As a youngster growing up in the Piedmont section of North Carolina, baseball was a big part of summer activities. Every American Legion post in the region sponsored a baseball team for teenage boys. My community had produced the Major League batting champion in the early 1950s and baseball scouts could be spotted at local games evaluating the talent for Major League teams.little league right field is like starting a new business

This enthusiasm for baseball resulted in a very structured Little League for ten to twelve-year-olds. And it even spawned a Farm League for nine and ten year-olds. I can remember being an eager nine-year-old trying out for the Farm League. Usually the coaches would evaluate the basic skills of potential players. If you made the Farm League, usually you would first be assigned a position in right field for the informal games that the Farm League played. The Farm League was important because the Little League coaches would select players from the Farm League to fill out their team rosters.

Right field was an important step because it gave you an identity in the Farm League. Your name would appear on the rosters of the Farm League which meant you were eligible to move up to Little League at the right age. Right Field was also a first step in gaining skills because not many balls were hit into right field so the risk of a right fielder misplaying a fly ball or grounder in the outfield was lessened.

I can remember standing in right field and gazing out over the baseball diamond and thinking I had arrived. You could clearly see all the fielders, the pitcher, the hitter and both teams’ benches. It was a chance to learn a lot about the game. Sure, I had seen plenty of Major League games on TV and attended some of the American Legion games but putting on a glove and standing in right field meant you were taking part in something you loved.

Right Field and Business Ownership

I think there is a great analogy here between standing in right field and being the owner of a new business in the community. You are ready to learn the rules and how to interact with the community you are part of. Moreover, it’s easy to compare your thoughts and actions versus the other participants. How you develop your skills as a right fielder or as a new business owner is entirely up to you — with some assistance from coaches/mentors who want to see you succeed.

I like to think of moving from right field to other positions is really a maturity process. As you learn the ropes and get better with your fielding and hitting skills, you can move up in the community. To those of you who are new business owners or entrepreneurs, this means maturing your thoughts and actions in a focused and directed way. 

I encourage you to consider right field and working with a a guide to enhance your efforts. SCORE has many mentors and coaches who can assist you.

About the Author(s)

 Cletus M. (Mel)  Bost Jr.

Mel Bost is an experienced professional in the fields of strategic planning, process improvement, project management, best practices and benchmarking.  His career encompasses BOT International, Exterran Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Tosco Corporation, UNOCAL, Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and Ford Motor Company. He is the author of Project Management Lessons Learned:  A...

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Right Field is the Place to Be