Written by Liz Swanson, Assistant Director, Professional Education Services

I think I have mentioned before that I am a big Cardinals baseball fan.  If there has ever been a magical year for fans of Birds on a Bat, it has been this one.  It is not because of the wins and losses but of the three all-time greats playing their farewell season: Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, and Yadier Molina. The trio reunited this season when Pujols' return to St. Louis to retire from baseball as a Cardinal. Pujols is getting lots of press right now because he is chasing 700-homerun hits, but for this blog I wanted to share some insight from pitcher Adam Wainwright about his relationship with catcher Yadier Molina:

  • “You start off as a teammate with someone, then you learn how to be friends. Then after a while what happens is, you’ve played with somebody for so long that you don’t even know what it would look like without him there.”
  • “He is, without question, one of the things I’ll look back and be able to tell my kids about. One of the most proud things for me was to be able to pitch to Yadier Molina every fifth day.”
  • “I can’t wait to pitch to Yadi again tomorrow. It’s one of my favorite things in the world to do is pitch to No. 4. When you’ve been through as much as we’ve been through, popped as much champagne as we’ve popped, when you experience that stuff with someone, you have to enjoy it.”

Working Together

In rural health jobs, we don’t pop champagne at the end of a great project or pour Gatorade over the heads of our bosses at the end of a successful meeting, but we still have those feelings of elation and excitement for a job well done.

Zero Dean the author of Lessons Learned from The Path Less Traveled said, “Teamwork is rising to the challenge of bettering yourself for the benefit of the whole. Teamwork is the combined commitment to overcome obstacles. It's support. It's encouragement. It’s working together.”

I know you have these relationships. I have heard you share them in our book study and rural health Fellowship, and I have read about them in applications for the "4 under 40" award. I hope, like Wainwright, you can take a moment and thank them for being your catcher. We do not reach out and praise each other enough sometimes. I am blessed beyond measure to have Kathy as my work partner. We have worked together for a long time. She catches me when I slip, she listens to my crazy ideas, and she makes me want to be a better person just to work with her. We know each other so well that sometimes all it takes is a look or an inflection in our voices to know what the other is thinking.

Reach Out and Say Thanks

Your assignment this week is to find your "catcher" and tell them how you feel. If a big professional baseball player can do it, you can too. I would love to hear your stories of your work “Yadi.” Reach out and take a moment to thank them for being there for you. I am a lifetime Cardinals fan and if it is possible, I would love to be at Coopers Town in five years to watch them inducted into the Hall of Fame together. That would be something special to see. Not because of their stats but because of their relationship with each other and their teamwork on and off the field.

I hope you have a Yadi in your work life. It is a blessing to work day in and day out with someone you care about, someone that gets you, and someone that makes being at work one of your favorite things to do. That is the view from where I sit this week.