Most of us try to determine our specific role in life, especially at work, and then spend our energy focusing on working to perfect that role or position.
At times though life requires more. And often, when we step out of our normal position, out where things can get really uncomfortable, amazing things can happen. While it is true that most of the time we must play our assigned roles, I hope we'll always be willing to rise to the occasion of an unexpected new role and assignment for the sake of our "team" or community.
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Second baseman Valdez picks up win for Phils
By Nate Mink / MLB.com
05/26/11 2:47 AM ET
It was the lasting image of second baseman Wilson Valdez's improbable win, especially considering he retired the meat of Cincinnati's lineup to set up the Phillies' 19-inning, 5-4 win against the Reds on Wednesday night.
And for the first time in the Majors since Brent Mayne of the Rockies faced the Braves on Aug. 22, 2000, a position player was the winning pitcher.
The last player to start a game in the field and earn a win was Babe Ruth on Oct. 1, 1921, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ruth started in left field for the Yankees in that game.
Valdez said he hadn't pitched since a 2002 backyard game in his native Dominican Republic but needed just 10 pitches to get through the Reds' Nos. 3-6 hitters.
"It was fun. It's something that I will never forget," Valdez said. "I'm a winner. I was ready to pitch, and I'm glad that I went 1, 2, 3."
He got reigning National League MVP Joey Votto to fly out to deep center. Ditto Jay Bruce after hitting Scott Rolen with a pitch. Then, pitcher Carlos Fisher popped out to second.
"It was funny, because when Votto was hitting, [Valdez] started shaking [off catcher] Dane [Sardinha], and I was like, 'What is he about to throw? What does he have?' " first baseman Ryan Howard said. "He threw him a sinker in, and I was like, 'OK.' "
It was the first time Charlie Manuel had ever used a position player to pitch, the manager said after the game.
"I think he got his fastball up to 88, 89 miles per hour," Manuel said. "That's better than some guys I see out there."
Valdez was asked if he could pitch, and he took over for Danys Baez, who threw five innings and allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three on 73 pitches.
Baez, the last available pitcher for the Phillies, was told he would not return for a fourth inning but asked to stay in so Valdez wouldn't have to face the middle of the Reds' order.
"It is what it is at that point," Bruce said. "Obviously you'd like to get something going against him, but we didn't. That stuff happens. He actually had OK stuff."
To watch a video report click here.