Author Steve Yerrid tries to answer the question as to what separates the best from second best in the world of sports in his book, The Making of a Championship Heart. Many of us have had difficulty in achieving first place status for a number of reasons. To answer this question, the author provides multiple criteria describing personality traits and actions congruent with attaining first place. Examples are as follows:
o Integrity et al.
The New York Yankees and its late boss, George Steinbrenner, are the focal points of illustration throughout the book. The force of Steinbrenner’s personality was a defining attribute in moving the New York Yankees toward success, and the author describes a poignant moment where he was in a meeting with the boss.
“We were seated at a large oval conference room table with probably twenty-five or thirty chairs surrounding it. Of course, George sat at the head and I learned quickly that when he was present, there was never any doubt as to who was in charge.”
In the book, there are full color action pictures of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Girardi and many others in the Yankees organization. Quotations of famous personages are contained throughout the text. Examples are:
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
“You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we’re playing a game. It’s a business, it’s our job, but I don’t think you can do well unless you’re having fun.”
“There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first or last time, I owe him my best.” (Joe DiMaggio)
Classic World Series-winning moments of the Yankees are depicted toward the end of the book. The pictures are in full color and contain ALDS, ALCS and World Series moments. The last page of the publication has a select group of admirers clapping while viewing a memorial of George Steinbrenner with a picture and text on a Yankees Stadium wall.
Lessons learned from baseball and from life is the main theme of the book set forth on the cover. The author explains how to apply these lessons through the prism of the 18 or more defining characteristics enumerated above.
The author has played and watched sports all of his life. He has been a life long New York Yankees fan and shared a friendship with George Steinbrenner for over 30 years. The rock solid character of Steinbrenner comes through in the pictures of him shown throughout the book.
Overall, The Making of a Championship Heart is very well organized. The 18 or so motivating factors are indeed key ingredients for success in my own life experience. This book is an excellent purchase for sports buffs, historians, Yankees fans, media organizations and a vast constituency of admirers too numerous to delineate in a finite column.
For more information on Steve Yerrid, go to The Yerrid Foundation.