Better than expected


Sometimes things don’t go the way you expect. That’s what happened for a group of college alumni in Chicago in the year 1887. They had gathered at the Farragut boat club on Thanksgiving day, trying to find out the results of the annual football game between Harvard and Yale. I’m not sure how that worked in the days before electricity, but there had to be some method of learning the results.

After Yale was announced as the winner, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove in the direction of a Harvard alum, who swung at it with a broom. The assemblage then started to play an indoor version of baseball. Their legacy–the game we now know as softball–is proof that unexpected results can happen in everyday situations.

My daughter plays on a softball team, and earlier this week I took her to a practice in a Chicago park. She practiced her gymnastics moves and we played catch while waiting for the rest of her team to arrive.

After about 15 minutes, we began to wonder if anyone was coming. My daughter then began throwing softball pitches to me, which is something she had never done before. And as it turns out, she’s really good at it. We were both pleasantly surprised to learn this.

The team never showed up, and we were there on the wrong day, but it was the best non-practice we’ve ever had. And wherever those Yale and Harvard alums are now, I’m sure they were pleased with the outcome.

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