Wisdom from old-time baseball

“Experience is a tough teacher. It gives you the test before giving you the lesson.” – Vernon Law

“You never have to look far, or wait long, to be reminded how thin the line is between being a hero and a goat.” – Mickey Mantle

“Playing in the Big League wasn’t nearly as hard as getting there.” – Henry Aaron.

And, from the inimitable Yogi Berra…”If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”

My soccer coach changed my life

Anyone who doesn’t believe the responsibility and reward of volunteering to coach in youth sports is great should read the first person account written by Luz. This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009.

Give a little…get a lot

Believe in zero. That is the motto UNICEF has adopted. Reduce the zero the number of children who die each day from preventable causes. We’d like you to take a moment this holiday season and reflect on how fortunate we are and maybe take just a few dollars that would be spent on something we don’t really need, and give them to a cause that will make you feel good all winter long. You can visit our CoachDeck UNICEF site and give. A gift of as little as $10.00 will immensely help the most worthy of causes.

From Carolyn Stern, President and CEO, US Fund for UNICEF:

This has been a rough year for the world’s children.

A tsunami in Japan. More cholera in Haiti. And now, a famine like no other in recent history, potentially crippling an entire generation of children in the Horn of Africa.

And yet, time and time again, you responded to pleas for help, giving generously when these children needed you the most.

As we’re ending the year, I want you to know that you made an immense impact in addressing the numerous tragedies that have befallen children worldwide.

This past year, the number of children dying from preventable causes dropped to 21,000 a day. That could not have happened without your support – so thank you.

Despite this hard-won progress, there are still 21,000 children who will die today from preventable causes. You and I, and the entire community of UNICEF supporters believe that number should be ZERO. To get there, the world’s children need more people like you. I’m hoping that you’ll share with us what motivated you to give, in the hopes that it will convince others to do the same.

Last day to vote!

For one of CNN’s Heroes, 2011. We told you earlier about Eddie Canales, whose group, Gridiron Heroes, provides support to teenagers who suffered spinal cord injuries while playing football. Two moments have changed Eddie’s life. Both occurred on the football field. You can visit Eddie’s fan page here. We believe all of the top ten are worthy of the Grand Prize. Visit CNN’s Heroes Page here to see all ten and help choose the winner!

Sad, funny and true all at once?

Steve Moore’s humor in his In the Bleachers comic strip is a daily source of amusement and commentary on the sports world. Today’s cartoon is particularly relevant, especially in light our our recent post about the referees in youth soccer.

Hammer in the clubhouse

Did you know…

Oakland A’s owner Charlie Finley wanted to keep his players entertained so he encouraged a batboy named Stanley Burris to dance in the clubhouse. That batboy later went on to be rap music star M.C. Hammer.

Concussion video

As a follow-up to yesterday’s video on concussions in soccer, here is another informative video created by the University of Washington entitled: Youth Sports – Head Injury Guidelines And Procedures.