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Failure as a Proponent of Success 

September 6th, 2017

By Carlos E. Delgado, MS

Understanding failure is understanding success. Failure provides the best opportunity for readjusting, reconnecting and learning.

Baseball is a game of failure. Knowing this, failure should be embraced rather than feared. Baseball players know that these letdowns are a necessary part of the success journey.

Baseball was my greatest teacher. I was blessed with the opportunity to play in one of the most elite high school baseball programs in the country. We did not rank lower than 25th in the nation during my four years there. Needless to say, failure was not an option in that program. The need to be perfect in every aspect of my game drove me to spend long nights reading self-help essays, journaling, taking extra swings in the cages, and catching as many bullpens as humanly possible. Yet, I was not a starter… failure. That’s the way I saw it in my eyes, anyways. In fact, I technically failed in all of my 4 years of high school as I was never a full-time starter for the Varsity team. I failed. However, somehow, I was able to obtain a scholarship to play NCAA Division 1 baseball. While others were in awe of this accomplishment, all that was running through my mind was “Great! Now I’ll get to fail at an even bigger stage!”.

Even though I knew I was going to fail, and I did, I still wanted to prove to myself, my teammates, and my coaches that I was the hardest working player on that field. I wanted to outwork failure so I embarked in this journey to breathe, eat, and sleep baseball. Everything I did in my daily routine, I did it with the sole purpose of becoming the best baseball player I could be. I even chose Psychology as my major because I felt it would give me an edge on how to handle my pitching staff, how to deal with egos, and to be a leader within my team. Being a catcher, I had to be a leader. Late nights consisted of eating right so that I wouldn’t be sore the next day, doing my homework so that I would be eligible to play, then going to the field at around 11:30 pm to work on my swing a little more. I did all of that but yet I failed. I never hit over .230 and broke the school record for most passed balls in a season.


Failure was my companion or so I thought. For many years after, I couldn’t bear to see a baseball, or a glove, or a bat. Watching baseball games gave me so much pain and confusion. I thought “How were these guys able to be so consistent? They couldn’t possibly work harder than me. There’s no way!”. A long time had to pass before I realized that failure was just there to teach me lessons. What I saw as failure were actually accomplishments. Failure drove me to win a high school state title as a freshman. Failure paved the way to a Division 1 program. Failure gave me the opportunity to play on national television. Failure gave me three conference championship rings with my name on them.

This epiphany gave me the confidence to work within the front office of a Major League Baseball organization because understood that failure is just life’s greatest teacher. I was able to take advantage of my 30% success rate. Failure is now guiding me and teaching me through my journey as a businessman.


Baseball and business share an important factor: perspective. Early on, players and entrepreneurs learn that they must accept failures as challenges, rather than blockades. Successful businesses are often founded on countless failures. Profitable entrepreneurs maximize their 30% success rate, and do not focus on a 70% failure rate. An optimistic perspective allows this to happen. Maintaining a positive mindset drives business to the next level. This is because accepting failure provides an opportunity for readjusting, reconnecting, and learning.

The negative connotations that are placed on failure are man-made. Imagine if you never knew that failure was bad. Instead, you grew up knowing that failure was a leaning opportunity. How much easier would life be? It would allow baseball players to embrace strikeouts as an opportunity to perfect their swing and their approach. Similarly, embracing challenges would allow entrepreneurs to discover an untapped market or new business idea.

This theory proves how the skills gained through the game are relevant when applied to the business world. Unbeknownst to seasoned players, they have the tools necessary to succeed in any professional endeavor.

Carlos worked within Human Resources in the Miami Marlins organization and recently took on a new role in Pennsylvania as an HR Recruiter for ESCFederal. Click here to connect with Carlos. 

4 Responses to “Failure as a Proponent of Success ”

  1. Ricardo Tagliaferro says:

    This is So so Good!!!
    Thank you for sharing your heart with the world!
    So proud of you Carlos
    Tu Tío Ricardo!

  2. Michelle Banuelos says:

    Great article! Very true that ALL fears of failure are man-made. We are the only one’s standing in our way of success. If you can see it you can obtain it! Love this article.

  3. Carlos my brother. This was very well written and an inspiration not just for the clients I serve but for me as well. I always knew you were meant for great things. Baseball allowed you to grow and see something beyond the game. Your family is proud of you. I’m proud of you. The world is blessed to have you in it. I’m blessed to have you in mine.

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