Sunday, September 23, 2012

Resilient - Ryan Vogelsong

source: Ezra Stone/Getty Images North America

I still have a huge grin on my face from last night's Giants win over the San Diego Padres to capture their second National League West Division Title in 3 years.  As I often do after Giants wins, I watch the post game show. Home games with Giants announcers Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon Miller and Dave Flemming.

The first Giants player to be interviewed in the locker room was pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. You don't have to be a sports fan to appreciate Vogelsong's career. The Giants first drafted him in 1998, and then traded him in 2001 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He remained there for 5 seasons, underwent Tommy John surgery, and then pitched in Japan for 3 seasons. He lost twice as many games as won in his time with the Giants and Pirates (10-22, 5.86 ERA).

After playing in Japan, Vogelsong returned to the United States in 2010. He pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies AAA team, Lehigh Valley. They released him in mid-July. He then signed with the Anaheim Angels and was released again.

In 2011, under a minor league contract, Vogelsong returned to the Giants. He finished the season with an eye opening 2.71 ERA and won more games than he did in his entire major league career, 13. He became the poster man for the single word he said to Mike Krukow to describe this year's Giants team: resilient

Resilience, as described in Psychology Today:
"Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Even after a misfortune, blessed with such an outlook, resilient people are able to change course and soldier on."

Can't argue. Congratulations, Vogey, Buster, Matt, Timmy, Barry, Angel, Brandon, Brandon, Sergio, and the rest of the San Francisco Giants.

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