If…

If you can keep your faith when all around you
Have long lost theirs and are laughing at you;
If you can trust that something will astound you
In every win, and in every loss too:
If you’re not tired by other teams’ defeating
You, or by the incessant rumor mill,
Or, when many cheat, don’t give way to cheating,
But play your best, with all your strength and will;

If you can dream, and slowly strive for glory,
If you can think (although you do not need
To be Billy Beane)–if you know your story
Is longer than one day, and avoid greed:
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And are not too ashamed to celebrate
The one, but do not sulk when some are faster
Or stronger–if you are content to wait;

If you are not content with long-gone winnings
But keep on striving with every last pitch,
Through batters and through half-innings and innings,
Until the pendulum of time will switch,
If you can urge your body and your spirit
To succeed when you’re twenty runs behind,
And, contemplating loss, don’t really fear it,
But strive to overcome it, flesh and mind;

If you can play for crowds or empty bleachers
Play Cardinals and Royals, yet remain
True to yourself, your most important features,
Neither too arrogant or far too plain:
And, always dreaming, never stoop to pity
Yourself in losing, when all’s said and done,
You will have earned the passion of a city.
And that will be enough to know you’ve won.

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