How often do you make the most of an opportunity

Today is February 22 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you make the most of an opportunity.” Theodore Roosevelt wrote “It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”

Brian Doyle certainly made the most of his opportunity. During the 1978 major league baseball season 23-year-old rookie Doyle was called up and down to the New York Yankees 5 times. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner wanted to win on the AAA level, so he sent Doyle back down for those playoffs and when the post-season roster expanded to 40 called Doyle back to the Yankees. Three days before the season ended, Willie Randolph, the regular second baseman, pulled a hamstring, so at the end of the season Doyle was playing second.

As Doyle recalled “We were in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Special permission had to be granted for me to be on the roster because I was not on the regular season roster due to playing in the AAA playoffs. To be granted a roster spot, the Dodgers and MLB Commissioner, Bowie Kuhn, had to approve it. The first game of the World Series was in LA. I was in a cab with Catfish Hunter and Yogi Berra going to the stadium. Yogi looked at me and said, “You’re playing kid.” I didn’t know until just a few hours before the first game of the World Series that I was eligible to play!”

And play he did. The 1978 World Series would be the best six games of his professional baseball life. Doyle went 7 for 16, drove in two runs, and ended the World Series with a .438 batting average, higher than everyone else, even the Most Valuable Player Bucky Dent. Doyle’s career ended in 1981 and after less than four years in the majors he had a lifetime batting average of .161. He had one brief shining moment in an otherwise mediocre professional baseball career. But no one can take those six games, or his World Series ring, away from him. Doyle made the most of an opportunity.

BC Forbes noted “The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck.”

Do you find yourself talking about how lucky others are or are you too busy making the most of the opportunities that come your way?