The 2019 Washington Nationals completed a remarkable turnaround to win the World Series and become the first Washington, DC baseball team to win it all since 1924. But beyond capturing a championship, this team’s epic run leaves us with important lessons that go far beyond baseball.
Here are three:
People who follow baseball closely know that analytics has pretty much taken over the sport. In this era of big data how much do intangibles matter – “old school” ideas like character, culture, believing in your teammates? As the World Series MVP Steven Strasburg explains, these guys believed in one another and were playing for one another:
If MLB Players Have Lives Off the Field, Your Employees Certainly Do as Well
Earlier this month, Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson found himself in the middle of a national conversation around work/life balance and paternity leave. His employer – and his colleagues – had his back 100%. Lots of organizations may say they support having a family-friendly workplace culture but the Washington Nationals walked the walked on baseball’s biggest stage:
As everyone celebrates Nats, consider celebrating this too:
*Strasburg accepted MVP trophy with his two daughters beside him.
*Final out delivered by Hudson, who skipped a post-season game to be at daughter’s birth.
*Baby Shark movement began to please Parra’s daughter.
— Erin Cox (@ErinatThePost) October 31, 2019
At this team’s lowest point there were rumors that the manager, Davey Martinez, was going to be let go. Ownership stuck with him. And the manager showed loyalty to his players. In the World Series, center fielder Victor Robles was undeniably awful at the plate – a .160 batting average with 10 strikeouts. Armchair experts all over the DC area screamed at their televisions to get this guy out of the lineup. But Robles was one of the players who got them to this point in the season – benching Robles maybe would have provided a short term benefit (maybe), but what kind of message would that have sent to the rest of the team? In sports – as well as in business, and, of course, life in general – sometimes you have to pick each other up. Nationals MVP candidate Anthony Rendon put it well (relevant quote at around the 2:05 mark):
Amazing stuff. Congrats!