Everyone is unique – one of a kind. No one is quite the same.
And yet, I remember trying to emulate certain ball players growing up. Why is that?
Maybe I thought I wasn’t good enough the way I was and had to improve.
I see young athletes do the same thing today. A child will make a good play on the basketball court and pound his chest to celebrate because well-known athletes do the same thing. It’s ridiculous but I understand because I did similar things.
Adam Cimber knows what I am talking about.
He’s a submarine-style pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and copied the form from other throwers because his dad thought it was the only way Adam would make the team in high school.
Adam was not a big kid and didn’t throw hard. His dad knew this and convinced his son to adopt a unique delivery to the mound.
I write about Adam's experience in my new book, Dugout Devotions: Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best Vol. II which is on deck for a 2021 release.
Here is a portion of one of the chapters about him.
Since Adam was “skinny,” the method was perfect for his frame and build.
He made the team at Puyallup High School in Washington and soon caught the eyes of college scouts.
Adam enrolled at the University of Washington, played baseball from 2010 to 2012, and posted a record of 9-8 with a 4.15 ERA. He then transferred to the University of San Francisco where he went 6-3 with an ERA of 3.74.
In 2013, the San Diego Padres drafted Adam in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB draft. He made the Opening Day roster and debuted on the mound March 29, 2018.
He was traded to Cleveland the next season and posted a 9-11 record in 2019 with an ERA of 3.89 and added 99 strike outs.
Adam’s unique style provides the batter with a different and unusual look because there is a contrasting release point, and the ball moves in a peculiar way.
“[Hitters] are not used to this style and it takes them a while to figure it out,” Adam added. “That’s the advantage. We had to come with something different to offset the lack of speed.”
When Adam steps to the mound, his opponents are aware of his unique throwing style. They study his motions and delivery but still have issues at the plate. The ball moves funny, and it’s not what they are used to seeing from most pitchers.
Even though Adam replicated the style, he tweaked it enough to make it his own. He knows his delivery is unorthodox, but effective.
As a child of God, you are also unique. You should never consider giving into the crowd and being like everyone else.
If you do something some consider unusual, don’t pay any attention. Maybe some scoff if you lift your arms in praise during a service. Or maybe you bow your head to pray over a meal in a restaurant and hear people giggle at the table next to you.
No never mind. Be who God made you to be.
Here are some verses to consider to help you reinforce your “uniqueness.”
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1: 5 KJV)
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Mathew 10: 30 KJV)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5: 8 KJV)
It’s okay to look up to a certain person who might be a good role model. But don’t put too much stock in that. Instead of the person, try to imitate a positive attitude, habit, or perspective. Then adapt it to your own personal style.
“In this game, you constantly get knocked down, then you get lifted up and get knocked down,” Adam said. “This is just where God has put me to work, and I’m going to work for Him in my own way."
Be who God made you to be – be you.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.