Last night, in game 3 of the College World Series best of three championship series, the Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the University of Virginia Cavaliers 3-2. As is often said in sports, “it’s a shame one team had to lose.”
But even in defeat, my UVA Cavaliers are winners. When I was a graduate student at UVA (August 1985-May 1987), UVA baseball was an afterthought. Wins were few, far between and routinely ignored
In 2004, under new coach Brian O’Connor, a “Baseball Renaissance” began — at the very university that was founded by a Renaissance Man (Thomas Jefferson) and has graduated so many of them (along with thousands of Renaissance Women). Facilities were upgraded, the crowds grew larger, the Cavaliers became an ACC baseball power, and then a national one.
Speaking of the aforementioned Renaissance Man, I wondered last night how Jefferson would have reacted to his school’s heartbreaking loss. If he were alive today. I suspect Jefferson would have told them how proud he is of them — for their work on baseball field and in the classroom. He would have reminded them of the heartbreak in his past and that he had some experience finishing in 2nd (He lost to John Adams in the extremely close 1796 Presidential election and, under the laws of the day, served as Adams’ vice president).
Jefferson would remind them of something else: In 1800, he ran for President again and won. He came back and tried again. He didn’t give up.
I can picture Jefferson saying this to everyone associated with the UVA baseball team: “You will be back,”