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Dick Whitworth “Triple Play”

While flipping through the TV channels the other night, I landed on the Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels baseball game.  Within a matter of seconds I saw one of the rarest and prettiest plays in baseball – a triple play!  From third to second to first; one pitch, 3 outs!  What makes this play so amazing is that the odds of a triple play are extremely high; they are more than 10,000 to 1.  In fact, the last time a triple-play was pulled off by the Minnesota Twins was 11 years ago!  It is a rare and wonderful thing to the baseball fan.

Teams don’t, as a rule, practice for triple-plays because they are so rare; but teams do work incessantly on their core drills, including double plays.  They practice them consistently in spring training and throughout their 162 game season.  In fact, when you consider a Major League Baseball player’s lifetime of practice, including Little League and beyond, those simple drills are rehearsed tens of thousands of times.

So, as I think about that triple play, it reminded me of how being consistent in the little things that we do every day as broadcasters can open the door to the unexpected and dare I say, miraculous! 

Many of you know the old saying, “practice makes perfect.”  Some call it muscle memory and others say it’s reviewing the basics, but the point is – the difference between a good communicator and a great communicator is often found in how well you practice your disciplines.  For example:

  • Do you try to make every break worthwhile?
  • Do you know what you’re trying to accomplish before you open the mic?
  • Have you done your “homework” for your show?
  • Are your topics relevant and timely or are they just interesting? IF you don’t know the difference – see your consultant immediately!
  • Are you eliminating “garbage words” from your vocabulary? You know, DJ – speak!?
  • Do you look for the first exit in your break?
  • Do you listen to your airchecks or do you just provide them to your PD?

None of us get it right all the time, but I hope that you will keep trying and working for that moment when it does all comes together.  It may be your next break or even that next caller but whenever it happens you’ll be ready and it will be a memorable moment!  And you’ll know it too  , because it’s like a lightning strike – quick and unpredictable!  Or like a ball hit sharply to third base, a throw to second and before you know it you’ve turned a triple play!!   Sadly, the heavens may not open; choirs may not sing and more than likely your PD will have missed it, but you’ll know and you’ll be glad you took the time to practice your disciplines…everyday!

Play ball!

Dick Whitworth, joined New Life Media (WIBI) in 1975 at age 21 and has been involved in Christian radio ever since.  Over that 40+ year span, he’s been a morning show host, station manager, Network Director and now serves Northwestern Media as the Assistant VP for Media and General Manager of their long-form talk network known as Faith Radio.  Dick and his wife, Jayne have been married 38 years and currently live in Woodbury, MN. He can be reached at  rcwhitworth@unwsp.edu. 

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