We don’t dive into the sports world too often here at the SALT Blog, but I’d say there is no better time to change that than the Fall Classic.
Some people see professional sports as just millionaires hitting a ball with a stick—or billionaires in rare cases. I insist that not only are sports exciting and suspenseful, but if you look a little closer, you can also learn some things.
Let’s go deep and catch some personal finance lessons. (Yay, baseball puns!)
YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME
There are 30 Major League Baseball teams, but only 2 advanced this far. So, like me, about 95% of you don’t have a strong rooting interest in this series. (Hopefully, your team wasn’t as woefully frustrating as mine was this year. Oh, you’re a Red Sox fan? Then yes, it was.)
Lesson: Losing helps you save money.
As your favorite team charges through the playoffs, you experience some strange urge to buy more fan gear or order pizza and wings for the games, especially if they win every time you do. If they do eventually win the championship, the need to buy commemorative shirts, hats, and DVDs can feel insatiable (I may or may not own this…).
With no horse in the race, you can tune in whenever you’re free and enjoy some great baseball.
WHAT UP, DETROIT?
The Detroit Tigers return to the Series for the first time since 2006, but are looking for their first championship since 1984. Their city could use the good fortune. After all, the Red Wings are locked out, things aren’t looking great for the Lions or Pistons, Eminem hasn’t released an album since 2010, and Kid Rock still exists.
It’s also no secret that Detroit was hit hard by the current economic downturn, and Forbes recently named Detroit the most dangerous city in America—for the fourth year in a row.
Lesson: Don’t let where you live affect your success.
If you’re a recent grad who’s living with your parents, keep a positive attitude. If you’re in school, but you got stuck in the worst dorm, make the most of it—or even take pride in it.
Last season, Giants catcher Buster Posey suffered a horrific ankle injury that resulted in broken bones, surgery, and a ton of time off. (Video of the injury is not for the faint of heart. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
This year, however, the baby-faced Posey came back strong by batting .336 with 24 home runs. He was already named National League Comeback Player of the Year and is the favorite to take home the MVP award.
Lesson: When you fall off the horse, climb back on.
When Posey took that big hit, many people suggested he change positions to avoid another rough collision. He stuck with it, though, and it paid off.
When you find yourself in financial trouble, know that you can always find a way to make it back. For example, if you default on a federal student loan, 9 months of on-time payments may get you back on your feet.
WORK HARD, EAT TACOS
Just as in the last several years, Taco Bell is offering a free taco to you, me, and everybody else in this country if any player in this World Series swipes a bag. This year is extra special since it will be the insanely popular Doritos Locos Taco.
I’d like to think that if you gave me 100 chances, I could steal second base at least one time against major leaguers. A bad throw or a missed tag, and I’m sliding in safely. Lucky for you, however, I’m not the one who can win you a free taco.
Lesson: Work hard, and rewards will come your way.
Stealing a base isn’t easy, but the feeling of winning everyone a free taco is pretty sweet. And here’s a second quick lesson: always know when free tacos are a possibility. Always.
What financial lessons can you take away from the World Series? Step up to the plate in the comments!