing the same tune — That many of the unwritten rules in baseball have direct application for the important lessons of life.

Clearly, unequivocally, the two rules I have highlighted above have direct, urgent application to Greek Fraternities all across America.

The hard, cruel, fact is that Fraternities don’t come within a long country mile of meeting the obligations set forth in their Rituals. They don’t come within a long country mile of the days when the best men arriving at the University stood in long lines, shoes shined, pressed shirt, nice tie and brand new jacket, awaiting entrance into a Fraternity House in the (slim) hopes they would get a “bid”. Gone are the days when the underclassmen were strictly obedient to their House chores, payment obligations and fearful of getting tossed. Today the Fraternities are the ire of the University, places of shame and sin, and utterly unappealing to Helicopter Mom’s who are universally determined to protect their college-age children (heretofore under their tight control).

For those in charge of Fraternity Houses on the campus of the university of Oregon, if ever there was a time to “swing for the fences”, now is that time. If ever there was a time to have the guts to “step up to the plate”, here, now, is that opportunity.  When you are way behind in the late innings and you can put runners on base and have the best hitter in the league sitting on your bench — what other good choice is there?

This particular opportunity is actually quite simple and quite large.  Once more, as in (the Olympic Trials 2008 and 2012), a major track championship will be held in Eugene July 22-29, 2014. Once more, the Ducks are on the pond.

Which brings up this reminder. In 2008 and 2012 the Kappa Delta Sorority and the Theta Chi and Pi Psi Fraternities took advantage of the opportunity of the Trials to rent their Houses to Michael’s Catering. This not only resulted in several thousand dollars in incremental income it also left all of them with a “sanded, polished, waxed and hospital clean” facility. In perfect shape for Fall Rush.

The same person who spearheaded all of that, (yours truly), visualizes renting one (or possibly two) Houses during the entire summer of 2014. The possibilities for a ‘Grand Slam” start with putting the runners on base from the moment the regular school year ends and adding to them right up to the end of the World Youth Championships.

Result One:  By the end of July, a good many runs will have crossed the plate by the time the Championships wind up.

Result Two::  A good many more runs will continue to be scored, all through August and right up until the kids return to re-claim their House in September.

The Grand Slam? This comes in the Fall, with more hits, more runs and “W’s all the way through 2015. The details are under tight wrap, except for some tidbits.

The short of it  is to offer (all summer) seminars, workshops, mentoring, social networking and fund-raising sessions targeted to those with a Mission to help kids (16-20) get a ‘real world’ boost on their way to adulthood. Many of the “home runs” will come from – and to – the organizing groups. Many more will come (to the House) because of the  repair, sanding, polishing and renovation undertaken all summer. All of this will be on high display through community involvement, television, the Oregonian and Register Guard. (Plus Twitter, FB, SM, etc.).

In this game the only losers are those who don’t come to the plate. For those willing to “swing for the fences”  this is their chance.

Too good to be true? Possibly.  After all, even Mighty Casey struck out.  But yours truly has been swinging a hot bat. Right here in Eugene.

John Hibbs <skipper@bfranklin.edu> 541 343 9389

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About oregonhibbs

Just past 70 I'm passionate about improving access to education, worldwide, sailing, Duck football (I live in the shadow of the University of Oregon in Eugene) and connecting with people with ideas and work that "can change the world".

Posted on August 25, 2013, in Flipped Fraternities & Restoration. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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