Baseball’s Lessons for Investing


Pardon me if I start this week’s commentary with a little baseball talk. It’s been well over a decade since I’ve been excited about a pennant race, but yesterday, the Orioles tied the Yankees for first place in the American League East. (They are one game back after last night’s games.) As a lifelong O’s fan—I grew up in northern Virginia—I’m nervously hopeful.

As a kid, Earl Weaver was a constant presence in the dugout. Weaver was known for two things. One, his “discussions” with umpires during games. The second was his systematic approach to baseball.

It didn’t matter what a player’s talent level was, everyone practiced and played the same. If someone was the worst minor league player in the organization or an all-star on the major league roster, the philosophy never changed: pitching, defense and the three-run homer. Weaver emphasized the basics, believing that no player ever became so talented that he could ignore them. Weaver also believed in creating luck, either by limiting scoring opportunities for the opposing team or maximizing scoring opportunities for the Orioles. (Hence, the “three-run homer.”)

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