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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2007 > Positive Coaching Alliance Praises Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees

Positive Coaching Alliance Praises Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees

Positive Coaching Alliance could not be prouder that the two most recent inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum – Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. – have ties to our partners at Little League International. We also are thrilled that these two are examples of what we at PCA call a “Level 3 Competitor,” or “L3C.”

Mr. Ripken, a graduate of the West Ashville Little League, was a pitcher and shortstop and as a 12-year-old in 1973, played in the Little League Baseball Southern Regional Tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla. Mr. Gwynn was an analyst for ESPN’s broadcast of the 2004 and 2006 Little League Baseball World Series.

Both achieved lasting fame: Ripken for surpassing Lou Gehrig’s consecutives games streak and earning Rookie of the Year, back-to-back Most Valuable Player Awards and a World Series ring; Gwynn for his eight batting titles, five Gold Gloves and two World Series appearances.

But most importantly to PCA, both are true Level 3 Competitors. Here is what we mean by L3C:
  • A Level 1 Competitor works hard to be the best he/she can be.
  • A Level 2 Competitor also is a leader who makes those around her/him better and more productive.
  • A Level 3 Competitor does what a Level 2 competitor does AND competes by a code of Honoring the Game.

Mr. Gwynn and Mr. Ripken embodied this in the ways they carried themselves; in their devotion to craft (as detailed in George Will’s classic book, “Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball”); in their humble, steady team leadership; and in their consistent excellence – borne of hard work, even at the top of their games – that inspired teammates and opponents alike.

Finally, Mr. Gwynn and Mr. Ripken were the rarities who played their entire careers for the same franchises. They simply continued to make themselves and their teammates better. And on that third level, by sticking with the Padres and Orioles through thick and thin, giving fans someone they knew they could count on for local pride, they actually made baseball better.

Little League coaches can learn more about “Honoring the Game” and “Level 3 Competitors” at www.PositiveCoach.org and can gain many other tools to help players reach their potential on and off the field by registering for the online Little League Double Goal Coach course at http://www.PositiveCoach.org/LittleLeague.