Dear Customers and Friends:

My brother, Steve, recently shared a story about the late John Scolinos, a baseball coach with a highly successful Hall of Fame career spanning six decades at Pepperdine University and Cal Poly Pomona. Passing away at age 91 in 2009, he is often remembered for his classic “Home Plate” speech, a common-sense message that holds relevance today.

Watching one of his talks on YouTube, I can understand why his players loved him and were motivated to give their best. He truly cared more about them than winning – and still, he won three national championships.

Speaking to large audiences, Coach Scolinos would come on stage wearing a true-to-size home plate around his neck to drive home a primary point: “Whether in baseball or life, never widen home plate.”
From Little League all the way up to the majors, the width of home plate never changes. It’s 17 inches wide, period. If a pitcher can’t throw strikes, the rules don’t let you expand the plate to make it easier.
Coach Scolinos described baseball as the greatest game ever played because it parallels life, and home plate is one example. Home plate is where players experience fear, frustration, embarrassment, and failure. To win, they must master control, whether it be pitching, batting, or running home to score.

Just like baseball, you can’t widen home plate to make life easier. If you do, Coach Scolinos said there’s trouble.

This wisdom applies to all facets of your life, including how you conduct yourself at work. Are you widening home plate in your business deals? Are you not playing by the rules in your marriage? At school? At church? At home?

Personally, I don’t care for participation trophies that are sometimes awarded to young ballplayers to make them feel better. What does that teach them about life? You certainly don’t get rewarded for skirting the bases and doing nothing in the real world.

To be a true winner, follow these heartfelt words from an old ball coach: “Stay at 17 inches and influence those around you to do good. Surround yourself with good people and always keep the Almighty as No. 1 in your life.”

Blessed to be a Blessing,
Greg Syfan
President, Syfan Logistics

“Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.”  2 Timothy: 5-6