Apr

3

 My high school baseball coach in Vermont a few decades back had been a catcher in the Yankee organization. I was the catcher and our pickoff play at second base came from the Yankees. This play worked a dozen times in high school and Legion ball. I can't remember it ever failing.

The shortstop would signal to me (by rubbing his hand across the letters) whenever he thought we could pick off the runner leading off second base. Instead of giving a regular pitch sign, before the next pitch I'd put a fist down, then rub my left thigh so the pitcher would know the play was on and it was the shortstop covering.

The pitcher would never even look at the runner, just stare intently at home. And before he'd go into the stretch I'd make a fist with my right hand. After the stretch, just before the delivery, at the instant the shortstop broke for second, I would open my fist and the pitcher would whirl and throw to second. The timing was perfect and there was no counting involved. So the play was called by two guys most runners worry less about and was executed by the guy who looked the most unconcerned.

I can't say I've been able to use this for anything else in life or investing, but I still use our Legion coach's "indicator" sign (a tug on the earlobe) whenever I want to let my wife know we're leaving the party early.


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